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Client Information Sheet 20

JULY 2012

CARER VISA APPLICATIONS*


(Reflects law as at 1 July 2012) The carer visa permits a family member to come to, or stay in, Australia as the carer of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. There are two possible types of carer visas which you can apply for and which are dealt with in this information sheet: subclass 116 Carer for applications made outside of Australia. subclass 836 Carer for applications made in Australia.

Who can be a carer?


The applicant must: be sponsored by an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen (the Australian resident) who requires a carer or who has a member of their family unit who requires a carer (and is also an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen) be a spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew of the sponsor (this includes step relatives, half brothers and sisters and adopted relatives) of the Australian resident. be willing and able to provide their sponsor or a member of their sponsors family unit with substantial and continuing assistance as a carer the applicant will generally be interviewed about what assistance they will be providing and an assessment will be made having regard to: their general capacity to provide the assistance the nature of the assistance their understanding of the nature and duration of the assistance, including their commitment to long term care if required their physical ability to provide the care their degree of maturity the efforts they have made to learn more about the needs, responsibility, condition etc how they propose to support themselves their commitments to other family members any training, employment experience or personal factors which impact on the provision of the assistance, and meet health, character, public interest and limited special return criteria (all members of their family unit must meet these criteria whether or not they are also applying for a visa).

Who can be a sponsor?


The Australian relative who is the sponsor must:

IARC does not guarantee the accuracy of any information contained in this information sheet. It contains general information and is not a substitute for legal advice IARC 2011 1

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show that he or she is usually resident in Australia (and also settled (see below) in Australia if applying in Australia) if the Australian relative has only been in Australia a short time, or spends long periods outside the country he or she may have difficulty meeting this requirement be approved as a sponsor be aged 18 years or older be in need of a carer themselves or for a member of their family unit this requires a carer certificate issued by Medibank Health Solutions (MHS) in relation to either themselves or a member of their family unit (see below for further details) show that the assistance required cannot reasonably be obtained from Australian relatives, or welfare, hospital, nursing or community services see below for further details show that if it is a member of the Australian relatives family who has the medical condition, the Australian relative has a permanent or long-term need (at least for 2 years) for assistance to the person with the medical condition, and arrange payment of the second instalment of the visa application charge, unless this is waived.

Meaning of settled In order to be considered to be settled in Australia you should have been lawfully resident in Australia for a period of two years. It may be possible to still sponsor someone after a shorter period of residency if you can show you are well established in Australia. The types of evidence to provide for this include evidence of employment or study, property ownership, tax returns and evidence that you are not entitled to live in any other country.

Carer visa assessment


The Australian relative resident needing the assistance of the carer must have an MHS certificate showing that: they have a medical condition that is causing physical, intellectual or sensory impairment of their ability to attend to the practical aspects of daily life this means tasks such as bathing, toileting, cooking, shopping and housecleaning because of the medical condition they need direct assistance in attending to the practical aspects of daily life they will continue to need that help for at least two years (long term need), and the impairment has a rating under the Impairment Tables which is at least equal to a rating of 30 (these are the Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for the Disability Support Pension in Schedule 1B to the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth)).

The certificate can only be given by Medibank Health Solutions (MHS) (formerly known as Health Services Australia (HSA)). The Minister must accept the opinion in the MHS certificate as correct for the purposes of deciding whether someone needs a carer. It may be possible to seek review by MHS of the original assessment, but the MRT will not be able to substitute its own assessment for that contained in the certificate. When do I need to have the assessment? In order to make a valid application for a Carer visa you must either: attach evidence that the carer assessment has been sought from MHS for example by attaching a letter from MHS that an appointment for an assessment has been made, or undertake the carer assessment with MHS prior to lodgment of the Carer visa application.

The Carer visa will be denied if the sponsor does not satisfy the criteria for the carer medical assessment. If you have already made the application then you will lose the application fee which is not refundable. Therefore, if there is any doubt it is advisable to undergo the carer assessment before making the application. However the assessment will only be valid for a period of 18 months so do not apply for the assessment until you are ready to make the application.

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When you receive the assessment from MHS it will be in a sealed envelope. DO NOT OPEN THE ENVELOPE. Send it directly to the Department of Immigration with a cover letter stating your name and application number. How do I organise for a carer assessment? In order to arrange for your carer assessment you must contact MHS using the contact details below: SYDNEY: Level 5 136 Chalmers Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 8396 0600 Fax: (02) 9310 7605 Level 4 1 Wentworth Street PARRAMATTA NSW 2150 Ph: (02) 9806 7333 Fax: (02) 9806 7357 phone 1300 361 046 for details of your nearest MHS office or approved medical practitioner. http://www.medibankhealth.com.au/immigration-visa-medicals.asp

PARRAMATTA:

OUTSIDE SYDNEY:

Internet:

The level set for a carer certificate is very high. Therefore it is advisable for the sponsor to take along with them their own evidence of their impairment, such as medical reports from their doctor or specialist. When you contact MHS to make an appointment for a carer assessment they will send the appropriate forms and details to the person requiring the carer. The person requiring the assessment will need to complete the forms and return them to MHS. MHS will then determine whether a physical examination is required or whether an assessment can be made based on the information provided to them. What if the sponsor does not get the certificate? If MHS does not grant the carer assessment certificate to the sponsor then the Department of Immigration cannot grant the Carer visa. It is possible to ask for a second assessment by a senior doctor at MHS. You will need to pay an additional assessment fee for this. This can be done either before the application is lodged or, if the visa is refused, then at the time of review before the Migration Review Tribunal. Alternatively you may consider applying for a Visitor visa (which may be granted for a period of up to 12 months) in order to provide you with the ability to help the sponsor for a particularly difficult period or while alternate arrangements are made.

