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A Subclass 117 visa – a chance for an orphan to migrate to Australia with you

A Subclass 117 visa is considered one of the most humanitarian visas in Australia as it allows orphans under 18 to migrate to Australia and receive amazing benefits of this visa.

So what should you know about a Subclass 117 visa? What are the requirements? How much will a Subclass 117 cost? Check out the rest of this article for more detailed information.



What is a Subclass 117 visa?

It’s commonly known as an Australian Orphan Relative visa. This is a permanent visa that allows the child who is a single orphan and whose parents are dead or lost or unable to care for them to come and live with a relative in Australia.

The sponsor must be a settled Australian citizen, Eligible New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident.


australia 117 visa
What is a Orphan Relative – Subclass 117?


Benefits of holding a Subclass 117 visa?

A Subclass 117 visa is included in the Australian Family visas. Thus, it also provides many wonderful benefits to its applicants.


Residence benefits
    • Stay in Australia permanently.
    • Apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible.
Free entries benefits
    • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you want for 5 years from the date the visa is granted. This is as long as the travel facility on this visa remains valid.
    • You will need to apply for and be granted a Resident Return (RRV) so that you can re-enter Australia as a permanent resident.
Social security benefitsEnrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme, Medicare.
Education benefitsHaving full study and work rights.
Sponsor family member benefitsCan sponsor another eligible family member


To have a full understanding of those 5 benefits, you should contact VEM now. With more than 11 years of experience of working in migration, we’ll be able to give detailed information and explanations for you and your family.


orphan visa subclass 117 charges
Benefits of an Orphan Relative Visa


Requirements of an Australian Orphan Relative visa – Subclass 117


For the applicants and the sponsor
    • Both the applicants and the sponsor must share a close relationship with each other.
    • The sponsor must be the applicant’s:
      • Siblings or step brothers/sisters.
      • Grandpa or grandma.
      • Aunt or uncle.
      • Spouse of the listed people above.

Meet the health and character requirements.

Must pay back debts to the Australian Government or there must be a formal arrangement to pay it back.

For the sponsorMust be a settled Australian citizen, Eligible New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident
Over 18 years old.
Have no criminal background, especially any crimes relating to children.
For the applicants

Don’t have their parents to take care of them because:

    • Their parents passed away.
    • Their parents are incapable of looking after them.
    • Their parents disappeared and left no information behind.

The Australian Department of Home Affairs won’t grant a Subclass 117 visa if the child’s parents deny their responsibilities of taking care of the child.

Must be single
Must be under 18 years old.
Must be offshore while the visa is lodged and granted.


For more information about the requirements of the Subclass 117 visa, contact VEM today. Our professional migration consultant who is licensed by the Australian Government (MARN: 1577877) will support you to make sure you are eligible for this visa.

What documents and papers are required when it comes to a Subclass 117 visa?


You (the applicant)Identification papers
    • Copies of your certified birth certificate.
    • Copies of your certified passport (within a 6-month period starting from the beginning of your visa application).
    • 4 card images.
    • ID card.
    • Proof that you’ve changed name before (if any).
    • Medical checkup.
Proof of the child’s family situation
    • Identification papers of the child’s parents.
    • Medical certificates which prove the parents’ inability to take care of the child.
    • Provide the time when the child’s parents disappear and proof that they cannot be found anywhere.
Other evidence
    • Police confirmation that the child has stayed in one country for more than 12 months in the last 10 years since the applicants turned 16.
    • Fill in form 80.

All of VEM’s clients will be instructed about these papers.

The sponsor
Identification papers
    • ID card.
    • Proof that you’re a  settled Australian citizen, Eligible New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident.
Financial proof
    • Provide proof about your income, taxation payment, etc so as to convince the DHA of your ability to take care of the applicants.
    • Before the Subclass 117 visa grant, the sponsor can withdraw the sponsorship as long as they can find another eligible sponsor.

Fill in form 40.

All of VEM’s clients will be instructed about these papers.


These papers can usually get a bit overwhelmed and complicated so it may take a long time to complete. Additionally, all of these documents must be translated into English.


subclass 117 orrphan visa processing time
Documents need to prepare to apply for an Orphan Relative Visa


Moreover, the Australian migration regulations are updated constantly. Mr Phong Cao is a member of the Australian Migration Institute (MIA: 12648), so when working with VEM, clients will also be informed about any new changes about the necessary documents.

That’s why you should contact VEM from the start if applying for a Subclass 117 visa is your intention.

Processing times of a Subclass 117 visa

Compared to a Subclass 102 visa, the processing time of a Subclass 117 visa is twice as long.


Processing times
75% of the applications are processed within55 months
90% of the applications are processed within72 months


Step-by-step of a Subclass 117 visa

There are 4 main steps to apply for this visa:

  • Step 1: Preparing your documents.
  • Step 2: Applying for a Subclass 117 visa.
  • Step 3: Providing further documents (if required).
  • Step 4: Being granted an Orphan Relative Visa – Subclass 117.


australia orphan visa
The process of applying for an Orphan Relative Visa


Our professional migration consultant – Mr Phong Cao will directly assist you while working with VEM. As a member of the Migration Institute of Australian and being licensed by the Australian Government, he has to follow his clients visa process closely in order to update the stages to the clients in time.

Cost of a Subclass 117 visa


Types of charges and feesThe amount of money (AUD)
The applicant1, 710
The accompany family member
    • Over 18 years old: 855AUD
    • Under 18 years old: 430AUD

Note: The 117 visa fees listed above do not include a 1.4% surcharge.


Refund is not allowed whenever there’s a visa rejection. Hence, you are strongly advised to look for a professional and trustworthy migration agency.

What you should notice when applying for a Subclass 117 visa

Responsibilities of the sponsor when the Subclass 117 visa is granted


The sponsor must support the applicants in accomodation, food and drink, etc in the first two years in Australia. If not, the Australian Government will reconsider and even terminate the Subclass 117 visa approval.


If you’re too busy with your own life in Australia, let VEM be your assistant while you’re applying for this visa. Because after the visa grant, VEM will continue to remind its clients to fulfill their responsibilities in the required time.

Legal rights

Before the Subclass 117 visa application, the sponsor must be assured of these legal rights. Specifically,

  • The sponsor must have the sole legal right to bring the applicant from the young country where they live to settle in Australia.
  • If the person having legal rights over the applicant is another person, the sponsor must obtain written confirmation from that person about the application for the Australian Subclass 117 visa.
  • The sponsor must have approval from the government of the country where the child is living  to take the child out of the country.

Since these rights are really important, make sure you contact VEM now to receive assistance from Mr Phong Cao.

Frequently asked questions

Where should I apply for a Subclass 117 visa and receive its visa grant?

You must be outside of Australia while applying and receiving the visa approval.


We hope the information in this article can give you an understanding of a Subclass 117 visa. If there’s any further information, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or call us via hotline. VEM will contact you back as soon as possible.


Find out more about other Australian visa:

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