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Sponsored Family Visitor visa

31 May 2016 by News Desk

The Sponsored Family Visitor visa is for use by people seeking to come to Australia to visit family.

Sponsored Family Visitor visaThe Sponsored Family Visitor visa requires formal sponsorship of a visa applicant by an Australian citizen or permanent resident. A sponsor is required to ensure the visa holder will abide by visa conditions and leave Australia at the end of their visit.

In some cases, a security bond may be requested. It is normally applied in cases where concerns remain about an applicant’s intention to comply with their visa conditions.

The Sponsored Family Visitor visa (subclass 600) usually allows a stay of three months but may allow for a stay of up to 12 months. This visa generally only allows a single entry into Australia.

The aim of the Sponsored Family Visitor visa is to accommodate the many requests from relatives in Australia who want to guarantee their nominated guest will leave Australia before the expiry of their visa, and to reduce the high non-return rates for applicants from some countries.

Sponsored Family Visitor visa

The key features of the visa are: mandatory sponsorship; a discretionary security bond and penalties that apply to the sponsor if the visitor breaches visa conditions.

Says Darrell Todd, founder of thinkingaustralia: “To be eligible to sponsor an applicant for the Sponsored Family Visitor visa the sponsor must be: an Australian citizen or permanent resident; aged 18 years or over and settled in Australia for at least two years.”

The sponsor must also be one of the following:

  • a relative (partner, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or the ‘step’ or adopted equivalent of any of these)
  • a relative of a person who is a member of the family unit of the applicant and who is also applying for a Sponsored Family Visitor visa
  • a member of an Australian Parliament (Commonwealth, state or territory)
  • an authorised person representing the Australian Government, state or territory department or instrumentality
  • a local government mayor.

There are no provisions for fiancés, in-laws, cousins, or friends to provide a sponsorship. Special Category (subclass 444) visa holders, eligible New Zealand citizens, New Zealand citizens and New Zealand permanent residents are also not able to sponsor an applicant under this visa subclass.

Sponsors must complete a sponsorship form (Form 1149) listing all members of the family unit they are sponsoring. The sponsorship form must be lodged by the sponsor in Australia together with a visa application (Form 1418), or attached to an online application, for each visa applicant. The correct visa application charge must be paid for each applicant.

Security bond

The Sponsored Family Visitor visa allows border officials to request a security bond which may be forfeited if the visitor breaches visa conditions. The amount of the security bond is determined on a case by case basis and usually ranges from $5,000 to $15,000 per person.

If a security bond is required, a letter outlining the process for lodging the bond will be sent to the sponsor. It must be paid in full in Australia before a final decision is made on the application.

Refunds are arranged once the visitor has left Australia having complied with all visa conditions. The security bond may not be refunded if the visitor stays longer than the period authorised on their Sponsored Family stream.

Sponsored Family Visitor visa conditions

Conditions attached to the visas are:
8101 – no work
8201 – while in Australia, the holder must not engage in any studies or training for more than three months
8503 – no further stay
8531 – must not remain beyond the visa period.

Subclass 600 visa holders are no longer required to pass a chest x-ray examination.

If for any reason the sponsored family visitor does not depart Australia before their Sponsored Family stream expires, or if they breach any of their visa conditions, penalties will be imposed upon the sponsor. The sponsor will not be eligible to provide further sponsorships under this visa class for five years. If a security bond has been lodged, it may be forfeited.

Darrell Todd says: “If you are seeking to visit family Down Under it is important to ensure you are applying for the right visa. Thinkingaustralia has experts to help you that will take the stress and complexity out of the visa process.”

Click here for expert info and one-to-one help with travel visas: Travel to Australia

Click here for tourist information about Australia: Visit Australia



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