The Adoption visa (subclass 102) lets a child come to Australia to live with their adoptive parent. The child can already be adopted or be in the process of being adopted. The adoptive parent sponsors the child for this visa and usually applies on their behalf. The child must be outside Australia when the application is lodged and when the application is decided.
An adoptive parent will usually lodge the application for this visa on behalf of the child.
To be able to get the visa, the child must:
- Be younger than 18 years of age
- Be living outside Australia
- Be either already adopted or in the process of being adopted by their sponsor
- Meet health and character requirements
- If the child is under 18 years of age at the time of application but will turn 18 before the application is decided, they will not be eligible for this visa.
The child must also be sponsored by an adoptive parent who is:
- An Australian citizen
- The holder of an Australian permanent resident visa, or
- An eligible New Zealand citizen
An adoptive parent must have done one of the following:
- Adopted (or be in the process of adopting) the child with the involvement of an Australian state or territory adoption authority
- Adopted the child under the laws of a country other than Australia and been living outside Australia for the past 12 months before the application is lodged
- Adopted the child under the Hague Adoption Convention.
If the individual is living outside Australia, they can adopt the child from the country in which they have been living, or from another country.
What this visa allows for:
This permanent residence visa allows the child to:
- Travel to and stay in Australia indefinitely
- Work and study in Australia
- Enroll in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
- Apply for Australian citizenship (if they are eligible)
- Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
- Travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted – after that time they will need another visa to enter Australia
If the adoption is through a state or territory adoption authority, the individual can lodge the application before the adoption is finalized.
Seek advice from the closest state and territory adoption authority before starting any adoption process to adopt a child from outside Australia.
In Australia, the processing of inter-country adoptions is the responsibility of state and territory central adoption authorities. These authorities manage arrangements for adopting children from overseas, including assessing and approving prospective adoptive parents.
The individual should first seek legal advice about adoption law in both Australia and the country in which the child lives.
For a child to be eligible for an Adoption visa, one of the following must apply:
- They have been adopted (or are to be adopted) with the involvement of an Australian state or territory central authority
- They have been adopted without the involvement of an Australian state or territory central authority by an Australian citizen, holder of an Australian permanent visa or an eligible New Zealand citizen who has been living outside Australia for more than 12 months before the visa application is lodged
- They have been adopted through an arrangement between two countries, other than Australia, that are parties to The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Adoption Convention)
Note:From 14 December 2015, the Department is unable to accept Adoption visa applications for children who have been adopted in Pakistan. This country is specified in a legislative instrument.
If an individual intends to adopt, or have adopted, a child from Pakistan, they will be unable to lodge a valid application for an Adoption visa for the child with the Department.
Best interests of the child
This visa will not usually be granted if it is against the best interests of a child younger than 18 years of age.
Measures for the Protection of Children has more information.
In addition to the above-mentioned conditions, there are other factors and criteria to be taken into consideration.