My partner has a child from a previous marriage. Can the child be included in her partner visa application?
Including a child in an Australian visa application
The visa type will dictate who can be included as a secondary applicant. Generally it is restricted to dependant members of the applicant’s immediate family unit. In most cases it will be children from a previous relationship, or perhaps even children from the current relationship between applicant and sponsor.
The applicant is always referred to as the primary applicant, and other applicants who can be included in the application, known as a combined application, are known as the secondary applicants.
A child from a previous marriage
With regards to partner and fiancé visa applications, combined applications are very common. It is not uncommon for a partner visa application to include one or two children as secondary applicants.
All applicants, whether primary or secondary will have their own criteria that needs to be satisfied in order to be granted a visa including custody requirements.
Many issues arise however when children are included in a partner or fiancé visa application and they are not the biological children of the sponsor.
The Australian Governments primary concern is the safety and welfare of any children included in a visa application. When a decision maker at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is assessing a partner or fiancé visa application that includes a child as a secondary applicant the decision maker will need to be sure that the sponsor has not had any convictions for child sex offences. This may indicate that the pose a significant risk to the child. If you are sponsoring an applicant and there is a child included as a secondary applicant then you will need to provide relevant police checks as part of the assessment of your sponsorship.
Another issue that frequently arises with regards to partner and fiancé visa applications that include children as secondary applicants, is that DIAC needs to be satisfied that those who have the legal responsibility to determine where a child can live consent to the child migrating to Australia permanently. It is presumed that both of the child’s natural parents have the joint responsibility in determining where a child shall live.
In the absence of a court order granting the applicant the sole responsibility for the child, a letter should be obtained from the child’s other parent which clearely states that he agrees to the child migrating to Australia permanently. If the other parent is deceased, then a certified copy of the death certificate should be included.
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