What other evidence do I need?


As the applicant you will need to provide: evidence of your relationship to the sponsor for example passports, birth certificates and marriage certificates (if applicable) evidence of the inability of any other family members in Australia to provide the required care for example, statutory declarations, letters from their employers, medical certificates evidence of the inability to obtain the required care through alternate means for example letters from agencies or government services stating that community services are not available or cannot assist the sponsor adequately and / or other evidence showing that the sponsor: lives in an isolated area where assistance is not regularly provided has particular dietary requirements

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speaks a language that is not widely spoken in Australia and so it is difficult for them to obtain appropriate assistance, or requires full-time care in their home evidence of your sponsors Australian permanent residence or citizenship for example a certified copy of their birth certificate, passport, citizenship certificate or permanent visa or Special Category visa if they are an eligible New Zealand citizen a statutory declaration from you stating that you understand the kind of assistance you are expected to give and are willing and able to give this assistance a statutory declaration from the sponsor setting out: what kind of help they need and expect from the applicant, and why any other relatives in Australia cannot give the assistance required if a member of the sponsors family has the medical condition, evidence of their permanent or long-term need for help in providing the direct assistance to their family member for example reports from doctors, psychologists, hospitals and / or social workers giving details of the nature of the medical condition, the family situation, the toll on the sponsor of caring for their family member, and how long the current situation is likely to last.

You are likely to be interviewed by the Australian mission or the Department of Immigration about your willingness and ability to provide the required care. The sponsor and person requiring the care (if they are not the sponsor) are also likely to be interviewed. The application may be denied if: there is a discrepancy between what the sponsor has indicated is required and what you have indicated you are willing to provide you have a lot of commitments of your own (eg your own family) which would limit your ability to provide the required care, or you are older and unskilled so that the Department of Immigration believes that you may have problems in providing the care needed.

Making an application
You can download the forms listed below from the Department of Immigrations website (www.immi.gov.au) or visit the Department of Immigration and ask for the specific forms listed below, provided without charge. Form 47OF - the application form, to be completed by the applicant. Form 40 - the sponsorship form to be completed by the Australian sponsor. Form 47A - for each dependent aged 18 years or over to be included in the application. Form 160A - X-Ray. Form 26A - medical examination. Form 80 - character check. Police clearance from any country where the applicant has lived for more than 12 months in the last 10 years. See the form Character requirements penal clearance certificates (formerly form 47P) for details for countries other than Australia, see The national police check application form (available at www.immi.gov.au) for Australia. 4 passport sized photographs of all applicants with the name of each person written on the back of the passport. Visa application charge of: If it is clear to the Minister on the basis of information contained in your application form that you are a carer, $1,260.

At the time the visa is to be granted you will need to pay the second instalment fee. This is $1,795, unless it is waived by the Minister on the grounds that payment of the fee would cause severe financial hardship.

Certified copies, statutory declarations and translations

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Any photocopies of documents to be included with the application must be certified by a solicitor/Justice of the Peace/bank manager etc. People who make a statutory declaration for you must attach a certified copy of the front page of their passport, permanent residents visa, Australian citizenship certificate or birth certificate if the person making the statutory declaration was born in Australia. The statutory declaration must be signed in front of a solicitor, Justice of the Peace or bank manager. Any documents which are not in English should be translated by an accredited translator. Both the translation and a certified copy of the un-translated original should be submitted with the application. For accredited translators call either the Community Relations Commission on 1300 651 500 or the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.

Visa application process


Step 1 The person requiring the carer should arrange for a carer assessment with MHS and either undergo that assessment or receive a letter from MHS confirming that an assessment has been organised (this will need to be undertaken within 6 months of the application). Applicant should fill out and complete the appropriate application form referred to above (and the sponsor should fill out the appropriate sponsorship form if required). Attach the evidence and documents mentioned above. Attach a cover letter to the application form with your name; current address; reasons for applications; and list of documents attached to application. If you are waiting for any information to be included with the application say that it will be provided to the Department of Immigration as soon as it is received. Also offer to provide any further information required by the Department of Immigration. Step 5 Keep a photocopy of all the documents you submitted to the Department of Immigration Lodge these forms with the application fee at your nearest Department of Immigration office. It is best to ring the National Enquiry Line first (see contact details below) as you may need to make an appointment. Remember to keep your receipt as it is proof that you lodged the application.

Step 2

Step 3 Step 4

Step 6

Remember to tell the Department of Immigration of any change in your circumstances, for example if you change your address or the relationship ends.

A certified copy is a copy containing a statement to the effect that the copy is a true copy of the original document. 5

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Contact Information
DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP (DIAC) Counter service all NSW offices 9am4pm Monday to Friday Sydney CBD 26 Lee Street, Sydney 2000 GPO Box 9984, Sydney, NSW 2001 9 Wentworth Street Parramatta NSW 2150 GPO Box 9984, Sydney, NSW 2001

Parramatta

National Telephone Inquiry Line: 131 881 Website: www.immi.gov.au

Immigration Advice and Rights Centre Inc (IARC)


Administration line: (02) 9279 4300 (between 9am and 5pm) Website: www.iarc.asn.au

IARC Telephone Advice (02) 9262 3833 Tuesday and Thursday 2.00pm4.00pm

IARC Face-to-Face Advice (by appointment only) Contact us to make an appointment at: Immigration Advice and Rights Centre Inc. Level 5, 362 Kent Street Sydney NSW 2000 Ph: +61 2 9279 4300 (Admin Line, 9-5pm)

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