As Father’s Day approaches, many of us are reminded of the deep and unbreakable bonds of family. For those with parents living overseas, this day can be bittersweet. Australia offers avenues to reunite with your loved ones, however, through the Parent Visa programme. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering helping your parents migrate to Australia.
1. Visa Options for Parents
a. Parent Visa (Subclass 103)
A permanent visa option that allows parents to live in Australia if the ‘balance of family’ test is met, that is, they have at least half their children living permanently and lawfully in Australia as Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents, one of whom will sponsor the parents.
b. Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804)
Similar to the Parent visa, this visa is for older parents whose age qualifies them for an Australian aged pension. They must still meet the balance of family test and be sponsored by one of their Australian children.
c. Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 173 & 143)
For parents who meet the balance of family test and are sponsored by one of their Australian children, but who have the funds, this visa allows the parents to ‘jump the queue’ and obtain their residence visas much more quickly than the Parent subclasses.
d. Sponsored Temporary Parent Visa (Subclass 870)
The Subclass 870 visa is a temporary visa which allows a parent of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia for up to three or five years. Parents do not need to have the balance of family living in Australia.
e. Tourist Visa (subclass 600)
For many, the permanent parent visa is too costly, takes too long or parents may not have the balance of family living in Australia. A Tourist visa can be the perfect solution. Australian permanent residents and citizens can invite their parents to stay for up to 12 months within an 18-month period.
2. Key Australian Parent Visa Criteria Defined
a. The Balance-of-Family Test
The Balance of Family Test is crucial for Parent Visa applicants. It requires the parent(s) to have at least half of their children living permanently and lawfully in Australia as permanent residents or citizens.
b. Assurance of Support
Permanent visa categories require an Assurance of Support to be provided by an Australian person who will guarantee that the applicants ill not claim any social security or, if they do, these amounts will be deducted from the AoS bond.
c. Health & Character Requirements
Applicants must undergo health examinations and meet specific character requirements, including police checks from each country they’ve lived in for 12 months or more in the past 10 years. As parents age, health issues creep in. Having a disease or condition that will require significant cost or use of services in short supply, will lead to refusal.
3. Waiting Periods & Costs for the Australian Parent Visa
There are several classes of Parent visas which fall into two major categories – non-contributory and contributory. They may also be classified on the basis of an applicant’s age; and temporary and permanent residence. Depending on the visa option you select, processing times can vary considerably as will cost. A non-contributory visa will have lower costs, but significant processing times. Contributory visas will have the opposite outcome.
- Parent Visa: The processing time can be up to 30 years
- Contributory Parent Visas: Faster processing times (up to twelve years), but they come with a higher cost, approximately $48 365 per parent.
Parents need their child (or another eligible sponsor) to sponsor them for the visa. The sponsor must be:
- An Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
- Settled in Australia (lawfully and usually resident)
- Able to provide financial and social support to their parents – the period being dependent on the visa applied for.
5. Application Process
Time vs Cost. Temporary vs Permanent. These choices can be confusing.
At Aspire Australia, your Migration SuperHero will develop an appropriate strategy for your family’s specific needs.
Our 7 step process includes:
- MAP: Migration Action Plan: Ensure you meet the criteria before starting the process. It is at this point we create your Migration Action Plan that gives you all the information you need in relation to the journey ahead.
- Crafting your Case: Once we have mapped out your or your parents Australian visa journey and requirements, you’ll receive a tailored Start-up Kit to help you gather the data and documents we need to prepare your application so that it is decision-ready. We then prepare the necessary documents, such as identity papers, relationship proof, health and character checks. We want to make sure that you have a watertight application.
- Close the Gaps: We ensure your application is decision-ready by examining and assessing your documents and letting you know where there are gaps. We help you fill those gaps and, when we’ve got it all together, we’ll quality check your application, and send it to you for a final pre-lodgement check before we submit.
- Submission: Once submitted, there will be a waiting period. Processing times vary depending on the visa type and application volume. We do everything we can to ensure that your application is decision-ready.
- The Bridge: We stay with you every step of the way until a decision is made, keeping you in the loop and liaising with the Department of Home Affairs as needed.
- Celebration: Imagine your phone lighting up with a call from us, letting you know that your application has been approved! We’ll explain the outcome to you, answer your questions and provide any additional advice that you need.
- In the Loop: We’ll be there to continue your or your parent’s Australian journey. We schedule reminders for important dates such as visa expiry as well as help you with the process of taking the next step, whether that is further travel or Aussie citizenship.
So as we approach Father’s Day, now is the time to take action and kick off the process of reuniting with your parents. Australia’s family reunion programme offers options to make this dream a reality. If you’re looking to navigate this process seamlessly, engaging Aspire Australia to guide and assist you will be invaluable in ensuring a smooth journey towards reuniting with your family, here in your new home, Australia!