How to bring parents to Australia

There are several different types of parent visas, with various time frames and requirements. Let’s take a look at all six scenarios involving parent visas that can lead to bringing both or one of your parents over to Australia, for a family sponsorship.

Australian Parent category visas

If you meet the requirements below, you might be eligible to apply for a parent visa:

  • you have a child who is an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or an eligible New Zealand citizen
  • your child has been living lawfully in Australia for the last 2 years before your visa allocation was lodged
  • you have a sponsor (most likely your child)
  • you must meet the criteria for the Balance of Family test (explained more below)
  • you can meet the health and character requirements

How long can you stay in Australia on a parent category visa?

It will depend of the subclass of parent visa you apply for, but a parent category visa can allow you to, either :

  1. be a temporary resident in Australia for up to 10 years (870 visa- does not require meeting balance of family test)
  2. get you Australian permanent residency

Family Sponsorship Australia information

You must have a sponsor to apply for a parent category visa to live in Australia as a permanent or temporary resident. Your sponsor needs to be an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen who:

  • is 18 years old or over
  • has resided in Australia legally for at least 2 years prior to the parent lodging their visa application
  • There are special preparations for a sponsor under the age of 18. If your child or step-child has not yet turned 18, someone else may act as a sponsor as long as they are 18 years old or over and are a settled Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or an eligible New Zealand citizen. These could include:
  • the live-in partner (or spouse) of your child or step-child
  • someone who is a relative or guardian of your child or step-child
  • someone who is a relative or guardian or the live-in partner (or spouse) of your child or step-child
  • a community organization

Balance of family test

If you are a parent applying for a parent category visa, you must meet the balance of family test. This test was designed to determine the degree of your links to Australia.

You will meet the requirements for the balance of family test if:

  1. at minimum half of your children live permanently in Australia
  2. you have more children living in Australia than anywhere else

Your visa options for family sponsorship to Australia via Parent Visa

How do you figure out which visa option is right for you?

The following scenarios should help you decide which parent category visa to apply for, given your current circumstances.

Are you applying outside or in Australia? 

If you are outside Australia:

Parent Visa (subclass 103)

Parent Visa (subclass 103)

  • You are currently outside Australia
  • You have a child who currently lives in Australia
  • You wish to become a permanent Australian resident
  • a parent must have a sponsor
  • a parent must be able to meet the balance of family test requirements
  • a parent must must meet health and character requirements
  • Could take up to 30 years for processing

Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 173)

Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 173)

  • You are currently outside of Australia
  • You have a child who is currently in Australia
  • You want to reside in Australia as a temporary resident for up to 2 years
  • You must be prepared to pay a higher visa application charge for quicker processing
  • In order to apply for the Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 173), a parent must:
  • Be able to meet the requirements for health and character
  • Have a sponsor
  • Can meet the balance of family test requirements

Contributory Parent (Migrant) visa (subclass 143)

Contributory Parent (Migrant) visa (subclass 143)

  • This is a permanent visa.
  • AUD47,455 for each parent
  • Processing times: 2-3 years
  • stay in Australia indefinitely as a permanent resident and sponsor eligible relatives to come to Australia
  • travel to and from Australia for 5 years before you need a Resident Return visa
  • work and study in Australia

You must

  • be sponsored by an eligible Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • meet the balance-of-family test plus our character and health requirement
  • have an Assurance of Support

Sponsored Parent 870 Visa

Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa applicants must:

  • be sponsored by a person who is an approved parent sponsor
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be outside Australia (unless invited in writing to apply by the Department), for at least 90 days if the applicant holds or has previously held a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa
  • be an Australian citizen/permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who has been usually resident in Australia for four years
  • provide evidence of health insurance
  • not have an outstanding public health debt (unless appropriate arrangements have been made to repay the debt)
  • satisfy health, character, and national security requirements.
  • sponsors will need to have a taxable income of at least $83,454.80
  • Unlike permanent Parent visas, there is no Balance of Family Test requirement for this visa, meaning a visa applicant is not required to have more than half of their children residing in Australia.

The visa application charge is:

  • $5,000 for a visa of up to three years’ duration; or
  • $10,000 for a visa of up to five years’ duration.

If you are in Australia:

Aged Parent (Residence) visa (subclass 804)

Aged Parent (Residence) visa (subclass 804)

  • Processing time approx 10-15 years, in some cases this can be fast tracked
  • Application fees are currently AUD 6100
  • Must meet the aged requirement at the time of application
  • You must be in Australia at time of applying for this visa
  • If you are inside Australia you must have no restrictions to apply for this visa
  • This visa can only be granted if you are outside Australia
  • Health and character requirements for all applicants arerequired at time of lodgement and in some cases at a later date
  • An assurance of support bond is required for 2 years
  • A Bridging visa is available to remain in Australia however there will be no work or study rights

Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 884)

Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 884):

  • You are currently in Australia
  • You have a child currently residing in Australia
  • You wish to live in Australia in Australia as a temporary resident for up to 2 years
  • You meet the age requirements
  • You are prepared to pay a higher amount for visa application charges so you can have quicker processing
  • In order to apply a parent must:
  • Currently meet the age requirements
  • Can meet the balance of family test
  • Has an approved sponsor (child)

Contributory Aged Parent (Residence) visa (subclass 864)

Contributory Aged Parent Visa (subclass 864)

  • You are currently in Australia
  • You have a child currently residing in Australia
  • You wish to become an Australian permanent resident
  • You currently meet the age requirements
  • You are prepared to pay a larger sum for your visa application charges
  • In order to apply for the Contributory Aged Parent Visa (subclass 864), a parent must:
  • Have a sponsor (their child most likely)
  • Meet the requirement for age
  • Can meet the balance of family test
  • Is able to prove health and character requirements
  • Can obtain an assurance of support

Do you currently hold a Contributory Aged Parent Visa (subclass 864)? Do you wish to stay in Australia on a permanent basis? You can apply for the Permanent Contributory Aged Parent Visa (subclass 864) before your current temporary visa expires.

Assurance of support

An assurance of support will be required for any applicants applying for a permanent Parent category visa. This assurance is a legal commitment from an individual or organisation stating that they will give you financial support so you do not have to solely rely on social security payments. This assurance will include you and anyone else included in your visa application (such as, family members).

Who can give assurance of support?

This can be your sponsor (person or organisation) or someone else currently an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. A joint assurance of support can be given, with up to three people included to assist you in your family migration to Australia.

Capping and queuing

The age requirement was mentioned in some of the Parent category visas above, so let’s look at what the age requirement will be.

This requirement to be an “Aged Parent” is only needed for the main applicant for an onshore parent category visa. An “Aged Parent” is one who is old enough to qualify for an Australian age pension. To apply for a parent visa which includes the word “Aged” in the title, only one parent has to meet the age requirement.
PLEASE NOTE: This does not mean you will be granted the age pension in Australia if you are an aged parent. There will be a waiting period of 10 years before you can receive the pension (unless there is a reciprocal agreement with another country which will pay you the pension). This period of 10 years will continue even if you become an Australian citizen.

Please complete our Parent visa assessment form to determine your eligibility. Seekvisa are industry leaders and your trusted migration agents and immigration lawyers in Melbourne with offices across Australia.