Can a family member sponsor my visa to Australia?

This is a question we are often asked by a lot of clients. You may have a parent, sibling, aunt/uncle or another family member living in Australia and would like to know if you can get sponsored by them to live and work in Australia. The short answer is potentially. There are a few visa options that may be relevant:

Family Sponsored – Subclass 491 Visa

This visa is probably what most people would like to apply for. The visa is an 5 year open work visa that converts to permanent residency.
The problem with this visa is that:
– There is a very low number of these visas issued each year. Consequently, these are very difficult to obtain.
– Plus your relative must live in a regional area. If your family member lives in a major city, then they cannot sponsor your visa.

Who can sponsor me?

The sponsor must be:
– 18 years old or older
– Usually residing in a designated area of Australia
– Be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
– Be your or your partner’s eligible relative

An eligible relative can be:
– a parent
– a child or step-child
– a brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step-brother or step-sister
– an aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle
– a nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step-nephew or step-niece
– a grandparent
– a first cousin

The issue with this visa is that even if you have an eligible family member who can sponsor you, there are a very limited number of 491 Family Sponsored visas issued every year. The demand far outweighs the supply.

On top of this, the 491 visa is points tested and you must pass a skill assessment in a relevant occupation before you can apply. Because it is such a popular visa, you currently need to have at least 95 or more points to be invited to apply for the visa.
On the other hand, applicants who apply for the 491 – State Nominated Stream often receive an invitation with as few as 65 or 70 points.


What are the steps to apply (491 Family Sponsored Stream)

– To have an eligible family member living in a regional area
– Pass a skill assessment in an occupation on the 491 list
– Reach a points test total of at least 95 or more points.
– Submit an Expression of Interest

Parent Visa

If you have a parent living overseas and you are a permanent resident or citizen of Australia, you may be able to sponsor your parent’s visa to live in Australia. Please note these visas are very expensive and take A LONG time to process. More information on the different parent visa options available here.

Apart from that, there are no other relevant family sponsored visas. You will need to look at other visa options to Australia. Perhaps you could study a course in Australia that may lead to future work visas.