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Australia's Parent Visa: Things you need to know

Parents may be able to migrate to Australia using a Parent Visa if they have a child in Australia who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

Many people who have parents living overseas might want to bring them to Australia either temporarily or permanently.

Migration expert, Navjot Singh Kailay told SBS Punjabi that there are six types of scenarios for parent visa, which fall in contributory, non-contributory and visitor visa categories.

“There are many pathways, but they are either expensive or there’s a very long wait time,” said Mr Kailay.

“Fees for these visas keep changing so I’d recommend everyone to check department website for updates.

To be eligible, parents must have an eligible sponsor, meet health and character requirements and pass the balance of family test.

“To pass the balance of family test, at least half of the parent’s children must either be permanent residents or citizens of Australia," said Mr Kailay.

“Migrants expect things to be better for their parents. But unfortunately it’s turning out to be a money making business when it comes to parents or partner category visa options..

“I was also part of a petition filed for Long stay parental visa. This matter was actively raised during federal elections with strong support from community.

“Government made many promises during election times but none translated to positive outcome.

“It seems like it is not a priority for them as this matter has been dragged for so long now.

Mr Kailay further clarified, “The proposed temporary sponsored parent visa [which is subject to passage of legislation through parliament] is entirely different to the pre-election promise by current Government.”

“Even if the proposed temporary arrangements will come into effect in near future, still the affordable & practical option for extended stay of our parents seems to be far from reality,” he said.

“But at least it is good in the sense that community has raised its voice...something that was never done before.

“Migrants are desperately waiting for Government’s decision on the introduction of a feasible and cost-effective option of temporary sponsored parent visa that could give families an alternative to the current expensive and lengthy visa process for parents.”.

Here are some important links that will help you lodge a visa application:

Sponsors - A sponsor must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen who is 18 years of age or over, has lived in Australia lawfully for some time which is generally for two years before the parents lodge their visa application.

Balance of family test - All applicants for a parent visa must meet the balance of family test, which is designed to determine the extent of applicant’s links to Australia.

The following link provides visa options that allow a parent to either live in Australia as a temporary or permanent resident - Visa options.

Given the ongoing strong demand for this visa processing times might vary between programme years. How long can I stay in Australia on a parent category visa?

Assurance of support (AoS) - Applications for a permanent Parent category visa require an AoS, which is a legal commitment from an individual or organisation to give the applicant financial support so they do not have to rely on social security payments.

Capping and queuing - The Minister for Home Affairs might limit how many people can get a certain type of visa each year. This limiting of visa is called capping.

In the 2017-18 Migration Programme year 1500 places have been allocated to Parent (non-contributory) visas [subclasses 103 and 804] and 7175 places have been allocated to Contributory Parent visas [subclasses 173/143 and subclasses 884/864]. 

For up-to-date information about parent visas visit the Department of Home Affairs Website.

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