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On the 19th of November, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) changed the definition of the “Member of the Family Unit”(MOFU).

Some Australian visas allow applicants to include family members in their application under the MOFU arrangements.

The definition of MOFU has changed, for applications made on or after the 19th of November 2016, MOFU will be limited to direct family members.

The change apply to permanent visa subclasses and some provisional and temporary visa subclasses.  The changes don’t apply to refugee, humanitarian or protection visas.

The new definition outlines that person might be a member of your family unit if they are your:

  1. spouse or de-facto partner
  2. child or step child; and:
    1. have not turned 18
    2. have turned 18, but have not turned 23, and are financially dependent on you or your partner
    3. have turned 23 and are dependent on you or on the partner as they have a mental or physical disability that stops them from earning a living to support themselves
  3. grandchild or step-grandchild who is a dependent of a child who meets one of the criteria under above under paragraph 2.

A child is not eligible if they are engaged to be married or have a spouse or de-facto partner.

Why was the change made?

The changes make the family members who can be included in a visa application, as a MOFU, more consistent with arrangements available to Australian citizens and permanent residents seeking to bring family members to Australia.

Where can I get additional information?

Two new information forms have been developed and will be available from the DIBP website:

  • Form 1496i – Including family members in your application
  • Form 1497i – Including family members in your refugee, humanitarian or protection visa application.

Contact us to keep up to date with all things immigration.