SOUTHERN MAN IMMIGRATION BLOG

Parent Visas Australia

June 28, 2024
Myer Lipschitz

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For parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents seeking to reunite with their children, Australia offers several visa options tailored to their needs.

These visas, including Contributory, Non-Contributory, and Sponsored categories, provide various pathways depending on specific eligibility criteria and financial considerations. This comprehensive guide explores the different types of parent visas available and the requirements to help you navigate the application process efficiently.

Parents can choose between temporary and permanent visa options, each with distinct benefits and limitations. The Contributory Parent Visa, for example, offers a quicker processing time at a higher cost, while the Non-Contributory Visa provides a more economical choice with a longer wait. By understanding these options, parents can make informed decisions aligned with their circumstances and goals.

Navigating the parent visa landscape involves understanding the health requirements, processing times, and the role of sponsors. Applicants must meet stringent health and character conditions to be eligible. Sponsors, usually the children of the applicants, play a crucial part in the process by providing financial and settlement support. This article aims to equip you with essential insights into the visa types and requirements, ensuring a smoother journey towards reunification.

Migrate to Australia

Our immigration lawyers and registered migration agents in Melbourne will be able to find you the best visa for your unique situation. You’ll be in good hands.

Eligibility Criteria for Sponsors and Parents

To sponsor a parent visa, an individual must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen. They must have settled in Australia and demonstrate financial capability to support their parents.

Parents must meet specific criteria depending on the visa type, including passing health and character checks. Age requirements vary, and some visas require a balance of family test, meaning at least half of the applicant’s children must reside in Australia.

Types of Parent Visas

Australian Parent Visas
Visa Type Description Cost Processing Time Important Distinctions
Subclass 103 (Parent Visa) This permanent visa lets a parent of a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen move to Australia. From AUD 6,490 Up to 30 years Must meet the balance-of-family test; long processing time.
Subclass 143 (Contributory Parent Visa) This permanent visa lets a parent of a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen move to Australia. From AUD 47,755 4-6 years Must meet the balance-of-family test; higher cost but faster processing.
Subclass 173 (Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa) This temporary visa lets a parent of a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen stay temporarily in Australia. From AUD 31,930 4-6 years Must meet the balance-of-family test; can apply for Subclass 143 after.
Subclass 804 (Aged Parent Visa) This permanent visa lets an aged parent of a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen stay in Australia. From AUD 6,490 Up to 30 years Must meet the balance-of-family test; long processing time; applicant must be in Australia.
Subclass 864 (Contributory Aged Parent Visa) This permanent visa lets the aged parent of a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen stay in Australia. From AUD 47,755 4-6 years Must meet the balance-of-family test; higher cost but faster processing; applicant must be in Australia.
Subclass 884 (Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa) This temporary visa lets the aged parent of a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen stay temporarily in Australia. From AUD 31,930 4-6 years Must meet the balance-of-family test; can apply for Subclass 864 after; applicant must be in Australia.
Subclass 870 (Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa) This temporary visa lets a parent of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen visit Australia for up to 3 or 5 years. From AUD 5,090 for 3 years, AUD 10,180 for 5 years 6-12 months Does not require balance-of-family test; must be sponsored by an eligible child.

Contributory vs Non-Contributory Parent Visas

Contributory Parent Visas (subclass 143 and 864) require a higher application fee but offer faster processing times. These visas are suitable for those who can afford the cost and prefer shorter waiting periods.

Non-Contributory Parent Visas (subclass 103 and 804) are less expensive but have longer processing times, often exceeding ten years. These are preferable for applicants with budget constraints but who can afford to wait longer for visa approval.

parent visa australia

Visa Application Process

The visa application process for parent visas in Australia involves multiple steps, focusing on documentation, health and character assessments, assurance of support, and understanding processing times and costs.

Lodgement and Documentation

Applicants must lodge their visa applications either online or by using relevant paper forms. Online applications for the Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa can be managed through ImmiAccount. For Parent, Child, and Other Family visas, paper forms must be used.

Documentation includes proof of the relationship, identity documents, and relevant financial records. Key documents may be birth certificates, passports, and marriage certificates. It’s crucial to check ImmiAccount regularly if lodging online, as additional documentation might be requested.

Applicants should ensure all documents are certified copies or originals. Incomplete documentation can lead to delays or refusal of the application.

