An orphan relative visa is a permanent permit that allows children to join their family members in Australia who will be legally responsible for their well-being. To get this visa, the child’s parents must be either dead, unable to provide care for them, or missing.

If you are sponsoring a relative to get the orphan relative visa, your relative has to submit evidence that they genuinely need you to care for them when they apply for the visa.

Eligibility Criteria for an Orphan Relative Visa

To qualify for this visa, the child must:

  • Be a minor under 18 years of age.
  • Be single with no partner or in a relationship.
  • Have a sponsor in Australia who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • Have permission to move to Australia.

Sponsor Eligibility for an Orphan Relative Visa

You can sponsor your relative to come to Australia with an orphan visa if you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or New Zealand eligible citizen and:

  • You are their sibling or step-sibling.
  • You are their grandparent or step-grandparent.
  • You are their aunt or uncle, or step-equivalent.

The sponsorship must be approved by the Immigration office, if there is a history of crimes involving children, related to or your partner, the sponsorship won’t be accepted.

Parental Consent

For your relative to get this visa, they must have explicit permission to travel to Australia. This includes having written consent from everyone who has a legal right to decide where the child lives or the child’s country laws allow them to move from their home country.

Parental consent is also valid if there is a court order allowing the child to move; the court order must be admissible in Australia. Please keep in mind that this visa won’t be issued if the parents can care for the child, but do not want to.

Documents Required for an Orphan Visa

When applying for an orphan relative visa, your relative must provide the following:

  • The applicant must submit a copy of their passport or a copy of a valid travel document.
  • Identity documents. Other identification documents may be required, such as a copy of their national identity card, or certificates showing their name change (if applicable).
  • Orphan visa application form. Your relative must fill in the visa application form so they can add it with the rest of their application.
  • Sponsorship documents. As a sponsor, you must provide the applicant with a filled-in form 40HC, so they can attach it to their application.
  • Four visa photographs. There should be four visa photographs with high quality and full-face view. The pictures have to be taken in the last six months.
  • Proof that the child needs you to take care of them. The applicant needs to submit proof that they have no parents to take care of them. They can include death certificates or other certificates that show why the parents are unable to care for the child, or documents showing that the parents are missing.
  • Evidence of your familial relationship with your relative. The applicant must submit proof that you are related to the applicant, this can include a birth certificate, marriage certificate, adoption papers or a family book.
  • Proof of good character. Applicants over 16 must provide form 80 along with other documents showing proof that they are not under investigation.
  • Dependents under 18 documents. If any dependents under 18 are applying with the applicant, they should provide their identification documents, proof of relationship with the child and any other required documents.

Orphan Relative Application Process

This visa is a paper-based application, this means that your relative must send the application by post or courier. They cannot apply online or go in person to apply – the visa office addresses are found in the application form.

Before your relative sends the visa application, they have to pay the visa fee first and attach the receipt with their application. The visa fee has to be paid online, through ImmiPayments in the ImmiAccount.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Orphan Relative Visa?

Most orphan relative visas are processed within 54 months, but some applications can be finalized in 45 months. The processing time changes on a case-by-case basis, it all depends on how complete the visa request was at the time of application.

Orphan Relative Visa Fees

An orphan relative visa costs AUD Moldova

Applying on Behalf of Your Relative

Your relative can get help with their visa application. For example, they could appoint you as a correspondent for every type of information related to the visa process, or they could get in touch with a migration agent to help them with an orphan visa application.

To do either of these, your relative should fill in and include either form 956a, or form 956 with their visa application, to show that someone is helping them with the application.