(1) This section applies to determine whether a person is to be regarded as independent for the purposes of this Part. A person is not to be regarded as independent except as provided by this section.
Person with a dependent child
(2) A person is independent if:
(a) the person has a natural child, adopted child or relationship child who is wholly or substantially dependent on the person or his or her partner; or
(b) the person previously had a natural child, adopted child or relationship child who was wholly or substantially dependent on the person or on a person who, at the time, was the person's partner.
(3) A person is independent if both the person's parents are dead, whether or not the person is dependent, or was last dependent, on someone other than his or her parents.
If parents cannot exercise responsibilities
(4) A person is independent if both of the person's parents are (or, if the person has only one parent, that parent is):
(a) serving a prison sentence of at least 10 years; or
(b) mentally incapacitated and likely to remain so incapacitated for an indefinite period; or
(c) living in a nursing home and likely to remain there for an indefinite period; or
whether or not the person is dependent, or was last dependent, on someone other than a parent of the person.
(5) A person is independent if the person:
(a) is the holder, within the meaning of the Migration (1993) Regulations, of a Group 1.3 entry permit (permanent resident) (refugee and humanitarian); or
(b) while the holder of such a permit, was granted Australian citizenship.
However, a person is not independent under this subsection if the person has a parent living in Australia, or is wholly or substantially dependent on someone else on a long-term basis.
Person in State care
(6) A person is independent if the person is not living with a parent, and:
(a) the person is in the guardianship, care or custody of a court, a Minister, or a Department, of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory; or
(b) there is a current direction from such a court, Minister or Department placing the person in the guardianship, care or custody of someone who is not the person's parent; or
(c) the person stopped being in a situation described in paragraph (a) or (b) only because of his or her age.
A person to whom this subsection applies is taken, for the purposes of this Part, to be in State care .
Unreasonable to live at home
(7) A person is independent if:
(a) the person cannot live at the home of either or both of his or her parents:
(i) because of extreme family breakdown or other similar exceptional circumstances; or
(ii) because it would be unreasonable to expect the person to do so as there would be a serious risk to his or her physical or mental well-being due to violence, sexual abuse or other similar exceptional circumstances; and
(b) the person is not receiving continuous support, whether directly or indirectly and whether financial or otherwise, from a parent of the person or from another person who is acting as the person's guardian on a long-term basis; and
(c) the person is not receiving, on a continuous basis, any payments in the nature of income support (other than a social security benefit) from the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory.
Parents of relationship children
(8) If a person (other than a person who is an adopted child) is a relationship child of another person because he or she is a child of the other person, and of a third person, within the meaning of the Family Law Act 1975 , the other person and the third person are taken to be the person's only parents for the purposes of subsections (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7).