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There are several parent visas available in Australia, but they are either expensive or there’s a very long wait time.
It’s the cheapest option, at around $6000 for the main applicant and $2000 for the dependant spouse. Since there’s only a limited amount granted each year, the wait list is extremely long, up to 30 years.
To be eligible, parents must have a 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 reside permanently in Australia.
Contributory visas are processed more quickly (under two years), but they are more expensive. For a permanent visa, it costs almost $50 000 in total.
To be eligible, parents must have a sponsor, meet health and character requirements, pass the balance of family test and have an assurance of support. The assurance of support is a legal commitment from the sponsor to give their financial support.
Read more here.
Visas for working age parents
If the parents are still working, they can apply for the 173 or 884 temporary visas. They cost between $20 000 and $32 000, and will allow them to work in Australia for two years with access to Medicare. They could then switch to the 143 permanent visa, for an additional $20 000.
Other option: Visitor visas
For parents who don’t have at least half of their children living in Australia, their main option is the Visitor visa subclass 600.
It allows them to visit for up to a year and cost up to $1000. But after the year is up, parents will have to go back to their country for at least six months before re-applying for another 12 months visitor visa.
A new temporary visa might be coming
There soon might be one more option for parents who don’t pass the balance of family test.
The government announced last month a new temporary parent visa which could let applicants stay in Australia for up to ten years and would cost up to $20 000. On top of that, the child/sponsor will have to pay for private health insurance and act as financial guarantor on any extra healthcare costs.
The visa wouldn’t be a pathway to residency and the parents would have to leave Australia after the ten years is up.
This new temporary sponsored parent visa still needs to be voted in. If it passes in Parliament, it could be implemented by the end of the year.
For up-to-date information about parent visas and exact prices, visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website.