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Family Migration Program – Parent Visas

If you are a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident and looking to unite with your parents in Australia, the Parent Visa program offers you a pathway.

The Parent Visa program provides a range of temporary and permanent visa options including the Aged Parent (subclass 804), Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) (subclass 884) visa, Contributory Aged Parent (Permanent) (subclass 864), Sponsored Parent (Temporary) (subclass 870) visa, Contributory Parent (Temporary) (subclass 173) visa, Contributory Parent (Permanent) (subclass 143) visa and Parent (Permanent) (subclass 103) visa.

The age of the parent determines the visa option available.

If your parent is old enough to receive aged pension in Australia and is applying onshore, then the available options are:

  • Aged Parent (subclass 804) visa
  • Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) (subclass 884) visa
  • Contributory Aged Parent (Permanent) (subclass 864) visa

For a parent applicant who does not meet the above age requirement, the available options are:

  • Sponsored Parent (Temporary) (subclass 870) visa
  • Contributory Parent (Temporary) (subclass 173) visa
  • Contributory Parent (Permanent) (subclass 143) visa
  • Parent (Permanent) (subclass 103) visa

A key difference between the two groups of visa options above is the grant of a Bridging A visa to remain in Australia while the lodged Aged Parent (subclass 804) visa application, Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) (subclass 884) visa application or Contributory Aged Parent (Permanent) (subclass 864) visa application is being processed. There is no bridging visa grant for the second group of parent visa options and the parent applicant must be outside Australia at the time of the visa grant.

All Parent visa applications are subject to capping as there is an annual limit of number of visas that can be granted in each program year.  The demand for Parent visas is greater than the places available so the processing time is long. Parent visa applications are queued by their lodgement date and according to information available on the Department website, the Department is currently processing:

  • Contributory Parent visa applications with a queue date up to June 2017
  • Parent visa applications with a queue date up to November 2011
  • Aged Parent visa applications with a queue date up to January 2013

The temporary parent visas such as the Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) (subclass 884) and Contributory Parent (Temporary) (subclass 173) offer applicants a transition pathway to permanent residence. A Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) (subclass 884) visa holder can apply for the permanent residence Contributory Aged Parent (Permanent) (subclass 864) visa within two years after the grant of the subclass 884 visa. A Contributory Parent (Temporary) (subclass 173) visa holder can apply for Contributory Parent (Permanent) (subclass 143) visa within two years after the grant of the subclass 173 visa.

An Assurance of Support (AoS) is required for some subclasses of parent visa applications before the visa can be granted. An AoS is a legal obligation on the assurer to support the migrant parent and repay any Australian social security payment/s paid to the migrant parent during the AoS period of ten years. An AoS is mandatory for Contributory Aged Parent (Permanent) (subclass 864) visa, Contributory Parent (Permanent) (subclass 143) visa, Aged Parent (subclass 804) and Parent (Permanent) (subclass 103) visa.

There is a significant difference in visa costs for the subclasses of parent visa applications. For instance, the Contributory Parent (Permanent) (subclass 143) visa requires a first visa application charge (VAC) currently set at $4,765 for the primary applicant payable at the time making the visa application and a second VAC currently set at $43,600 before the grant of the visa while the Aged Parent (subclass 804) visa application requires a first VAC of $4990 for the primary applicant and a second VAC of $2,065.  

It can be overwhelming to navigate the range of parent visa options available. You should seek professional advice before you embark on this lengthy and costly journey to bring your elderly parents to Australia.