Current Visa Options for Parents
Visitor visas (Temporary)
For many people, a permanent parent visa may be out of reach financially as well as practicality when it comes to the lengthy processing times of non-contributory parent visas.
A visitor visa may be a fast and inexpensive alternative to bring parents to spend time with family in Australia. Longer validity visitor visas are available for parents of Australian permanent residents and citizens.
Parents of Australian permanent residents and citizens currently have the option of using the Visitor (Subclass 600) visa stream to spend time with their children, which enable longer stays in Australia of up to 12 months in any 18 month period.
The Parent Visa enables parents of children who are Australian citizens or permanent residents to be sponsored for permanent residence in Australia.
Apart from the contributory parent (temporary) visa, all parent visas are permanent visas.
Applications lodged onshore for both the non-contributory and contributory parent visas requires the main applicant to be 65 years of age or older.
Any person seeking a Parent Visa will be required by their Australian child who must be “settled” in Australia; generally the sponsor would have been lawfully resident in Australia for at least two years.
The applicant must pass the “balance of family test”. That is, the number of children who are lawfully and permanently resident in Australia must be:
- Greater than, or equal to, the total number of children who are resident overseas; or
- Greater than the greatest number of children who are resident in any single overseas country.
Any person seeking a parent visa will be required to have an assurance of support; this does not need to be the sponsor of the parent.
The Australian government has introduced “contributory” parent visa categories, which require the payment of a high application fee to cover medical expenses.
The lower cost “non-contributory” parent visa subclasses were closed to new applications in June 2014 and reopened in October 2014, but it is not clear how long they will be open for.
There are two types of contributory parent visa, the contributory (temporary) and contributory (permanent) visa.
The difference between these subclasses is essentially that, for the temporary visas, payment of the fees may be staggered, ie:
- For the permanent Contributory Parent Visas, you must pay all the fees for the second installment (ie the fees payable at the time of grant) in one payment in which case the applicant will receive permanent residence immediately on grant of the visa;
- For the temporary Contributory Parent Visas, you may pay the fees for the second installment in two payments in which case the applicant will receive a temporary visa for two years and following the second payment (after the first 2 years has expired) will receive permanent residence.
The New Temporary Parent Visa
The new temporary sponsored parent visa will be introduced in November 2017, with 15,000 visas to be made available annually. This visa will allow the temporary stay of sponsored parents in Australia for periods of up to three or five years. The visa may be renewed from outside Australia to allow a cumulative stay of up to ten years.
The application fee for the 3-year option will be $5,000 whilst the 5-year option will cost $10,000.
The proposed visa gives an extended stay for parents of Australian permanent residents and citizens as an alternative to the current permanent parent options.
Temporary sponsored parent visa holders will not be eligible to apply onshore for a permanent parent visa. The visa holder’s sponsor, their Australian child, will have legal liability for any public health expenditure (including aged care arrangements) incurred by the visa holder in Australia.
The visa will come with no work rights and will require the applicant to hold private health insurance.
Existing contributory and non-contributory parent visas will remain unchanged and open to new applicants.