Visas for relatives in the Philippines

We get a lot of requests from our existing clients and our former clients about getting visas for brothers, sisters, cousins, etc in the Philippines.

Of course we understand this. Family is everything in the Philippines, and most Filipinos would move mountains to make life better for their family members. Your Filipino spouse would love the opportunity to help a relative to move to Australia if they could.

One of the problems is that a precedent has been set! I don’t know the ins and outs or US immigration, but it is possible for Filipinos in America to “petition” to have their relatives migrate. I gather it’s a slow process, but it can and does happen. And many assume that Australia is the same.

It’s not!


There are no “family visas” to Australia. There is a broad category that we call “family visas”, but no you cannot get a visa for a family member simply because they are your family member. Visas are “grants”, and not “rights”. You don’t have the power to sponsor, invite or “petition” a relative to Australia simply because they are your relative.


Who can you bring?

These days the number of visa types for family members has been reduced significantly. “Carer” visas no longer exist. “Remaining Relative” visas no longer exist. And the low-cost parent visas no longer exist either.


What’s left?

Child visas, and very expensive “Contributory Parent” visas still exist, and that’s it.

Child visas are fairly obvious. If you have dependent children, you may apply for them to migrate. And Contributory Parent visas allow under some circumstances for your parents to migrate. Expensive, however you need to weigh this up against the cost of caring for them in another country as they grow old. And many have found the savings in childcare and having mum cooking dinner and doing some housework really good additional value.


Is there any way to bring that favourite sister, nephew or uncle to Australia?

Understand that they have no special rights having a relative already in Australia. None whatsoever. They get on the end of the queue with everyone else, and they apply for the same visas as everyone else.

They might get a work visa or a skilled visa* if they have valuable professions or trades and if they have employers or state governments prepared to sponsor them. Or under some circumstances they may get a student visa, which may lead to a permanent visa later. However avoid making rash promises, and NEVER try to fudge it! If they don’t have valuable job skills, really good English skills, etc, then you’re better off accepting this and saving all from a whole lot of grief! You can’t employ them to be your receptionist at your job, or to babysit your kids. The fact is MOST relatives of our clients and former clients don’t have a hope, sorry to say.

*Note that Down Under Visa do not manage work visas or student visas. We can’t help you.


What’s the best you can hope for if they don’t readily fit in with a visa category?

If they are young? Get them to get stuck into study! Get them to pick a profession that Australia is screaming out for. Get them to improve their English. And in a few years maybe you will be able to help them. And again, if they lack the drive and the raw talent to stand out from the crowd, then spare everyone the grief and accept reality!


Child or parent visas? Go to and fill in a visa assessment form.

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Filed under Australian Visa Applications, Child Visas

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