A remaining relative visa is a permanent family visa you can apply for if you have a close family member living in Australia. Your family member must sponsor you to get this visa, and you are required to provide evidence of your familial relationship with your sponsor.

Who Can Sponsor Me for a Remaining Relative Visa?

Your family member can sponsor you if they are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or New Zealand eligible citizen and they are:

  • Your parent or step-parent.
  • Your sibling or step-sibling.
  • Your relative’s eligible partner.

You must also be sponsored by a family member or their partner who never sponsored someone else that had one of the following visas or held this visa themselves:

  • Remaining relative visa – subclass 835.
  • Preferential family visa – subclass 104.
  • Family visa – subclass 806.

Am I Eligible to Get a Relative Visa?

You are eligible to apply for a relative visa if:

  • You are sponsored by an eligible parent, step-parent, sibling or step-sibling who is over 18.
  • Your sponsor is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • You or your partner don’t have a near relative who lives out of Australia.
  • You and your partner don’t have a near relative in Australia under a temporary visa or staying illegally; temporary visas include bridging visas
  • You have assurance of support.

Assurance of Support

Your sponsor must have an assurance of support agreement with the Australian government. This agreement shows that your sponsor will pay back the government for any income support they give you so you can move to Australia. This agreement will make it easier for you to get a relative visa.

Document Checklist for an Australia Relative Visa

Submit the following documents for your relative visa application:

  • You must have a valid passport when you want to apply for a relative visa since you must submit a copy of your passport pages. Additionally, you may be required to submit a copy of your ID card and certificates that show your name change- if applicable.
  • Remaining relative visa form. When you apply for a remaining relative visa, you have to fill in this visa form and submit it together with the rest of your documents.
  • Sponsor documents. Your sponsor is required to fill in form 40 and send it to you when you want to apply for the visa.
  • Proof of relationship. You have to provide evidence of your relationship with your sponsor. You can submit a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, a death certificate, adoption papers, or a family book- anything that shows you are close family members.
  • Evidence that you are of good character. You may be asked to submit police certificates detailing your criminal history- do not submit these certificates unless specifically asked for by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Partner documents. If you apply with a partner, make sure you provide their identification documents, character documents and proof of relationship, i.e., a marriage certificate or proof of registered relationship.
  • Documents for dependants under 18. In case you apply with dependants under 18, then provide their identification documents, proof of your relationship with them, parental consent form 1229, or a statutory declaration. Also, provide form 1257 if the child won’t be living with family members or legal guardians.
  • Documents for dependants over 18. For over 18 family members who apply with you, submit their identity documents, character documents (if applicable), dependency form 47a, and other documents proving they are dependent on you either socially or financially.
  • Help documents. If you want someone else to help you with your application, then please fill in form 956a, or form 956.

How to Apply for an Australia Relative Visa?

This is how to apply for a remaining relative visa:

  1. Pay the first instalment.
  2. Apply for the visa.
  3. Wait for the first assessment.
  4. Wait for the second assessment.
  5. Pay the second instalment.

Pay the First Instalment

Before you can apply for the remaining relative visa, you have to pay the first instalment of the visa fee. You have to pay the fee online through ImmiAccount- log into your account and find the payment option so you can pay for the visa. If you don’t have an account, then open one since you won’t be able to pay for the visa in another way.

Apply for the Visa

When you apply for a remaining relative visa, you have to submit a paper application because you cannot apply online or in-person for this visa. You have to send the application either by post or by courier. You will find the full address in your visa application form.

Keep in mind that you have to certify your certificates and photocopies for paper-based applications- see how to prepare your documents for paper applications.

Wait for the First Assessment

This visa is processed in two stages; the first stage begins after you send your application. At this point, the Department of Home Affairs will put your application up in a queue to wait until there is a place available for you.

Wait for the Second Assessment

After the queuing process is over, your relative visa application will be assessed once more by the Department of Home Affairs. At this stage, you may be notified that it’s time to pay the second application fee.

Pay the Second Instalment

When your application finishes the second stage of processing, you have to submit the second instalment fee so you can receive your relative visa. After this, you will be notified in writing about the Department’s decision.

Remaining Relative Visa Cost

The total cost of the visa is AUD 6,490. However, you have to pay the visa cost in two instalments:

  • The first instalment is AUD4,425.00.
  • The second instalment is AUD2,065.

You also have to pay fees for every additional family member who applies with you for a remaining relative visa.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Remaining Relative Visa?

The waiting period after your visa application is put in a queue may take up to 50 years. As of February 2021, the Department of Home Affairs is processing remaining relative visas with a queue date up to August 2 of 2011.

Australia Remaining Relative Visa Validity

A remaining relative visa is a permanent visa- valid indefinitely. However, this visa has a travel expiry date which ends after five years. This means that if you want to travel out of the country after the travel facility expires, you have to apply for a resident return visa.

A resident return visa will allow you to travel freely for another five years without damaging your permanent residence status. If you don’t want to use an RRV visa, then you may apply for citizenship- if you are eligible.

Can My Second Cousin Sponsor Me for a Relative Visa?

No, only near relatives can sponsor you for a relative visa. Near relatives include your parent, step-parent, sibling, step-sibling, or the partner of one of these relatives.

Applying With Family Members for a Remaining Relative Visa

You can apply with family members who belong to your family unit which includes:

  • Your spouse or partner.
  • You or your partner’s minor child.
  • You or your partner’s adult dependent child.
  • You or your partner’s grandchild (adult or dependent).

What Is the Difference Between Subclass 115 and 835?

The difference is that subclass 115 is issued to applicants out of Australia, while subclass 835 is issued for applicants within Australia. This means that you are not eligible for subclass 835 if you are out of the country. However, you must be in Australia under a valid visa if you want to apply for subclass 835.