Would you like to have your parents join you in Australia?
Australia has both temporary and permanent visa options for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents to help them visit or migrate to Australia.
1. Sponsored Parent Visa (Temporary)
The Subclass 870 visa is a temporary visa which allows a parent of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to visit Australia for up to three (3) or five (5) years.
The visa allows parents to remain in Australia for a longer period of time, up to five years at a time without departing. It provides an alternative option to Visitor visas which only allow shorter periods of stay.
2. Parent Visa (Permanent)
The Parent Visa enables parents of children who are Australian citizens or permanent residents to be sponsored for permanent residence in Australia.
Parent Visa Categories
There are currently six (6) classes of Parent visas which fall into two major categories:
- ‘non-contributory’; and
They may also be classified on the basis of an applicant’s age; and temporary and permanent residence.
The major difference between Contributory and Non- Contributory Parent Visa
The ‘non-contributory’ Parent Visa has a much longer processing time although attracts a lower Government application charge.
The ‘contributory’ Parent Visa can be processed a lot sooner but the Government application charge is higher.
There is however an option to spread the costs for the contributory parent visa over two stages. The first stage is where the provisional visa is applied for which is approved for a period of two years. The second stage of the application is applied for prior to the provisional visa expiring, where you can apply for the permanent stage, paying the balance of the government fees.
- Parent of an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident
- The Applicant must be the parent of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- Balance of Family Test
You must pass the ‘balance of family test’ (at least half of the applicants’ children and step-children must be citizens or permanent Residents in Australia, or more of the main applicants’ children must be settled permanent citizen or residents of Australia than any other single country)
- Applications lodged onshore for both the non-contributory and contributory parent visas require the main applicant to be 66 years of age or older. To lodge an onshore parent application, you must be old enough to receive the age pension in Australia. The pension age will be gradually increased from 66 to 67 years as set out in the table below.
Period within which a person was born Pension Age Changes From 1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956 66 years and 6 months 1 July 20221 From 1 January 1957 onwards 67 years 1 July 2023
- Assurance of support (AoS): Applications for a permanent Parent category visa require an AoS, which is a legal commitment from an individual or organisation to give the applicant financial support, so they do not have to rely on social security payments.
Further Criteria for ‘Contributory’ Aged Parent visa
- The main applicant of this visa must be 66 and a half years of age or older, however, if they have a partner aged younger than this, they can be included as a secondary applicant.
- Health and Character
Your parents will need to meet health and character requirements and will need to undertake a medical assessment, chest x-ray and blood test.
- Assurance of support (AoS)
Applications for a permanent Parent category visa require an AoS, which is a legal commitment from an individual or organisation to give the applicant financial support, so they do not have to rely on social security payment
What is an Assurance of Support?
The Assurance of Support (AoS) is a promise to pay back any income support provided to the visa holder during their initial stay in Australia. The AoS support period differs for each visa type.
- 10 years for Contributory Parent Visas (143 / 86)
- 4 years for Parent Visas (103/804)
This time starts when your visa is granted.
During the AoS period should you experience any financial hardship then the money used to provide you with income will come from the ‘AoS bond.’
An Assurer must:
- Be an adult (ie over 18 years of age);
- Be usually a resident in Australia;
- Have sufficient income to ensure that they can meet any debts if they arise – income, assets, liabilities and spouse’s income may all be relevant to the assessment of the Assurer’s financial status; and
- Be able to provide a notice of assessment issued by the Australian Taxation Commissioner for each of the last two financial years.
3. Visitor visas (Temporary)
For many people, a permanent contributory parent visa may be out of the reach, financially, and the non-contributory visa not practical due to the lengthy processing times.
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 enables longer stays in Australia of up to 12 months in any 18-month period.
Successful cases and legal advice
Nevett Ford Lawyers has assisted many parents successfully settle in Australia with their children. The process requires careful planning and advice from professional immigration lawyers is recommended to help guide you through the legislative requirements to ensure that the desired outcome is achieved.
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