How to bring my parents to Australia?

As parents grow older, many migrants will start thinking about returning home, either permanently or at least for a while. As an alternative the Australian Department of Home Affairs offers the opportunity to bring parents to Australia.

Here is a quick overview of parent visa options for those who want to bring their parents.

  • The s/c 103 Parent Visa (offshore only)

This is a permanent visa granting the holder the right to move to Australia and stay indefinitely. The holder will be able to access health care and some state benefits. Sadly, this visa has only limited places available and therefore a long waiting list. Applications submitted this year, will take an average of 30 years to be finalized. Due to the long processing time, it’s for most people not very interesting.

  • S/c 143 (permanent) or 173 (provisional) – Contributory Parent Visa (offshore)

These are also subsequently permanent visas granting the same rights as above mentioned Parent Visa. However, these types of parent visas offer applicants the option to bypass the queue by making a one-off contribution to the Australian community. The required payment currently sits at about A$ 43,6000 per applicant. This payment is meant to be a contribution to future cost for healthcare, pensions, etc.

Applying for the s/c 143 Contributory Parent Visa will require payment of the full amount. The s/c 173 Contributory Parent is a provisional visa offering a pathway to permanent residency a few years after lodgement (for the difference between provisional or temporary visas please see here). This second option requires the same payment (A$ 43,600 per person), but it is interesting for people who don’t wish to pay the full amount in one go and rather spread the payment over a few years.

Due to a large number of applications received in recent years, processing times are now at about four years.

Above listed options are offshore only, this means applicants are not permitted to reside in Australia while their visas are being processed. Onshore parent visa options exist only for parents, who have already reached retirement age. By ‘onshore option’ I mean that parents can apply for these visas while they’re in Australia and stay in Australia while Immigration processes their application.

  • S/c 864 Contributory Aged Parent Visa (onshore)

This visa is very similar than the s/c 143 above. The crucial difference is, that applicants need to have reached (Australian) retirement age, be in Australia when they apply and hold a current visa that allows them to lodge a further visa application.

  • S/c 804 Aged Parent Visa (onshore)

Again, this visa is pretty much the same as the s/c 103 above, but only open to applicants who have reached retirement age.

It is the visa with the queue (30 years +), but this version is an onshore application. i.e. applicants can apply for it in Australia and can stay in Australia while they wait for a decision on their parent visa.

The main criteria for all the above visa subclasses are:

  • Balance of family test: must have either equal or more children in Australia, than in any other country.
  • Their sponsoring child in Australia must be either a permanent resident or Australian citizen and have been living in Australia for at least 2 years
  • Parents will also require an Assurer of Support (AoS). Any adult can be an AoS (including the sponsoring child) as long as they have a minimum taxable income. Please note: as part of the AoS process, a bond payment is will be required.

The new s/c 870 temporary parent visa

In April 2019 Immigration opened a new temporary visa pathway for parents. This new visa is not a permanent visa, but only a temporary option, issued for either 3 or 5 years. So, it would be interesting for parents, who are not prepared to leave their home country for good, but who would like to spend extended time with their children in Australia.

There is no balance of family test for this visa and no one-off contribution as such. However, this temporary visa doesn’t come with work rights or access to health cover. So parents will need to have sufficient funds to support themselves and private health cover.

Important: This visa is a strictly temporary visa and has no pathway to permanent residency.

The cost for this visa is either A$ 5000 for a 3-year stay or A$ 10,000 for a 5-year stay.

If you have questions about any of the above-mentioned visas or are unsure if you would qualify, please don’t hesitate to contact a Migration Agent for a consultation. We offer face-to-face appointments in the Winchester Business centre as well as consultation by Zoom, Whatsapp, Phone or Email if this is more convenient.

*** COVID-19 effects on Parent Visas for Australia ***

The Department of Home Affairs has announced to cut the migration intake in the 2020/21 financial year. It’s expected that this will hit predominantly skilled and employer sponsored migration. Family visa are not likely to be directly affected by the reduced numbers.

However, there may well be further delays in processing and the current travel ban does also create additional hurdles for family members. If you’re planning to travel to Australia to visit your family, you need to apply for a travel exemption to do so.
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