If you have been living in Australia for a while now and are considering bringing your parents to the country as well, this guide will help you get the basic information to get the process started. Everyone wants their parents to get the best quality of life and medical care so moving to Australia would be the best option for them. Even if they are still active and want to work, the parent visa will allow them to do so and gain citizenship status.
Understanding the different types of parent visas available in Australia
There are two main classes of parent visas- contributory and non contributory. Contributory visas have shorter processing time but they are expensive whereas non-contributory visas take 25 to 30 years (due to the limited number of available spaces) to process but have lower processing fees.
Aged Parent Residence visa (subclass 804): To be eligible for this visa type, your parent has to be at the minimum pension age (which is 65 years, 6 months currently) and currently residing in Australia. The visa has the same privileges as subclass 103, the fees are not too expensive and can be paid in instalments but there are capping and queueing conditions.
Contributory Aged Parent Temporary visa (subclass 884): The 2 step visa process (starts with the permit to live for up to 2 years in Australia) allows your parent to move towards the subclass 864 but then it costs more and your parent must be inside the country at the time of application.
Contributory Aged Parent Residence visa (subclass 864): This one is processed much faster than subclass 804 but has a higher cost.
Parent visa (subclass 103): With this visa, your parent can stay in Australia indefinitely- this includes the permit to work, study and eligibility to apply for Medicare. Your parents can also sponsor a family member later and move towards citizenship status. If your parent applies as a retiree, they won’t need any sponsor or the need to pass the balance of family test. The only disadvantage is that it is under the capping and queueing category (limited number of seats per year and no specified processing time).
Contributory Parent Temporary visa (subclass 173): Your parent can stay in Australia for up to 2 years and later apply for the subclass 143. It is an expensive option (with the option to pay in instalments) that lets your parents work, study and enrol in Medicare but there will be no government support.
Contributory Parent Migrant visa (subclass 143): The parent visa 143 has the same eligibility and privileges as the subclass 103 but it costs much more and has a shorter processing time. However, these fees can be paid in instalments.
Sponsored Parent visa (870 visa): This is a temporary visa that does not lead to permanent residence but can let your parent visit Australia for 3 to 5 years. The primary purpose is to reunite with your parents so it does not allow them to work. Fees can be paid in instalments.
For more detailed information, you can visit the official immigration website of the Australian government.
Checking your eligibility to sponsor your parents for a parent visa in Australia
In order to be an eligible sponsor for your parents to arrive in Australia, you need to fulfil the following criteria:
- At the time of application, you must have been living in Australia lawfully for 2 years
- You must be an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or an eligible New Zealand citizen
- You must be 18 years or older (for a sponsor younger than this, the immigration office decides if the parent visa Australia will be in the best interest of child or not)
If you can not sponsor, your live-in partner, spouse, relative or a lawfully established community organisation (that you are related to) can be a sponsor as well.
Gathering the necessary documentation for a parent visa application
You must provide the following certified documents and provide accurate information:
- Check your parent’s passport is valid
- Identity documents and marriage certificate of parent
- Relevant signed form from an eligible sponsor
- Balance-of-family test documents (these prove the parent’s links in the country)
- Character and health documents
- Parent’s spouse’s documents
- Recent photographs
- Proof of sponsorship
Submitting a parent visa application and paying the application fee
After gathering all these important documents, you must submit these by courier or online (depending on the type of visa) and then pay for the visa using any of the methods described on this page.
Receiving your visa grant letter and preparing for your parents’ arrival in Australia
When you receive your visa grant, you will get a grant number and the commencement date of the visa along with the conditions of the visa. You must keep the copy of this information with you.
Maintaining your parents’ visa status and renewing it if needed
You must abide by all the conditions of your parents’ visa in order to maintain it. You will have to renew it if it is a temporary visa that can lead to a permanent residence. Keep in mind that you will be required to pay for it so it is advised to have that fees arranged before the time of application.