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Balance of Family Test

Updated: May 7


What is Balance of Family Test or Family Balance Test?





Balance of Family Test is a type of criterion which an applicant must satisfy in order to become eligible for certain types of visas. For example, certain Parent


visas such as Permanent Contributory Parent Visa (subclass 143) and Temporary Contributory Parent Visa (subclass 173) require the parents/applicants to satisfy this ‘Balance of Family Test’ criterion.




How Do I Pass The Balance of Family Test?


In simple terms, you pass the Balance of Family Test if at least half of your ‘eligible’ children live in Australia. Now the question is: who are ‘eligible children’? Eligible children mean those children who are Australian permanent residents and have been living in Australia for at least two years or they are Australian citizens living anywhere in the world.


Let’s explain this test with an example. Suppose that you have four children. Two of them are living in Australia as Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents (or are eligible New Zealand citizens). In that case you pass the Balance of Family Test because half of your children do live in Australia and are ‘eligible children’.



You also meet the Balance of Family Test if the number of your ‘eligible children' living in Australia is greater than the number of children living in any one other country. Let’s explain it with another example. Imagine that you have five children. Two of them live in Australia as permanent residents or as Australian citizens. The third one lives in Germany, the fourth one in the US, and the fifth one in India. In this scenario, you pass the Balance of Family Test because the number of your Eligible Children in Australia is greater than the number of children living in any one other country.


Which of My Children Are Counted Towards The Balance of Family Test?


The short answer is: all of your biological and stepchildren. All the biological or step-children of your current spouse or partner are also counted as your children for the purposes of this Balance of Family Test.


Which of My Children Are Not Counted Towards The Balance of Family Test?


In some instances, your (or your current spouse’s) children may not be counted in the Balance of Family Test. For example, the following children will not be counted:


1. If a child is deceased;

2. If a child has been removed by a court order or by operation of law from your exclusive custody and care;

3. If a child has been removed through adoption from your exclusive custody and care;

4. If a child lives in a country where the child suffers persecution or abuse of other human rights and it is not possible to reunite the child with the parents in any other country;

5. If the child is registered as a refugee with the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and lives in a refugee camp managed by the UNHCR.


*Also, children born out of polygamous marriages are not counted for the purposes of the Balance of Family test.


What If My Relationship With A Child Is Not Very Good?


The quality of your relationship with your child does not matter.


It is irrelevant whether your relationship with a child is good or not-so-good. As long as that child is your or your spouse’s biological or stepchild, that child will be counted for the purposes of the Balance of Family Test. As mentioned earlier, only a child who is deceased or falls under any other exclusion clause will not be counted in the Balance of Family Test.



To learn more about Australian Parent Visas, please check out our visa services.


(Ref: R. 1.05)





Warning! Please note that Australian immigration laws and policies are highly complex and dynamic. Therefore, no information provided on this website 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 on our website.


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