If you have dependent children, you can include them on your visa application as long as they pass any required health and character regulations.
Children aged 17 and under are automatically considered dependent on you. If you’re looking to include your children who are 18 years or older however, you will need to show evidence as to how they are dependent on you.
You should be aware that some visas do have set age restrictions – for example, some visas will not allow you to include your child as a dependent if they’re 25 years or over. Other visas do not have a set age limit. It is important that you understand the regulations that apply to the visa you are applying for.
What will I need to show for dependent children?
For dependency, you need to show that your child is completely or substantially reliant on you for financial assistance with the basics like food, clothing and shelter and that they have been relying on you for a lengthy period of time. You will also need to show that they aren’t relying on any other person for this help more than you.
Generally, if your child is living at home and is in full time study, they will be classed as dependent. However, dependency is assessed on a case by case basis and whether your child is classified as dependent would depend on your individual circumstances.
When do I need to show this?
When you need to show dependency will depend on the visa application you are lodging, but you will need to at least be prepared to show this when you lodge your application.
It is important that you find out when you have to show evidence of dependency before lodging your application – with some visas, you will have to show your child is dependent when you lodge the application AND when your application is processed. For these visas, this means that your child must remain a dependent throughout that time.
For example – if you’re lodging a partner visa application, you’ll need to show your child is dependent both at the time of lodgement and when a decision is being made by the Department. As processing times for partner visas are at least between 6 – 9 months (and sometimes up to one year) it is important that you can still show your child as being dependent. So, if during the processing of your application your child moved out and obtained full time employment, it is likely you would no longer be able to claim they were ‘dependent’ on you. In this situation, your child would no longer be eligible for the visa.
If you need further information about dependency and what you need to show for your application, or you’d like advice as to whether you can include your child, please contact our migration team.