Currently there are two main types of Permanent Residence Parent Visa options, the Non-Contributory and the Contributory Parent Visas. Within these, depending upon eligibility, these can be applied for either Onshore (inside Australia) or Offshore. 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. If not eligible for the permanent residence Parent visa there are also a range of Temporary Visa options for Parents .
Note if applying for an 'Aged' Parent visa, the main applicant must be of pensionable age. As of the 1st July 2017 the main applicant must be 65.6 years of age (Expected to increase to 66 in July 2019).
Visas for Parents: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 the Dept of Home Affairs suggesting waiting periods for the Contributory Parent visas, for example 2 to 3 years (varies over time) and Non-Contributory visas of 10 to 50 years.
This page provides a brief overview of the visas available
Selection Criteria:Selection criteria for all Parent Visa applications include that the "balance of family" test be met, based upon the countries of residency of the applicant's 'eligible' children (NB includes adopted/step-children) 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.
Eligibiliy:As with all visas applicants must meet eligibility criteria:
- Balance of Family test ie: at least half of your children are 'eligible children' - Australian permanent residents living in Australia, Australian Citizens or eligible New Zealand citizens).
- Require Sponsorship and an Assurance of Support from a child “settled” in Australia
- Applicants must satisfy Health and Character requirements. Both at the time of application and time the application is decided.
- 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 plan well in advance. Many people do not consider a parent visa until the parent is in need of their support and processing times may then impact on when the parent can move.
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 65.5 years of age, can be applied for onshore
- Non-Contributory Parent and Aged Parent: the equivalent of the above but with lower application costs (but note the processing times!)
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.
- An individual's circumstances may change over time. Given the longer processing times this may impact on being able to meet the selection criteria and result in the visa being refused.
- Importantly, especially if looking at the less expensive non-contributory visas, whether the visa applicant will continue to meet the health requirement during processing and at the time the visa is decided.
Not eligible for a parents visa:If not eligible for the permanent residence Parent visa there are also a range of Temporary Visa options for Parents . You might also look to see if any of the Family visas may provide an option?
A parent may also be eligible for another visa? Depending upon their age: are skilled, employer nominated or business visas an option? 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.