Aged Dependant Relative (Subclass 838) Visa

    1. What is the Aged Dependant Relative (subclass 838) Visa?
    2. What can you do on the 838 Visa?
    3. Am I eligible for the 838 Visa?
    4. What does dependant mean?
    5. How much does the 838 Visa cost?
    6. How long can you stay on the 838 Visa?
    7. What is the processing time for the 838 Visa?
    8. What are my obligations on the 838 Visa?
    9. Health insurance on the 838 Visa?


The Aged Dependant Relative (Subclass 838) Visa allows for a single older person who has a near relative who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen that they rely on for financial support or due to a disability to migrate to Australia permanently. This differs from the Aged Dependant Relative (subclass 114) Visa because it is designed for applicants who are applying onshore.

The 838 Visa allows you to

  • Live in Australia permanently
  • Find employment
  • Study in Australia
  • Enrol in Enrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme (Medicare)
  • Sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia
  • If eligible you can apply for Australian citizenship
  • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you’d like within the first 5 years of the visa being granted. After this you may need to apply for a resident return visa to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident.

Note: If you are working you are protected by Australian workplace law. See your workplace rights and entitlements.

838 Visa Eligibility Criteria

  • Be of Australian pension age (65+)
  • Be in Australia, but not in immigration clearance when you apply and when the department makes a decision on your visa
  • Not have a 8534 “no further stay” condition on your current visa
  • Be financially dependent on your relative
  • Be sponsored by an eligible relative or relative’s partner
  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Have no partner
  • Have assurance of support (see below)
  • Not have had any previous visa application refused or cancelled
  • Have signed the Australian values statement
  • Have paid back any outstanding debt to the Australian government

What is dependent?

The Department of Home Affairs defines dependent as someone who has been relying on their relative for at least 3 years for basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Or rely on your relative due to a disability.

Assurance of Support (AOS)

An Assurance of Support is essentially a bond with the department of human services. It is an additional cost paid by the sponsor at the time of decision, for two applicants the bond is an estimated cost of $14,000, however, the assurer’s taxable income needs to be assessed. This is amount is an agreement that financial support will be provided to the applicant/s to settle down in Australia and in circumstances of financial hardship so that there isn’t a dependency on government income (Centrelink).

This amount is paid to the department of human services and is an agreement to re-pay the department for any income support provided. The amount is repaid (minus debt to the Australian government) two years after the parent (subclass 103) visa is granted.

The assurer must:

  • Give sufficient support so thatthe primary applicant or any accompanying family do not have to rely on any government support
  • Pay a security bond before the visa isgranted

838 Visa Cost

From AUD 4990(Update date:2023.07)

Secondary applicants: This amount does not include cost of any family members or children applying with you and they will be subject to their own application fee

Additional costs: You might also have to pay other costs for each applicant for health checks, police certificates and biometrics

838 Visa Stay

This is a permanent visa; it allows indefinite stay in Australia.

838 Visa Processing Time

A new Age Dependent Relative visa application may take at least 24 years to process.

For more information, see Other Family Visa Queue

838 Visa Obligations

  • You must obey Australian laws and meet all visa conditions
  • Inform the department if anything changes. This includes changes to your relationship status, the birth of a child (or stepchild) and any changes to personal details such as phone number, address or passport.

Health insurance

Holders of a Subclass 838 Visa are eligible to enrol in Australia’s public-health cover (Medicare).

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