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How to sponsor your relatives to Australia with a Subclass 838 visa

An Australian Subclass 838 visa is an opportunity for elderly people to come to Australia to settle down with relatives. This is an opportunity for older people to enjoy Australia’s attractive humanitarian policies.


What is a Subclass 838 visa?


A Subclass 838 visa is also known as the Aged Dependent Relative visa. This permanent visa lets a single older person stay in Australia if they rely on a relative living in Australia for financial support.


What is 838 visa
What is subclass 838 visa?


Benefits of holding a Subclass 838 visa

Most people who hear about the benefits of the Subclass 838 visa are surprised. Because few people would have thought that this visa would create so many benefits for 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.

Social security benefits

    • Enroll in Australia’s public healthcare scheme, Medicare.
    • In addition, the applicant is also supported by the PBS sponsorship program.

Education benefits

Be able to take courses and take part in suitable jobs.

Sponsor family member benefits

Can sponsor another eligible family member.


Knowing your rights is the correct step for Australian visa applicants. Because without fully understanding the benefits, visa holders will not be able to take advantage of all their benefits.


However, the applicant will most likely encounter unnecessary obstacles. If you want to properly understand the above benefits, your family can contact VEM for more detailed explanations.

Requirements of an Aged Dependent Relative visa – Subclass 838

The requirements to apply for a Subclass visa are not too strict. However, there are still many people who cannot apply for a visa because all the conditions have not been met.

You can refer to the table below for visa requirements:


For the sponsor and the applicantRelationship
    • Two people must be parent-child, brother, sister, aunt/uncle – grandchild, etc.
    • Or, the sponsor can be the spouse of the listed people above.
Health and character

Meet the health and character requirements.

    • Have paid back your debt to the Australian government.
    • Have no criminal background.

For the sponsor




Must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.


At least 18 years old.

    • Has provided financial and other essential support to the applicant for 3 years.
    • Ability to continue to support the sponsored person during their first 2 years in Australia.

For the applicant





Reach the Age Pension.

Marriage status

Single at the time of application.

Visa background

    • Not have had a visa canceled or a previous application refused.
    • Not have a visa with a no further stay condition.

Where to lodge the visa


Where to receive the visa grant

For the accompany person (if any)



    • Under 18 years old.
    • From 18 to 22 years old: dependent on parents.
    • From 23 years old and over: dependent on the applicant (because of partial/complete loss of bodily/mental function).

Marriage status

Not in an informal relationship, not engaged or married.


An Aged Dependent Relative visa – Subclass 838 requires the applicants to be old enough to reach Age Pension in Australia. Specifically,


Period within which a person was bornPension ageDate pension age changes
From 1 July 1952 to 31 December 195365 years and 6 months1 July 2017
From 1 January 1954 to 30 June 195566 years1 July 2019
From 1 July 1955 to 31 December 195666 years and 6 months1 July 2021
From 1 January 1957 onwards67 years1 July 2023


If you have met the requirements, please hurry up and submit your application. In case this condition is not clear, the family can contact VEM for confirmation from our professional migration consultant.


At VEM, the person who directly advises and supports clients is also the CEO of the company – Mr. Phong Cao. He is licensed by the Australian Government (MARN: 1577877). So one of his obligations is to advise the clients correctly.

So, you can completely trust that Mr. Phong Cao always provides the most accurate information about a Subclass 838 visa.

Step-by-step of a Subclass 838 visa

  • Step 1: Check the eligibility.
  • Step 2: Prepare necessary papers and documents.
  • Step 3: Submit application and visa fee for the first time.
  • Step 4: The DHA receives the visa applications.
  • Step 5: The application is processed.
  • Step 6: The applicant submits additional documents and pays the second visa fee.
  • Step 7: The applicant receives the Subclass 838 visa grant.


subclass visa 838 processing time
The process of a subclass 838 visa


What documents and papers are required when it comes to a Subclass 838 visa?

These are what you should prepare before lodging your Subclass 838 visa application.


For the applicant and the sponsor


Proof of your relationship
    • Copies of certified household registration book.
    • Copies of certified marriage certificate (if any).
    • A certificate from the authority of the termination of the previous relationship (if any).
    • Authentic proof of adoption (if any).
    • Letters, invoices, photos, etc. to prove the communication between the two parties.
Proof of the dependence

Evidence that the applicant is dependent on the sponsor:

    • Deposit and withdrawal receipts
    • Bank confirmation
    • Rent receipts
The applicantIdentification papers
    • Copies of your certified passport (within a 6-month period starting from the beginning of your visa application).
    • Card images
    • ID card.
    • Proof that you’ve changed name before (if any).
The sponsor



Proof of residency

The sponsor submits the following evidence:

    • The current permanent resident visa.
    • Certificate of citizenship.
    • Passport.
Financial proof

Proof that you have the financial ability to continue to support the applicant.


Fill in form 40.

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

For the accompany person (if any)

    • Identification papers.
    • Proof of relationship with the main applicant
    • Evidence of health and character requirements.


Processing times of a Subclass 838 visa

Currently, the Australian Department of Home Affairs has not updated the processing time for visa applications for a Subclass 838 visa. So the way for you to get a visa quickly is to make an application and submit it as soon as possible.


To do this, you should consider VEM visa services. As we usually only take 7-14 days to process the application before lodging for your visa.


Cost of a Subclass 838 visa

Although the processing time has not been updated, the DHA has announced the Subclass 838 visa fees in 2023. Specifically:


Types of charges and feesThe amount of money (AUD)
For the visa applicantFor the accompany member
First installment4,350
    • Over 18 years old: 2,175
    • Under 18 years old: 1,090
Second installment2,0652,065/person

Note: The 114 visa fees listed above do not include a 1.4% surcharge.


The difference between a Subclass 838 visa and a Subclass 114 visa

A Subclass 838 visa is similar to a Subclass 114 visa – both are ways for elderly relatives to settle in Australia with their relatives. If your family is confused or do not know which visa to choose from, VEM will guide you on how to choose:

  • If the applicant is applying in Australia: the family chooses the Subclass 838 visa.
  • If the applicant is applying outside of Australia: the family chooses the Subclass 114 visa.


visa 838 australia
How difference between subclass 838 visa and 114 visa


If you need more explanation from VEM, please contact VEM! We are ready to answer all your questions so that your family can settle down in Australia soon!

Frequently asked questions

Where should I apply for a Subclass 838 visa?

The applicant as well as the accompanying person must be inside Australia when the visa is lodged.

What are the “dependent requirements” for the applicants?

This means that before applying for a Subclass 838 visa, the applicant has been supported by a sponsor for at least 3 years. This can be about accommodation, food, drink or finance, etc.

You can contact VEM for a specific and accurate explanation.


VEM hopes the information about an Australian Subclass 838 visa in this article is useful for your family. If you have any questions, leave a comment at the end of the article. VEM will quickly contact you to help you answer or you can call the VEM hotline right away!


Find out more about other Australian visa:

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2 thoughts on “How to sponsor your relatives to Australia with a Subclass 838 visa

  1. Budi K says:

    My widowed mom is visiting us in Melbourne on a 600 visa. If we sponsor her for a 838 visa, will she get a bridging visa until her application is processed?

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