It’s often overlooked by Australian visa holders and potential visa applicants, but is essential to note! Reg 1.03 of the Migration Regulation 1994 defines a “dependent child” to mean the “child or step-child of a person, being i) a child who has not turned 18 or ii) has turned 18 and is dependent on that person, or is incapacitated for work due to the total or partial loss of the child’s bodily or mental functions”. In other words, if an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident is looking to apply for a child visa, or to include the child in their application, it would make sense to do so before the child turns 18 years old, as otherwise the question of “dependency” arises and the applicant needs to prove it. That’s not impossible but it requires additional documentation and time. Should the child turn 18 after a visa application but before a decision is made on the application, it is departmental policy to assume the child to be under 18 years old. So any Australians or PRs out there looking to apply for their child to have a permanent visa, should do so before their 18th birthday.
A similar logic extends to applicants looking to apply for General Skilled Migration (GSM), Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visas as the cut-off mark is set at 50 years of age. There are exemptions available for RSMS visa applicants but it is not a given and applicants need to check with individual sponsoring States for exemption requirements.