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Carer (Permanent) Visa
(Subclass 116 & 836)

Who Can Apply For A Carer Visa?

A Carer visa allows a person to live in Australia permanently to provide care, support, and assistance to their relative in Australia who is otherwise unable to get the necessary care and support (for example, from other relatives, nursing homes, hospitals, community services, etc.). The relative who needs the visa applicant’s care and support must have a long-term medical condition which makes it impossible or significantly difficult for them to perform their day-to-day tasks.


Generally, the Department of Home Affairs presumes that your relative can obtain the required support from other relatives in Australia (if other close relatives are living in Australia), a hospital, community service, etc.


An applicant applying for this visa from outside Australia must apply for a subclass 116 visa. However, if the visa applicant is in Australia at the time of lodgement of their Carer visa application, they must apply for a subclass 836 visa.


Main Benefits of This Visa


  1. Live, work, and study in Australia indefinitely.

  2. Travel to and from Australia as many times as you like for five years from the date of your visa grant.

    1. You will need a Resident Return Visa after five years if you wish to travel outside Australia. Alternatively, you can apply for Australian Citizenship, if you are eligible, and obtain an Australian passport for travelling overseas.

  3. Sponsor eligible relatives to permanently join you in Australia or temporarily visit you.

  4. Enrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme, known as Medicare.

  5. Apply for Australian Citizenship upon becoming eligible.



What Do You Need To Qualify For A Carer Visa?​


  1. You must be sponsored by your relative or their partner for the first two years.

  2. You must be able and willing to provide care for your relative or an immediate family member (who is living in the same residence) of that relative who has no reasonable access to care and support in Australia.

  3. You must demonstrate your willingness to provide the required care and support by signing an undertaking that will confirm your commitment to providing support for at least two years.

  4. You must be a person of good character.

  5. You must be able to satisfy the health criteria for the grant of this visa.

  6. You must not owe any debts to the Commonwealth of Australia.



​​Your Potential Questions Answered For You


  • A Carer visa application can be lodged only by submitting a paper application (the online application lodgement option is not available for Care Visa).

  • Your relative must be either an Australian Permanent Resident or Australian citizen, or an Eligible New Zealand Citizen, usually residing in Australia.

  • Your Australian relative must be your child, partner, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew (or step-equivalent).

  • Bupa Medical Services must have assessed the relative’s medical condition as requiring care and assistance for at least two years.

    • Bupa will assess and determine:

      • The nature and extent of the care and support needed (for example, assistance required for eating, mobility, dressing, bathing, and other day-to-day tasks);

      • The score/rating is based on the Department of Human Services’ Impairment Tables. (An impairment rating of 30 indicates “extreme functional impairment” which is regarded as the person being unable to perform their day-to-day tasks without practical support and assistance.)

  • The sponsor (either a relative or their partner) must be:

    • 18 years or over;

    • Settled Australian citizen or permanent resident;

    • Able to fulfil their sponsorship obligations.

  • The visa applicant can include their partner and dependent children in their Carer visa application.

  • A Carer visa application is assessed in two stages.

    • In the first stage, an initial assessment is completed to decide whether to add the application to the queue or refuse it.

    • In the second stage, a decision is made on the application when a place becomes available.

  • There are a few factors that the Department of Home Affairs will have regard in assessing the genuineness of the visa application and the care required by the Australian relative. These factors may include:

    • Number of relatives already in Australia and the nature/proximity of the relationship;

    • Location of the other relatives and the person requiring the care and support;

    • Nature and extent of the assistance required;

    • The current arrangement for providing the required care and support;

    • Evidence of ongoing close family relationships;

    • Why other relatives cannot provide the required care and support? (Reg. 1.15AA)

  • Bridging Visa & Work Rights (For Onshore Carer Visa Applicants): Work rights are usually not granted with a Bridging Visa (because of Sponsor's undertakings/obligations to provide financial support to the Visa Applicant). However, although in rare cases it is possible to get permission to work, that permission may jeopardise the visa application itself. The Carer's job is to provide ongoing care and support with the day-to-day tasks of their relative, which the Carer cannot do properly if they are concerned about working and earning money.


Cost of This Visa

Starting from AUD 1,880 (Primary Applicant)

  • There are additional visa application charges if there are other family members included in the application.

  • The Visa fee is paid in two instalments. Applicants are required to pay the second instalment after the Department requests it.

  • Further, the Department of Home Affairs may consider a Primary Applicant’s request to reduce the fee (only in the case of the Primary Applicant) if paying the required fee is likely to cause financial difficulties to the Primary Applicant or their Australian relative. Reduction of fees is not available for any secondary applicants.


Estimated Processing Time

  • Waiting time can be up to 5 years or more.


See Our Blogs On This Visa To Learn More

  1. Search ‘Australian Carer Visa, ‘subclass 116’ or ‘subclass 836 visa’ on our Blogs Page.

  2. Click here to see our other visa services

Should you wish to discuss your circumstances and visa options with us, please feel free to Contact Us


Warning! Please note that Australian immigration laws and policies are highly complex and dynamic. Therefore, no information provided on this website concerning Australian immigration laws and policies (or on any other matter) is comprehensive and intended to be legal advice. Failure to receive professional advice - tailored to your specific circumstances - may prove costly to you in many respects. Please read our Terms and Conditions.

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