Balance of Family Test

The Balance of Family Test is a requirement for certain Australian parent visas. It is used to determine the eligibility of parents who wish to migrate to Australia based on the number of their children who are living in Australia as permanent residents or citizens. Here are the key points of the Balance of Family Test:

  1. Eligibility: To pass the test, at least half of the applicant’s children must be Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens who are usually resident in Australia.
  2. Calculation: The test looks at the total number of children the applicant has and then determines how many of those children are settled in Australia.
  3. Example: If a parent has four children, at least two must be living in Australia as permanent residents or citizens for the parent to pass the test.
  4. Purpose: This test ensures that the applicant has a close family connection to Australia, which is a key consideration for parent visas.

Passing the Balance of Family Test is crucial for visas such as the Parent Visa (subclass 103) and the Contributory Parent Visa (subclass 143).

Health and Character Requirements

Applicants must meet Australia’s health and character requirements to be eligible for parent visas. This typically involves a medical assessment, including a general health check-up, chest x-ray, and HIV test. These evaluations ensure that applicants do not pose a public health risk.

Character requirements include providing police certificates from every country where the applicant has lived for more than 12 months. These checks aim to prevent individuals with significant criminal records from entering Australia.

Meeting these requirements is mandatory. Failure to pass either the health or character assessments can result in the visa application being denied.

Assurance of Support Requirements

The Assurance of Support (AoS) is a financial pledge given by an Australian citizen or permanent resident to support the parent visa applicant. This financial commitment ensures that the visa holder will not rely on government assistance once in Australia.

The assurer must provide evidence of their financial ability, including income statements and asset holdings. This assurance lasts for 10 years for Contributory Parent Visa holders.

The AoS also involves a bond, which is held by the Australian Government and refunded after the assurance period, provided no welfare payments have been claimed by the visa holder.

parents united in australia by visa

Benefits and Limitations of Parent Visas

Parent visas in Australia offer various pathways for parents to join their children in the country. While these visas provide significant benefits such as residency, citizenship pathways, and access to healthcare, there are limitations around capping and queueing.

Residency and Citizenship Pathway

Parent visas can provide a pathway to permanent residency and eventual citizenship in Australia. Contributory parent visas (subclass 143 and 173) are popular due to their faster processing times, allowing applicants to settle more quickly. These visas also offer the benefit of eventually sponsoring other family members for residency.

Non-contributory parent visas (subclass 103 and 804), though slower to process, still provide a route to permanent residency. They are generally more affordable than contributory visas.

Both visa types make it possible for parents to reunite with their children who are settled Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens. Over time, parents can apply for Australian citizenship, enjoying full rights and privileges.

Healthcare and Social Benefits

One major advantage of permanent parent visas is access to Australia’s healthcare system, Medicare. This includes subsidised health services, free treatment in public hospitals, and reduced costs for prescription medications.

Temporary visas such as the subclass 870 visa do not provide Medicare access. Parents on this visa will need comprehensive private health insurance.

Permanent visa holders can also access certain social security benefits after meeting residency requirements. However, there can be a waiting period, and not all benefits may be immediately available.

Capping and Queueing

Australia allocates a finite number of permanent residence visas each migration program year. For the fiscal year 2024-2025, Australia set the permanent migration intake at 185,000 places. Parent migration, although a smaller portion of this, is crucial. The program balances between skilled migration and family reunification, with a limited number of permanent parent visa places each year.

There are currently about 140,000 people waiting for a permanent parent visa, with waiting periods extending up to 40 years. Contributory parent visas require higher upfront application fees but are processed more swiftly thanks to a less stringent capping system. On the other hand, subclass 870 temporary visas, which allow parents to stay for up to five years, offer an expedited option, though they do not lead directly to permanent residency.

Understanding capping and queueing is crucial for applicants to manage expectations and plan accordingly.

contributory parent visa in australia

Role of Migration Agents in Visa Applications

At IMMagine, our registered migration agents and immigration lawyers play a significant role in assisting with parent visa applications. Our professionals help navigate the intricate requirements and procedures set by the Department of Home Affairs.

With our professional support, you can mitigate potential delays and increase the chance of a successful application for parent migration.

Migrate to Australia

Our immigration lawyers and registered migration agents in Melbourne will be able to find you the best visa for your unique situation. You’ll be in good hands.

myer lipschitz

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Myer Lipschitz

Myer Lipschitz was born in Johannesburg and is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1985 he was conferred the degree Bachelor of Laws. Myer completed his Articles of Clerkship with Ivor Trackman, Attorneys and was admitted as an Attorney to the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1988. Myer immigrated to New Zealand in 1989 and was admitted to practice law in New Zealand as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand...

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