Australia: Dependent rules restricted

On or after November 19, 2016, children and step-children age 23 and over will no longer be eligible for dependent status unless the child is physically incapacitated for work.

Additionally, other family members, such as parents, will no longer qualify as dependants on the main applicant’s visa application. The restrictions will not impact Humanitarian, Protection or Refugee visas.

Family members with certain temporary visas (e.g. a subclass 457 visa) will still be eligible to apply for a further subclass 457 visa or permanent Employer Sponsored (subclass 186) visa even if they are no longer considered a dependent, for example if they turn 23 while they are under dependent status.


Currently, a spouse or de facto partner and children under 18 are eligible for dependent status. Additionally, adult dependent children of an unlimited age are eligible for dependent status if they are financially dependent on the main applicant.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Due to the restrictions, affected dependants will have to apply for a separate visa to enter Australia on or after November 19, 2016.