One of the most important requirements for Parent Visas is the Balance of Family test. It is relevant to all Parent Visas, except for the Sponsored Parent Temporary (Subclass 870) Visa. Therefore, this requirement is important for the following visas:
- 103 – Parent
- 143 – Contributory Parent
- 173 – Contributory Parent (Temporary)
- 804 – Aged Parent
- 864 – Contributory Aged Parent
- 884 – Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary)
What is the Balance of Family Test?
The balance of family test measures the links Parents have to Australia. You will meet the balance of family test if you and your spouse or de-facto partner have more children living permanently in Australia (eligible children) than in any other country.
It is important to pay attention to the fact that they must be PERMANENTLY living in Australia because temporary visa holders are excluded.
Who is an eligible child?
- Australian Citizens: They do no to have to prove that are usually residing in Australia.
- Permanent Residents: They need to show that they are usually residing in Australia.
- Eligible New Zealand Citizens: They also need to show that they are usually residing in Australia.
Temporary visa holders or Permanent Residents/Eligible New Zealand Citizens who are residing somewhere else other than Australia, do not meet the definition of eligible children.
What does it mean to be “usually resident” in Australia?
The migration legislation sets out that someone is “usually resident” if they have been living in Australia for at least 2 years. This can be proved by providing the following evidence: Rental agreements, utility bills, ATO Tax returns, bank statements, etc.
Important Facts to consider when trying to meet the Balance of Family Test
- If your children’ whereabouts are unknown, they are taken to reside at their last known country of residence.
- Both your and your partner’s biological and/or step-children are counted.
- Children of the primary applicant born outside marriage (i.e. polygamous, casual or concurrent relationships) are counted. However, those of the primary applicant’s spouse or de-facto partner are not considered.
- Children who are deceased or removed from parent’s custody (i.e. court order is in place or have been given out for adoption) are not counted.
- Children who are in refugee camps or unable to be reunited with their parents due to being prosecuted, are not counted.
When do I need to meet the Balance of Family Test?
This requirement must be met at the time you lodge your Parent Visa and not before the visa is granted.
You can find more information about meeting the Balance of Family Test on the Department of Home Affairs’ website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/contributory-aged-parent-864/balance-of-family-test