Custody requirements


My Thai wife wants to include her children from a previous marriage in her Australian partner visa.



What is meant by the custody requirements?


When assessing an Australian partner visa application, or in fact any Australian permanent visa application that includes a child applicant, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will need to be satisfied that in granting the visa, that is, allowing the child to migrate to Australia, it is not in any contravention of Australia’s international obligations to prevent child abduction.


If your Thai wife wants to include any dependent child under 18 years of age, and the child’s other parent is not migrating to Australia too, then the following evidence must be submitted with the partner visa application. Evidence that each person that can legally decide where the child can live consents to the grant of the visa.


If the parent is deceased


If the other parent is now deceased a certified copy of that parents death certificate. If the migrating parent has the sole custody and responsibility in determining where the child can live, then a certified copy of the court order should also be included in the partner visa application.


Where an applicant includes a dependant family member in their partner visa application and that family member is under 18 years of age, one of the criteria that must be satisfied is that no compelling circumstances exist to believe that the grant of the visa would not be in the best interests of the dependent child.


Note too that the partner visa applicant’s sponsorship undertaking extends to all secondary applicants such as dependent children. As part of satisfying their sponsorship eligibility, all sponsors must submit an Australian National Police Check if the sponsor has spent a total of 12 months or more in Australia since turning 16 years of age.


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