Parents of Australian citizens, permanent residents or Eligible New Zealand citizens may be eligible to migrate to Australia via one of the categories in the Parent visa program.
There are two different categories, being Parent visas and Contributory Parent visas, and each category has several different visa subclasses.
- Parent (Migrant) visa (subclass 103)
- Aged Parent (Residence) visa (subclass 804)
Contributory Parent Visas
- Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173)
- Contributory (Migrant) visa (subclass 143)
- Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 884)
- Contributory Aged Parent (Residence) visa (subclass 864)
Criteria common to all Parent visa subclasses
The Balance of Family Test
All applicants must meet the balance of family test, meaning that an applicant must have at least half of their children permanently resident in Australia or more children permanently resident in Australia than in any other country. All natural, adopted and step-children of the applicant and the applicants partner will be considered.
Parent visa applicants require a sponsor. The sponsor will usually be the applicants child or the spouse of the applicants child. Generally speaking the sponsor will require to be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or Eligible New Zealand citizen, be over 18 and be 'settled' in Australia, meaning they have lived in Australia for 2 years (including lawful temporary residence) unless there are compelling and compassionate circumstances for waiving this requirement.
Assurance of Support
Parent visa applicants must obtain and Assurance of Support before the visa can be granted. An Assurance of Support is a legal commitment by a person to provide financial support to the applicant and to repay the Government any welfare payments made to the applicant within the first 2 years for a Parent visa and the first 10 years for a Contributory Parent visa.
Assurance of Support Security Bond
The person providing the Assurance of Support must lodge a security bond with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. For a Parent visa the security bond required to be lodged is $5,000 for the primary applicant and $2,000 for each secondary applicant. For Contributory Parent visas the bond is $10,000 for a primary applicant and $4,000 for each secondary applicant. For Parent visas the bond is refundable after 2 years and after 10 years fro Contributory Parent visas.
Health and Character
All Parent visa applicants must pass the health and character requirements
Cap and Queue processing for Parent visas
All Parent visas are subject to a processing arrangement called 'cap and queue' in which a limited number of visas are allocated to be granted each financial year. Once the limit has been reached for a given financial year no further visas will be granted during that year. Applicants are placed in a 'queue' and visas are granted in order of the queue date allocated.
This has resulted in applicants for Parent visas waiting for up to and beyond 13 years for their application to be processed. Contributory Parent visa applications are currently being processed in 12 - 24 months from the date of application.
Parent (Migrant) visa (subclass 103)
Applicants may lodge their application while in Australia (provided there is not a 'no further stay' condition attached to their current visa). However the applicant is not entitled to a Bridging visa and requires to be outside of Australia when the visa is granted.
Aged Parent (Residence) visa (subclass 804)
This visa is for onshore applicants. In order to qualify for this visa, applicants have to meet certain age requirements. Males require to be 65 and females require to be of an age eligible to receive the age pension in Australia.
Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173)
This is a temporary visa granted for a period of two years and allows the applicant to stagger payment of the Department of Immigration processing fee over a two year period. These applications may be lodged while the applicant is in Australia, however the applicant will not be entitled to a Bridging visa and requires to be outside of Australia when the visa is granted.
Contributory Parent (Migrant) visa (subclass 143)
This is a permanent visa and applications may be lodged while the applicant is in Australia. However unless the applicant is the holder of a subclass 173 visa, they will not be entitled to a Bridging visa and require to be outside of Australia when the visa in granted.
Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 884)
This is a temporary two year visa for onshore applicants meeting certain age requirements (65 for male applicants and pensionable age for female applicants).
Contributory Aged Parent (Residence) visa (subclass 864)
This is a permanent resident visa and is for onshore applicants who meet the relevant age requirements to apply for the visa.