Subclass 116 / 836: Carer Visa


Where an Australian citizen or permanent resident requires care to be rendered by their non-citizen relative for long term medical conditions, the relative may qualify for a Subclass 116 visa. However, it must be established that no other person in Australia could reasonably provide necessary care or assistance as required. Applicants must be outside Australia to apply for Subclass 116 visas. If already in Australia, a Subclass 836 visa is the correct avenue.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The applicant must be willing and able to provide ongoing substantial care and support for the sponsoring relative or the family member who will be living with them.
  • The sponsoring relative must have obtained or be in the process of obtaining a medical certificate which certifies that he or she has a medical condition which:​
    • causes physical, intellectual or sensory impairment; and
    • means the relative will need help with practical aspects of daily life for at least 2 years.
  • The sponsoring relative must agree to provide the applicant and their secondary applicants with housing and financial support for the first 2 years the applicant lives in Australia.

Australian Relative

The migration status of the sponsoring relative can only be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. The applicants for these carer visas must be related to the sponsor in the following ways:​

  • Spouse or de facto partner;
  • Parent, grandparent or step-grandparent;
  • Aunt, uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle;
  • Child, stepchild, grandchild or step-grandchild;
  • Sibling or step-sibling;
  • Niece, nephew, step-niece or step-nephew.

The sponsoring Australian relative must be aged 18 or over.

Proof of Need for Care

The sponsoring relative must have obtained or be in the process of obtaining a medical certificate from Bupa Medical Visa Services which clearly state that he or she:

  • Has a medical condition; and
  • The medical condition cause impairment in his or her daily life; and
  • The level of the impairment meets the requisite threshold; and
  • The care will be needed for the next 2 years

The impairment threshold is extremely high that most sponsoring relatives who satisfies this threshold would also qualify for the disability support pension.

No Alternative Care Provided

Where the care can be provided by a different relative or by a welfare, hospital or community service, the visa application would likely be refused.

If the sponsoring relative receiving care has many other relatives who are already settled in Australia, the Department may deem that the care could alternatively be provided by another Australian relative. Relevant factors in this determination may include:

  • Number of relatives already in Australia;
  • Nature and extent of the assistance required;
  • Who is currently providing the required assistance;
  • Where the person requiring assistance resides;
  • Where any other relatives in Australia live;
  • Evidence of ongoing close family relationships;

Reasons provided as to why the relatives in Australia claim to be unwilling or unable to provide the assistance.

Relevant Public Interest Criteria:

4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, 4005, 4009, 4010, 4020, 4021, 4019 (if applicable), 4017 and 4018 (if applicable).

Relevant Special Return Criteria:

5001

Visa Conditions

The visa grant must specify the date of first entry, if applicable.

8502: The holder of the visa must not enter Australia before the entry to Australia of a person specified in the visa.
8515: ​The holder of the visa must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia.

Application Fee

Subclass 116 is payable in 2 instalments.

  • Base application charge: $1,795
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $900
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $450
  • Second instalment: $2,065
    *The second instalment may be waived if the applicant suffers financial hardship as a result.