There are currently two main Parent Visa options, the Non-Contributoy and the Contributory Parent Visas and these can be applied for either Onshore or Offshore. These visas enable parents to migrate to Australia to live closer to their children. As with all visas applications there are a range of selection criteria that must be met, these and other factors may influence your choice of visa.
In June 2014 the Australian government withdrew several visa options: the non-contributory parent visa, as well as some family visas (Non-contributory Parent, Carer, Last Remaining Relative, Aged Dependent). However, this decision was reversed on 25 September 2014, when a motion to disallow the cessation of these visas was successful and the Non-Contributory Parent and Other Family visas (Carer, Last Remaining Relative, Aged Dependent), were re-opened. Please note that this may only be for a limited period of time should the government seek to close them again.
Selection criteria for all Parent Visa applications include that the “balance of family” test be met, requiring 50%, or more, of the applicant’s children (includes step-children) to be usually resident in Australia. Plus, the parent’s sponsoring child must be a “settled” permanent resident of Australia.
Do you meet the ‘balance of family’ and ‘settled’ tests? If not see below as there may be other Visa options.
Visas for Parents & Family:
Leaving parents, family and friends behind is one of the hardest parts of migrating. Whilst Skype and Emails may be really useful communications tools, they cannot replace actual contact. Plus, we may want our parents closer so that we can care for them as they get older. As with several visas classes the parent visas are subject to yearly quota’s and applicants are placed within a queuing system. The demand and limited number of places has resulted in current waiting periods for the Contributory Parent visas, from 18 months to 2 years.
As with all visas applicants must meet eligibility criteria:
- Balance of Family test ie: at least half of your children are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens resident within Australia.
- Require Sponsorship and an Assurance of Support from a child “settled” in Australia
- Applicants must satisfy Health and Character requirements
- A decision to refuse to grant a parent visa can be reviewed.
Consider options for parents well in advance:
There is no lower age limit for parent visas, therefore given the time factors involved it makes sense to develop a strategy and plans well in advance. Many people do not consider a parent visa until the parent is in need of their support.
Visas options available:
NB: Where eligible aged parents may be able to apply for their visa whilst in Australia.
- Contributory Parent no lower age limit, must be applied for offshore
- Contributory Aged Parent the main visa applicant must be over 65 years of age, can be applied for onshore
- Non-Contributory Parent and Aged Parent the equivalent of the above but without the high application cost, note these visas may potentially be ceased again, see above discussion
Pros & Cons:
The positives and negatives of each visa option should be weighed up against the individuals circumstances. For example:
- Subject to eligibility some visas can be applied for onshore, permitting the parent can remain in Australia whilst awaiting the visa.
- The length of wait for a visa.
- Individual’s circumstances may change over time.
- Will the applicants still meet the health requirement by the time the visa is granted.
Not eligible for a parents visa:
You may be eligible for another visa type in your own right?
Depending upon your age skilled, employer or business visas. There is an investor retirement visa option, which may be useful if you wish to live with your family in Australia but they do not currently meet the sponsorship requirements.
Longer Tourist Visas for Parents:
Parents of Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents may be eligible to apply for an extended Tourist visa of up to 5 years providing stays of up to 12 months within an 18 month period. As with all visas selection criteria and the visa conditions attached to the visa mean that this option should be balanced against the longer term aims of the individual.