How to Get a Parent Visa for Australia

For many people, leaving their old parents behind is one of the toughest parts of moving to a new country to make a better life for themselves. It can be difficult to see our parents get older, but doing so from a distance can often be unbearable. This is why many immigrants look to get a parent visa for Australia once they successfully receive Australian permanent residency or citizenship. If you’re wondering how your parents can move to Australia to be with you, there are a few options.

Temporary Visitor Visas
Permanent visas are expensive, time-consuming and may not always be practical for many families. If you want your parents to visit you for some time, you may apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). Under this visa stream, applicants can visit Australia for up to 12 months to see family or friends.

Temporary Sponsored Parent Visas
Under this visa stream (subclass 870), your parents may be allowed to stay in Australia for 3 to 5 years. This visa pathway requires a second installment of AUD 5,000 to AUD 10,000, depending upon whether the application is for three or five years. However, to be eligible for this visa, your parent must meet the following requirements:

  • They must be sponsored by an Australian citizen or permanent resident (living in Australia for at least two years before the visa lodgement date) or by an eligible New Zealand citizen permanently living in Australia. This sponsor will most likely be you, their child or your spouse/partner.
  • They must meet character, health, public interest and special return requirements.
  • They must hold and maintain valid Australian health insurance for the entirety of the duration of their stay.
  • They must not have any outstanding public health debt in Australia.

Moreover, the sponsor (in this case, you) also needs to meet some requirements, which are:

  • Preapproval as a Parent Sponsor by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Pass the income test. The sponsor’s taxable income for the most recently completed year should be at least AUD 83,454.80. Sponsors are also able to combine their income with their partner who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. However, even if you are combining incomes, the sponsor’s income should be at least 50% of the amount specified.
  • As the sponsor, it is your responsibility to accept legal liability for any public health debt that might be accrued by the parents in Australia.
  • Any additional requirements prescribed by the Department of Home Affairs.

Permanent Parent Visa
This visa type (subclass 103) allows you to bring your parents over to Australia as a permanent resident, provided you are an Australian citizen or holder of permanent residency. However, visa processing times for this type of visa is typically very long (upwards of 20 years). This is because this visa is capped and queued, which means only a limited number of visas are granted each year.

In order to qualify for this visa type, the sponsor must meet the following requirements:

  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Be the applicant’s or applicant’s child’s partner.
  • Must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • Pass the Balance of Family Test*.
  • Meet minimum income requirements.
  • Must complete at least two years in Australia before the visa is lodged.
  • Must not have any outstanding debt against the Australian government at the time of visa lodgment.

Moreover, the parent will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Pass the Balance of Family Test.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
  • Have (a) children who are Australian citizens or permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens.
  • Must not have applied for or hold a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 870) when applying for the visa.
  • Must possess proof of relationship with the sponsor.

The benefit of this type of visa is that your parents are not only allowed to live in Australia permanently, but are also entitled to work and study rights, subsidized healthcare through Medicare, and the ability to sponsor dependents or other family members for permanent residency in Australia.

*Balance of Family Test:
The Balance of Family Test checks a parent’s ties to Australia. This is usually tested by how many of their children or step-children are currently residing in Australia and hold citizenship or permanent residency. A parent may meet the requirements of this test if:

  • At least half of their living children or stepchildren are residents or citizens of Australia,
  • More of their children live in Australia than in any other country.

There are several other pathways through which you may be able to bring your parents to Australia. These include:

  • Subclass 173
  • Subclass 143
  • Subclass 804
  • Subclass 884
  • Subclass 864.

The right visa type for your circumstances will differ. To maximize your chances of getting your visa approved and bringing your parents onshore, get in touch with a registered migration agent in Brisbane to help you with your application.

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