I'm Happy in Australia But Miss My Parents, Can They Join Me?

Each year thousands of people make the agonising decision to say goodbye to their parents and migrate to Australia indefinitely. But this doesn’t have to be the case, as there are number of options that allow parents to visit their children in Australia, or migrate to Australia permanently. Today we’re looking at these options in more detail, and also discussing some new options that will soon be available.

Subclass 601 - Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)

An ETA is a great way for parents from ETA eligible countries to travel to Australia and visit their family. It’s a temporary visa that is valid for up 12 months from the date of grant, and allows the holder to remain in Australia for up to 3 months after each entry. Whilst in Australia the visa holder is unable to work.

  • Time of application: Must be outside of Australia
  • Time of grant: Must be outside of Australia
  • Visa application charge: Free
  • Current processing time: 1 day

Current ETA eligible countries:   

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vatican City

Subclass 600 – Visitor Visa

A Visitor visa is an inexpensive way for parents from non-ETA eligible countries to visit their family in Australia. There are currently 5 streams: Tourist, Business Visitor, Sponsored Family, Approved Destination Status and Frequent Traveller. Like the ETA it’s a temporary visa that is valid for up 12 months from the date of grant, and allows the holder to remain in Australia for up to 3 months after each entry. Whilst in Australia the visa holder is unable to work.

  • Time of application: Tourist Stream can be inside or outside of Australia, all other streams must be outside of Australia
  • Time of grant: If applicant inside of Australia at time of application must be in Australia, if applicant outside of Australia at time of application must be outside of Australia
  • Visa application charge: $140 for applicants outside of Australia, and $345 for applicants inside of Australia
  • Current processing time: Between 4 days and 67 days (depending on the stream)

Subclass 600 – Visitor Visa: Frequent Traveller Stream

The Australian Government is currently trialling a frequent traveller visitor visa which can be granted for up to 10 years, and allows the holder to remain in Australia for up to 3 months after each entry. Currently only Chinese passport holders are eligible for this visa, and the number of visas being granted is limited. However, the frequent traveller stream may be extended in the future to include passport holders from other countries. Whilst in Australia the visa holder is unable to work.

  • Time of application: Must be outside of Australia
  • Time of grant: Must be outside of Australia
  • Visa application charge: $1020
  • Current processing time: Approximately 12 days

Parent Visa and Contributory Parent Visa

A Parent visa or Contributory Parent visa allows a settled Australia citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to sponsor their parents. Children under the age of 18 can sponsor their parents through a relative, guardian or a community organisation. 

The dilemma with Parent visas is whether you pay the high application charges (currently a minimum of $47300) for the Contributory Parent visa and have PR within 3 years; or do you wait 30 years for a standard Parent visa to be processed and live on a Bridging visa in the meantime.  

All Parent visas and Contributory Parent visas require the applicant to pass a balance of family test, which means that an equal or greater number of their children are Australian, in comparison to their non-Australian children.

A mandatory assurance of support (AoS) is required for all permanent Parent visas and Contributory Parent visas. This is a financial bond which is paid by an assurer to provide financial support to the migrating parent. This means that they don’t have to rely on social welfare payments, which are normally at the cost of the Australian community. The assurer does not necessarily have to be the sponsor of the parent.

AoS Bond Amounts

  • For permanent Parent visas and Aged Parent visas the AoS bond is currently $5000 for the main applicant and $2000 for any adult secondary applicants. The bond is held for 2 years.
  • For permanent Contributory Parent visas and Aged Contributory Parent visas the AoS bond is currently $10000 for the main applicant and $4000 for any adult secondary applicant. The bond is held for 10 years.  
  • Note: If the assurer is an organisation a bond of $10000 is required for each applicant.

Subclass 103 – Parent Visa (Permanent)

  • Time of application: Must be in Australia
  • Time of grant: Must be outside of Australia
  • Visa application charge: $3945
  • Second instalment: $2065 (due at the time of grant)
  • Current processing time: Up to 30 years

Subclass 804 – Aged Parent Visa (Permanent)

An aged parent must be old enough to receive an aged pension in Australia, this is currently 65 years and 6 months old.  

  • Time of application: Must be in Australia
  • Time of grant: Must be in Australia
  • Visa application charge: $3945
  • Second instalment: $2065 (due at the time of grant)
  • Current processing time: Up to 30 years

Subclass 173 – Contributory Parent (Temporary)

This is a temporary visa allowing the holder to stay in Australia for up to 2 years.

  • Time of application: Can be inside or outside Australia
  • Time of grant: Must be in Australia
  • Visa application charge: $2540
  • Second instalment: $29130 (due at the time of grant)
  • Current processing time: Not currently known due to the low volume of applications

Subclass 143 – Contributory Parent (Permanent)

  • Time of application: If holding a subclass 173 visa must be in Australia, otherwise can be inside or outside of Australia
  • Time of grant: If holding a subclass 173 visa can be inside or outside of Australia, otherwise must be outside of Australia
  • Visa application charge: If holding a subclass 173 visa $330, otherwise $3770
  • Second instalment: If holding a subclass 173 visa $19240, otherwise $43600 (due at the time of grant)
  • Current processing time: 75% of applications processed within 33 months, 90% processed within 35 months

Subclass 884 – Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary)

An aged parent must be old enough to receive an aged pension in Australia, this is currently 65 years and 6 months old. This is a temporary visa allowing the holder to stay in Australia for up to 2 years.

  • Time of application: Must be in Australia
  • Time of grant: Must be in Australia
  • Visa application charge: $3770
  • Second instalment: $29130 (due at the time of grant)
  • Current processing time: Not currently known due to the low volume of applications

Subclass 864 – Contributory Aged Parent

An aged parent must be old enough to receive an aged pension in Australia, this is currently 65 years and 6 months old.  

  • Time of application: Must be in Australia
  • Time of grant: Must be in Australia
  • Visa application charge: If holding a subclass 173 visa $330, otherwise $3770
  • Second instalment: If holding a subclass 173 visa $19240, otherwise $43600 (due at the time of grant)
  • Current processing time: Not currently known due to the low volume of applications

Bridging Visa for Parents

Any applicant that holds a substantive visa and applies for another visa onshore is automatically granted a Bridging visa A, which allows them to remain in Australia while their visa application is being processed. Applicants for the Aged Parent (subclass 804), Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary – Subclass 884) and Contributory Aged Parent (subclass 864) aren’t subject to any visa conditions, which means they are able to work full time in Australia. A holder of a Bridging visa A must pay an additional $145 for a Bridging visa B to allow them to travel overseas, otherwise they won’t be able to re-enter Australia.   

Introduction of the Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa

On the 5th of May 2017 the Assistant Minister for Immigration announced that a new temporary sponsored Parent visa will be introduced. The original introduction date was the 1st of July 2017, however the bill is still before the senate and if it passes it should be introduced in late 2017.

The new visa will be available to parents or step parents of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens. Only one set of parents per household will be able to be sponsored at a time. A step parent will only be able to apply if they’re in a spousal or de facto relationship with a biological parent of the sponsoring Australian child. It will be a two stage application process where the sponsor first needs to be approved before the visa application can be made.

Visa Application Charges:

  • $10000 for a 5 year visa
  • $5000 for a 3 year visa

The visa holder will be required to hold approved health insurance for the duration of their stay. The visa holder cannot work on this visa. The balance of family test will not apply. This new visa will not replace the existing parent visas.

Stay tuned for updates.

 

Are you missing your parents? 

Would you like them to join you in Australia?