Adoption visa (subclass 102)

An Adoption Visa (102) permits an adopted child to be brought to Australia from abroad in order to live with their adoptive parent/s.


  • Be a citizen of Australia; or
  • Be an eligible citizen of New Zealand; or
  • Hold a permanent resident visa in Australia


  • Be outside of Australia at both the time of submitting the application and when it is awarded
  • Be less than 18 years of age
  • Have already been adopted, or be in the process of being adopted
  • Be sponsored by at least one adoptive parent (or prospective adoptive parent)

Length of stay

If awarded, this visa enables the adopted child to stay in Australia on a permanent basis.


The minimum expected cost of applying for an Australian Adoption Visa is AUD 3,055.


​​Best interests of the child

The child’s best interests will be taken into account in considering applications for this visa, and visas will usually not be granted if it is considerd that to do so would be against those interests.


Sponsoring adults and members of their family unit must meet certain health requirements, certified within the previous 12 months.​


Any child who is aged 16 or older will need to meet standard Australian character requirements when the visa application is submitted. This means that, like most adults applying for a visa, they will usually need to supply a police certificate from any country they have lived in for at least one year since they turned 16.

Debts to the Australian government

The child being adopted must not be in debt to the Australian government, unless they have put in place a formal repayment plan.

About the Adoption visa

The subclass 102 Adoption Visa gives a child living abroad the ability to travel to and live in Australia in order to take up residence with an adoptive parent. Children can be eligible whether they are already legally adopted, or if the adoption process has started but is ongoing. The adopted child should be sponsored by their adoptive parent, who will in most circumstances submit the visa application on the child’s behalf. 102 Adoption Visas are permanent residence visas.

If an Australian territory or state adoption authority is coordinating the adoption, the prospective adoptive parent is permitted to submit an application before the completion of the adoption process.

NB: As of 14 December 2015, applications regarding children adopted in Pakistan are unable to be accepted.​

Adoption Visa – permissions for adopted children

An Adoption Visa enables the adopted child to:

  • live, work and study in Australia
  • sign up for the Australian public healthcare system, Medicare
  • apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible and after a period of time
  • in future, sponsor relatives’ permanent residence applications
  • leave and return to Australia for a period of five years, after which they will require citizenship or another visa in order to enter Australia
Children adopted from overseas – Guardianship

In the event that a child enters Australia without the adoption being finalised and recognised by a territory or state adoption authority, guardianship of the child will be assigned to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and delegated to the relevant local welfare authority.

The minister’s legal guardianship of the child will cease when:

  • the child becomes an Australian citizen; or
  • the child turns 18 years of age; or;
  • an Australian adoption order is made for the child

Applications for an Adoption Visa must be submitted while the child is outside Australia. The child should remain outside Australia until the application has received a decision, otherwise the above provisions on guardianship may come into effect.

Obligations of the adopted child

The child to be adopted should be compliant with the conditions of the visa to be granted and all Australian laws. In particular:

  • they should be prepared to commit to entering Australia by a set date
  • they should not get married or plan to get married, nor enter into a de facto relationship, before they arrive in Australia

This information has been provided to aid individuals who are looking to adopt a child and act as their sponsor for a sublcass 102 Adoption visa. In most cases, it is the sponsoring parent who will be responsible for submitting the application and providing any necessary supporting documents.​

To be eligible to sponsor a child for an Adoption visa, you must be:

  • either the adoptive or prospective adoptive parent of the child to be sponsored
  • aged 18 or above

In addition, you must hold Australian or New Zealand citizenship, or be a permanent Australian resident.

While the child should be outside Australia while the application is submitted and being processed, the sponsor can be inside Australia providing they have their own legal right to reside in the country. It is also permitted for the sponsor to be outside Australia when the application is submitted, though they should ensure they have the prerequisite right to enter Australia if they are not currently resident there.

​Obligations of the sponsor

Individuals sponsoring an adopted child must commit to:

  • bearing financial responsibility for the child who will be living in Australia
  • providing suitable accommodation and living expenses for the child for at least two years
  • assisting the child with acclimitisation and integration into their new life in Australia
  • helping the child to attend any English language courses they might require

In some cases, it might be necessary to submit an assurance of financial support for the adopted child. VELawyers can provide further advice to you on whether this is necessary in your specific case.​

Book your no-obligation consultation today with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne, and find out the right visa options for your unique circumstances.