1. There are contributory and non-contributory parent visas
While a non-contributory visa may only cost around $5,900 you could wait 18 – 30 years for approval. A contributory visa costs between $45,000 and $55,000 overall per parent but will be granted within two years.
2. Medical and characters tests
You have to pass health and character tests when you apply for a visa and again when the visa is granted.
3. Other options for working-age parents
Parents can apply for a 173 or 884 temporary visa which costs $29,130 and will grant them two years to live in Australia with full access to Medicare and full time work. They can use these two years to save the additional $19,000 required to switch to a permanent subclass 143 contributory visa.
4. Parent visa applicants need a sponsor who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
You also need to prove that you’re settled here, usually for at least two years. Visa applicants must also satisfy the balance of family test which proves most of their family lives in Australia.
5. You must provide an Assurance of Support
An Assurance of Support is a government bond held in Centrelink. Contributory visa applicants deposit a $10,000 bond for the main applicant and $4,000 for the secondary applicant and the bond will be held by Centrelink for 10 years. Non-contributory visa applicants put in $5,000 for the main applicant and $2,000 for the secondary applicant and the bond stays with Centrelink for two years.
While over 40,000 parents are waiting for the slower non-contributory visas, only 1500 places will be offered this financial year. The higher cost contributory visa has 7175 places to be filled.
For more information on parent visa options, visit The Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.
Settlement Guide: parent visas cost time and money
Obtaining a parent visa in Australia can be a long and costly exercise. Over 40 thousand parents are currently on a 30-year-long waiting list for permanent residency. It is little wonder many families are opting to jump the queue by paying a higher price.