Parent Visa enables parents of children who are Australian citizens or permanent residents to be sponsored for permanent residence in Australia.
Parents of Australian citizen or permanent residents may be eligible for long-stay visitor visas for parents, and this may be an option worth considering.
Duration and Conditions
Apart from the contributory parent (temporary) visa, all parent visas are permanent visas.
The main criteria are as follows:
The parent must be sponsored by a child who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. The sponsor must be "settled" - generally the sponsor would need have been lawfully resident in Australia for at least 2 years.
The applicant must pass the "balance of family test". That is, the number of children who are lawfully and permanently resident in Australia must be:
Greater than, or equal to, the total number of children who are resident overseas; or
Greater than the greatest number of children who are resident in any single overseas country.
The Australian government has introduced "contributory" parent visa categories, which require the payment of a high application fee to cover medical expenses
From 2 June 2014, the lower cost "non-contributory" parent visa subclasses were closed to new applications. It is no longer possible to apply for non-contributory parent visas. The non-contributory subclasses were reopened in October 2014, but it is not clear how long they will be open for.
There are two types of contributory parent visa:
Contributory Parent (Permanent): This is a permanent visa which is generally processed within 18 months. Total cost for the application is over $40,000 per parent
Contributory Parent (Temporary): This is a 2-year temporary visa which is about half the cost of the permanent contributory parent. Applicants would generally look at applying for a permanent contributory parent visa within the 2-year validity of the visa. The total cost of applying is approximately the same as a permanent contributory parent visa, but it is split over two visa applications.
Do I Apply in Australia or Overseas?
In general, parent visas must be applied for outside Australia. However, it is possible to apply for an aged parent visa from within Australia. In order to do so, at least one of the applicants must be aged 65 or over.
If the application is lodged in Australia, the applicants will be able to remain in Australia on bridging visas whilst their applications for parent visas are being processed.