Remaining Relative Visa (Subclass 115 and 835): The Sponsor

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Remaining Relative Visa (Subclass 115 and 835): The Sponsor

 

Do you have a family member who has recently lost all members of their family unit and in need of joining you in Australia? That family member may apply for the permanent Australian Remaining Relative Visa (subclass and 115 and 835) if they are a relative of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. We covered applicant related requirements in our previous article that is linked below.

Now the waiting time for this visa to be granted is currently so long (50 years) that you would not seriously consider the offshore 115 visa however the onshore 835 does give a BVA and access to medicare and the possibility to obtain permission to work.

  • Remaining relative requirement met
  • Sponsor requirements met
  • Assurance of Support
  • Health and character requirements
  • If the applicant is under 18, the move to Australia must be in the best interests of the child

Read: Remaining Relative Visa (Subclass 115 and 835) – The Applicant

Sponsor

An Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen can sponsor a last remaining relative if they are:

  • Over the age of 18 
  • Is a settled Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen 
  • Is usually resident in Australia

Or is

  • Over the age of 18 
  • Is a settled Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen 
  • Is usually resident in Australia
  • Is the partner of the Australian relative of the applicant (remaining relative(
  • Cohabits with the partner

Interestingly, if circumstances change, an applicant can change their sponsor at any time before the visa decision is made so long as the new sponsor meets the above requirements.

Sponsorship limitations

A person who has been sponsored as a remaining relative (been granted a visa listed below) is unable to sponsor a remaining relative of their own. Also, a person who has sponsored a remaining relative (for a visa listed below) is not able to sponsor another.

The visas related to the above include:

  • Preferential Family visa (subclass 104)
  • Remaining Relative visa (subclass 115)
  • Family visa (subclass 806)
  • Remaining Relative visa (subclass 835)

There are no exemptions or waivers to this.

Settled

Settled is to be lawfully resident in Australia for a reasonable period. It may include periods of lawful temporary residence, for example, if the sponsor has spent years in Australia on a student visa or temporary skilled 457 visa before becoming obtaining permanent resident or citizen status. “Settled” at time of visa application can be considered met unless there are significant extended periods of absence prior to making the visa application (for example, the sponsor has been absent from Australia for two years immediately prior to the date of application, and is outside Australia at the time of application).

If the sponsor has been in Australia in the two years before the time of application with no more than an accumulated four months outside Australia in those two years, the sponsor is considered settled and is not required to be in Australia at the time of application

If the sponsor is in Australia at the time of application but has been outside Australia for more than four months in the two years preceding time of application, they will have to show evidence of being settled in Australia. Examples of documents that would demonstrate this include:

  • Evidence of ongoing employment – payslips; end-of-year tax assessment statement; official letter from employer; business ownership. If not employed, evidence of the sponsor’s partner’s employment/business ownership/income in Australia
  • Evidence of ownership of a house or a current lease agreement
  • If the sponsor has school-age children, evidence that they are attending school – a letter from the relevant Australian education provider
  • Bank statements showing a history of funds held in Australia (recent transactions not sufficient)
  • Evidence that shows reasons for prolonged absence from Australia – these could be documents showing that the sponsor has been caring for a sick relative outside Australia or a letter from the sponsor’s employer outlining the nature of the sponsor’s work that may require long business trips or extended work placements outside Australia
  • If the sponsor has pre-school-age children, evidence that advance arrangements have been made to enrol their children in an Australian school – payment of enrolment fees or enrolment registration fees.
  • Evidence that the sponsor’s children are Australian citizens

If the sponsor is not in Australia, and has not been in Australia for the full two years preceding the application (discounting short trips to Australia under four months), they must provide some documentary evidence such as:

  • Evidence from the sponsor’s employer that the sponsor has been posted by an Australian company or government organisation for a temporary finite period, and as a matter of established business/government practice, will return to employment in Australia at the end of the finite period
  • Evidence from the sponsor’s employer of extended employment outside Australia for an Australian company/government organisation on an ongoing basis, with a direct link to Australia – for example, wages are paid by the Australian company/government organisation/international company with a base in Australia, and the sponsor’s taxes are paid to the Australian government
  • Evidence of ownership of a residence in Australia or a signed lease agreement to show the sponsor intends to recommence residing in Australia soon
  • If not employed, evidence of the sponsor’s partner’s employment/business ownership/income in Australia, or evidence that the sponsor’s partner has been posted by an Australian company or government organisation for a temporary finite period, and as a matter of established business/government practice, will return to employment in Australia at the end of the finite period
  • If the sponsor has school-age children, evidence that they are attending school – for example, a letter from the relevant Australian education provider
  • If the sponsor has pre-school-age children, evidence that advance arrangements have been made to enrol their children in an Australian school – for example, payment of enrolment fees or enrolment registration fees
  • Bank statements showing a history of funds held in Australia. Little weight should be given to recent bank transfers
  • Evidence that shows reasons for prolonged absence from Australia – these could be documents showing that the sponsor has been caring for a sick relative outside Australia or a letter from the sponsor’s employer outlining the nature of the sponsor’s work that may require long business trips or extended work placements outside Australia
  • Evidence that the sponsor’s children are Australian citizens

The only benefit to an Australian citizen is that they may be considered settled with a shorter period of lawful residence of three months if there are compassionate and compelling circumstances involved or is the citizen.

The sponsor also needs to be usually resident mainly considers if the applicant is physically in Australia and intends to treat Australia as their home. This is generally would be considered fulfilled alongside meeting the settled requirement

 Usually resident

An Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who is usually resident, lives in Australia;

  • Has a physical presence in a particular place (as indicated by where a person maintains a home, eats and sleeps, even if this is in hotels or a yacht) 
  • Has an intention to treat that place as a home for at least the time being but not necessarily forever.

The evidence for being usually resident somewhere may be seen in a variety of factors, including:

  • maintaining a home in a particular place
  • going to work there
  • owning property, business or other interests ​there
  • having family and other ties in the place.

Assurance of Support

Assurance of Support (AoS) is a mandatory or discretionary requirement on certain family visas asking for legal commitment from a party for the financial support of the visa applicant (assuree) for a stipulated period (AoS period) after moving to Australia. This helps mitigate any or part of the financial burden that the migrating party may cause to the Australian health and welfare system. Whilst AoS is a DOHA requirement, the application is made to Centrelink and it is Centrelink that determines whether an AoS application is accepted or not. AoS is a mandatory requirement on the Remaining Relative visa (subclass 835). Often it is the sponsor who provides AoS, but other parties may do so as well.

Read: Family Visas: Assurance of Support (AoS) 

Read: Assurance of Support (AoS): Income Requirement

Do you have a family member who is now alone outside of Australia and you are their remaining relative visa? Speak to us here at Australian Immigration Law Services. Let us help us prepare for the visa application in a painless manner. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.

Amy Kim