An Australian Parent visa (Permanent) (104, 143 and 173 visa) application may be lodged by an applicant of any age while the applicant is inside or outside Australia. However, applicants are not entitled to a bridging visa and must be outside Australia at the time the visa is granted.
The parent needs to have more children permanently resident in Australia than children living in any other single country. Amongst other criteria, parent applicants must also meet health and character criteria.
There are two visa categories for parents wishing to migrate to Australia:
- the Parent category
- the Contributory Parent category.
The main differences between the two categories are summarised below:
- the number of places allocated to the Contributory Parent visa are higher and therefore they are processed substantially quicker than Parent Visas
- Contributory Parent visa applicants pay a much larger second application charge and a larger Assurance of Support bond.
Am I eligible for a Parent or Contributory Parent Visa?
- I am the parent of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- I have at least 50% of my children permanently settled in Australia
- My Australian citizen or permanent child has spent at least 2 years living in Australia
- I meet the health and character requirements.
The initial outcome of this visa application is that the applicant is placed on a queue. Once they reach the head of the queue, their permanent resident visa is granted provided they continue to meet the health requirements. Once granted, this visa allows parents to remain in Australia permanently with their children.
Applicants for the Parent Visa must meet health requirements at the time of lodgement and again at the time of visa grant. Once an applicant has a permanent resident visa, they will have full access to Medicare. The processing time from the date of visa application to being placed on the queue can vary but is approximately 48 months. The queue is then approximately 25-30 years.
All Parent Visa applicants must obtain an Assurance of Support before the visa can be granted. This is a legal commitment by the ‘Assurer’ to provide financial support to the applicant and repay to the government the amount of any welfare payments made to the applicant within the first 2 years after the applicant is granted the visa. The Assurer makes an appointment with Centrelink when instructed to do so by DOHA.
In addition to the Assurance of Support, the ‘Assurer’ must lodge a security bond with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. For an Aged Parent Visa this bond is $7,000 for a couple (or $5,000 for a single applicant). It is refundable 2 years after the grant of the permanent resident visa. If any social security is claimed during the 2-year period, it may be deducted from the bond.
Because of long waiting periods, applicants may choose to apply for a Contributory Parent Visa where applicants (or their sponsor) pay a much larger second visa instalment of $43,600 EACH and a larger Assurance of Support bond. Applicants (or their sponsor) are contributing to Government revenue and helping to offset some costs placed on the community by parent migration. The Government also limits the number of places available for Contributory parents each year, but there are more places available so the waiting period for grant of a Contributory parent visa is much shorter.
Current processing times are a guide only, and for this type of visa an expected processing time would be at least 60 months.
The ‘Assurer’ must provide financial support to the applicant and repay to the government the amount of any welfare payments made to the applicant within the first 10 years after the applicant enters Australia. The security bond for this visa is $14,000 for a couple and $10,000 for a single applicant. The bond is refundable after 10 years. If any social security is claimed during the 10-year period, it may be deducted from the bond
What does this visa allow me to do?
- Reside in Australia indefinitely with my family who were included in the application
- Travel in and out of Australia for the five years from the date the visa is granted. Thereafter I would need to apply for a Resident Return Visa
- Work and study in Australia – if I choose to
- Buy property with the same terms and conditions as Australian citizens
- Enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
- Apply for Australian citizenship (once I am eligible) by completing the residence requirements in Australia
- Sponsor eligible relatives who are eligible to meet a family visa (for example, parent, child, partner (after 5 years) etc) or certain skilled regional visas (subclass 491).