There has been quite a lot of press coverage relating to Australia’s policies on Parent visas.
Unfortunately, much of the coverage has either been misinformed or deliberately inaccurate with claims that Australian citizens or permanent residents wishing to sponsor their parents for entry to Australia may face delays of up to 50 years (ABC 6 July 2023, ‘Parenting Visas face wait times of up to 50 years’, The Guardian 31 July 2023, ‘They will never be granted the visa in their lifetime’).
Sensationalist reporting of this nature without any proper analysis of the Parent visa situation is irresponsible and may lead to some families choosing not to make applications, believing there is no prospect for success.
Australia’s Parent Visa Offerings – a Gateway to Family Reunions
For those looking to bring parents to Australia there is a range of visa options tailored to specific needs and circumstances.
- Parent Visa (Subclass 103): allows parents to live in Australia if they are sponsored by their child who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen,
- Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143): opt for a shorter processing time by choosing this visa which requires a higher application fee but ensures a relatively swift path to family reunions,
- Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa (Subclass 173): for a temporary stay of up to 2 years, this visa serves as a stepping stone to the Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143) after meeting certain requirements,
- Contributory Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 864): similar to the Contributory Parent Visa but directed to parents who are in Australia at time of application and old enough to receive the Australian age pension,
- Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804): also designed for parents already in Australia and eligible for the age pension. Successful applicants are not required to make any contribution to the government following visa grant however it is important to note that the Department of Home Affairs discloses that this subclass and the subclass 103 visas may take at least 29 years (not 50!) To process. Eligible applicants for the subclass 804 visa will be granted a Bridging Visa which permits them to remain in Australia until processing of the application is completed,
- Parent (Temporary) Visa (Subclass 870): an ideal choice for those seeking longer stays with their parents, though it does not lead to permanent residence.
Processing Times – The Real Story Behind the Numbers
While it is true that processing times can be lengthy, the situation is not as dire as the media may lead you to believe.
For non-contributory Parent and Aged Parent visas, the processing time is currently estimated at around 29 years – still a considerable duration, but not the infamous 50 years claimed by some reports! Also, as mentioned above, applicants who apply for the onshore Aged Parent Visa whilst in Australia are entitled to remain in the country until processing of the application is completed.
On the other hand, Contributory visas offer a fast track, currently taking an estimated 12 years from the date of application.
Professional Advice – Your Key to Informed Decisions
Before you abandon the idea of bringing your parents to Australia based on media headlines, take a moment to consider the diverse range of visa options available and if necessary seek appropriate professional advice so as to maximise your ability to make informed decisions that best suit your family’s needs
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