The Parent visa is for parents who wish to migrate to Australia to be with their children. The application must be sponsored by one of their children and the child must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is settled in Australia.
On 25 September 2014 the Non-Contributory Parent visas were re-opened to new applications for a limited time. AMVL recommends lodging applications for this category immediately if you to intend to apply.
To be deemed 'settled' an Australian permanent resident must have been residing in Australia for at least 2 years prior to lodgement of the Parent visa application. An Australian citizen must have been residing in Australia for at least 3 months prior to lodgement.
Balance of Family Test
To be eligible to apply for a Parent visa, applicants must meet what is called the 'Balance of Family' (BOF) test. This means the applicants must have:
- At least half of their children living in Australia as permanent residents or Australian Citizens; or
- More children living in Australia as permanent residents or Australian Citizens than in any other single country overseas
There is no age requirement for offshore Parent visa applications.
Parents may apply for an Aged Parent visa in Australia (onshore) only if one parent is at least 65 years of age. If neither parent is old enough, the application must be lodged offshore.
Second Visa Application Charge
There is also a second Visa Application Charge (VAC) payable for all Parent visa applications. This is in addition to the initial lodgement fee and is paid before grant of a visa and is not refunded (unless the visa is refused).
Assurance of Support
An AoS is a legal commitment by an Assurer to repay the Government for certain social security benefits paid to those applicants covered by the bond for the first 10 years of their residence in Australia. At the end of the bond period, the bond amount will be released to the Assurer along with any interest it has earned.
There are two pathways to apply for a Parent visa;
- Standard Parent (non-contributory) - the 'slow/cheap' visa.
- Contributory Parent - the 'fast/expensive' visa.
Standard Parent Visa
This is the slow/cheap visa.
The Parent visa classes are subject to capping, which means that a limited number of them can be approved per financial year. Once all the legal requirements for the grant of a Parent visa are met, applications are placed in a queue for visa grant.
Once in the queue, parents can expect to wait around 25-30 years until their application is ready for a visa decision.
While waiting for an offshore Parent visa to be processed, the parents can apply for a Tourist visa to visit their children in Australia.
Applicants for onshore Aged Parent visas are granted a Bridging Visa to remain in Australia during processing.
The second VAC of AU$2,065.00 per person is payable before the visa is granted.
The Assurance of Support bond is held for two years and costs AU$5,000.00 for the main applicant and AU$2,000.00 for each secondary applicant (over 18 years of age).
Please note that the Standard Parent visa category has been reopened for a very limited time.
Contributory Parent Visa
This is the fast/expensive visa option.
The Contributory Parent visa category also has two different pathways;
- Apply first for a temporary visa, and then convert this to permanent residency after two years - Contributory Parent (Temporary/Provisional).
- Apply directly for permanent residency - Contributory Parent (Permanent/Migrant).
Temporary Contributory Parent
This is an application for a temporary visa valid for two years and incurs a second Visa Application Charge of AU$29,130 per person (AU$2,095 for dependents under 18). Temporary visa holders would have access to Medicare and full work and travel rights. During the two year period on the temporary visa, parents may apply at any time to convert to the permanent visa, at which time the balance VAC must be paid.
Permanent Contributory Parent
This is a direct application for permanent residency and incurs a second Visa Application Charge of AU$43,600 per person (AU$2,095 for dependents under 18). Upon grant, applicants would have access to Medicare and full work and travel rights.
Permanent Contributory Parent visa applicants who were over the age of 18 at lodgement are required to be covered by an Assurance of Support (AoS) bond. The bond amount is AU$10,000 for the main applicant and AU$4,000 for each dependent adult applicant.
Processing times are approximately 18-20 months from the date of lodgement for offshore visas, and 4-6 months for onshore visas.
AMVL Migrations has a dedicated and experienced Family Residence Team who can assist you with your Parent visa application. Please contact our office to discuss your options.