A Primer on Bringing Your Wife and Children to Australia

One of our favorite topics to write about here on iRemit is long-distance or interracial relationships, particularly the ones between Aussies and Filipinas. Despite the often negative and mostly inaccurate stereotypes around such arrangements (come on now, who among us hasn’t stared at the odd interracial pair walking around Greenbelt?), a successful Filipino-Aussie partnership is truly a beautiful thing to behold.


Now, let’s say you have somehow found “the one” in a wonderful Filipina and you two have decided to get married. You’ve also both agreed to settle in Australia after the wedding. Can you bring her along with you once you’re officially husband and wife?


Sorry to disappoint all of the starry-eyed dreamers out there, but no, it’s not that simple. Australian law is quite strict about who can enter and remain in the country, and getting married to a national doesn’t automatically give you those rights. It can also take about three years for a Partner Visa to be granted, and you’ll both be on show the entire time, so to speak.


The good news, however, is that it can be done. Here’s how:

  1. Find out which partner visa would be best for your spouse:

    1. If you are either already married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a de facto partner of the same and are applying for a visa OUTSIDE Australia, the Spouse visa is the way to go.

    2. If the former applies to you but you are applying for a visa OUTSIDE Australia AND you and your partner intend to marry IN Australia before the said visa gets approved, the Fiancé visa is advisable.

    3. If you are not married to your Aussie partner but you have been living together for at least a year, are currently applying for a visa OUTSIDE Australia and intend to marry AFTER the visa is approved, the De Facto Partner visa would be more appropriate.

  3. The application process for the Spouse Visa and the De Facto Partner Visa is as follows:

    1. Apply for the Temporary Visa (Subclass 820 for Spouse Visas and 309 for De Facto Partner Visas, and 300 for Prospective Marriage Visas).

    2. Fill out the application form (47SP application for migration to Australia) in English. (Note: You may also have to fill out Form 80, but check with your immigration officer first.)

    3. Pay the required visa application fees (you can calculate the estimate for yours here).

    4. File your completed application form online or by post and attach the following supporting documents:

      1. A certified true copy of your marriage certificate (omit this if you are applying as a de facto partner);

      2. Form 40SP Sponsorship for a Partner to Migrate to Australia (as accomplished by your spouse/sponsor)

      3. Four (4) recent passport-sized photos of yourself and two (2) of your sponsor/Aussie or New Zealander spouse;

      4. Certified true copies of your passport or other relevant travel documents;

      5. A certified true copy of a divorce or a death certificate if you and/or your partner were divorced/widowed;

      6. Proof of identity (e.g., a birth certificate with both parents’ names, certified true copies of military service/honorable discharge records, etc.);

      7. Evidence that your relationship is genuine and continuing (e.g., signed/dated statements on the history of your relationship, documents showing joint ownership of assets like real estate or stocks and any joint legal undertakings, documentation of joint travel, correspondence or itemized phone accounts proving that you both stayed in touch during moments of physical separation, etc.);

      8. Proof that your spouse/sponsor is a citizen of Australia or New Zealand (e.g., certified true copy of a birth certificate or an Australian passport, etc.);

      9. Statutory declarations from two (2) people who are Australian citizens or permanent residents who can support your claim that your relationship is genuine or lasting;

      10. Health and character documents, should your case worker require them;

    6. Once granted, the temporary visa is usually valid for two years.

    7. After the two years have elapsed, apply for the permanent visa (subclass 801) and provide the required supporting documents, as seen here.

  4. For the Fiancé visa, you need to do the following:

    1. Apply for Temporary visa (subclass 300) Prospective Marriage.

    2. Fill out the application form (47SP application for migration to Australia) in English.

    3. Pay the required visa application fees (you can calculate the estimate for yours here).

    4. File your completed application form online or by post and attach the required supporting documents (items ii to x from the list of supporting documents pertaining to the Spouse/De Facto Partner visa);

    5. Once the temporary visa is granted, you can can go to Australia and marry your partner.

    6. You will then apply for a Spouse visa afterwards, following the steps enumerated in the previous item.


What if there are children involved? Provided that they meet the legislative criteria for migration, you can also include them in your partner visa application prior to filing. Dependent children are generally defined as:

  1. Under 18 years of age;

  2. If 18 and over, have been either wholly or substantially dependent on you for at least twelve (12) months for basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing;

  3. If 18 and over, are afflicted with partial or total loss of mental or bodily functions that render them incapable of earning a living on their own;


To include dependent children in your partner visa application, you need to provide either of the following documents:

  1. A certified true copy of each child’s birth certificate (showing you and your partner to be the birth parents if you are applying on behalf of your biological children);

  2. A certified true copy of each child’s adoption papers (showing you and your partner to be the adoptive parents if you are applying on behalf of your adoptive children)


If your child is born after the application has been filed but has not yet been decided upon, the baby can still be included in it provided that you mail an accomplished form on notification of changes in circumstance (form 1022) along with a certified true copy of the child’s birth certificate to the office processing your partner’s application.


Babies born in Australia are automatically granted the same kind of visa that their parents hold at the time of the birth. So if one of you is an Australian citizen or permanent resident during this time, your child could automatically become one as well. Otherwise, the baby is eligible for Australian citizenship by virtue of its descent.


Let’s say that your partner already has a temporary visa, but you both want to bring in a dependent child. The way to go about that is to file for a temporary visa for a dependent child (subclass 445):

  1. Fill up Form 918.

  2. Submit the required supporting documents (you can find them here).

  3. Pay the corresponding fees.

  4. Once the visa is granted, the child can either stay in Australia or travel to and from the country until the parent’s permanent visa is granted.  Do note that the you will also need to file an application for the child’s permanent visa before your partner is given one. If you are bringing a whole set of siblings to Australia, you will need to file a visa for each one of them.


On a final note, you can also opt to have a migration agent take care of the entire process. It would cost more and you will need to submit a couple of additional documents (namely ones that authorize your agent to transact on your behalf) per application, but it could potentially spare you from making mistakes that could delay or derail yours or your spouse’s application.


Whichever option/s you choose and whenever things get confusing or frustrating down the line, remember that you’re simply laying the foundation for just about anyone’s dearest wish: the right to live and raise children with the one you’ve chosen to love for the rest of your life.

Serena Estrella

Serena joined Remit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.


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