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How to get a parent Visa in Australia

How do I get a parent visa for Australia?


(a) Parent Visas, comprising of the following subclasses:

Parent Visas (Migrant) Class AX, subclass 103 – Offshore

Aged Parent (Residence) Class BS, subclass 804 – Onshore


(b) Contributory Parent Visas, comprising of the following subclasses:

Contributory Parent (Migrant) Class CA, subclass 143 – Offshore

Contributory Parent (Temporary) Class UT, subclass 173

Contributory Aged Parent (Residence) Class DG, subclass 864

Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Class UU, subclass 884


(c) Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa, Class GH, subclass 870

They must also satisfy all the necessary Schedule 1 and 2 criteria, the ‘balance of family test’, the “aged” requirements (if relevant) as well as the health and character requirements.

All parent visas and contributory parent visas must be applied for offshore unless a concession period applies, the exceptions being, the “Aged” parent visa, “Aged Contributory” Parent and the Permanent Contributory parent visa where the applicant is onshore and holds corresponding temporary contributory parent visa.

(a) Parent Visas:

Longer processing period

Significantly lower costs including second visa application charge

Lower Assurance of Support bond and a much shorter Assurance of Bond period (2 years)

(b) Contributory Parent Visas:

Significantly higher second visa application charge

Significantly shorter waiting time for grant

Higher Assurance of Support Bond period and higher bond

The Migration Act contains provisions which allow the Minister to cap the numbers of visas that are granted in a financial year. Section 85 of the Migration Act indicates that certain visas may be subject to capping and queuing and Parent visas are subject to Direction No. 62 which allows prioritising applications in the context of planning levels for the financial year.

The cap only ever applies to that particular year so it may change from year to year. When the numbers for the cap is reached, and no further visas are granted for the rest of the program year, applicants are placed in a queue and are allocated a place once a place becomes available.

The differences between an onshore and offshore application is described below with an examination of each visa subclass.


Must meet the “aged” requirement at the time of application.

Must meet health and character requirements prior to queuing.


“Aged requirement” does not apply

Do not have to meet health and character requirements prior to queuing

“Aged” Any parent visa that contains the word “aged” requires that the applicant must be old enough to be granted the Australian aged pension under Social Security Act 1991. There is a slight difference between men and women. The qualifying age is 65 for men and 64 for women.

Balance of Family” Test Reg 1.03 provides balance of family test has the meaning set out in Reg 1.05. This test must be met before a parent, aged parent, contributory or aged contributory parent visa application is successful. The test requires the following to be proven:

• At least half the children are lawfully and permanently resident in Australia including Eligible New Zealand Citizens who are usually resident in Australia

• More children are permanently resident in Australia than in any other single country.

Substituted 600 visa holders

Under normal circumstances a subclass 600 visa would only be granted to those applicants who are genuine visitors to Australia.

There will be no condition 8503 attached to the “substituted 600” visa which is defined. The idea behind the “substituted 600 visa” is that once it is granted it allows the applicant to overcome the section 48 bar when their original visa was refused.

Applicants who are granted the “substituted 600 visas will be required to satisfy the usual eligibility criteria however the following exceptions apply:

May have reduced visa application fees

Will not be required to meet the aged requirement

Have access to the 4007 health waiver requirement

Will not be required to meet the “balance of family” test.

If they have debts to the commonwealth that have yet to be paid, public interest criteria 4004 will not be required to have been met.

However, all “substituted 600 visas” holders must satisfy all other time of application, time of decision and sponsorship requirements.

Alternative visas If the parent or contributory parent visas do not suit a particular applicant’s circumstances, it is important to understand that there may be alternatives. It is a common mistake to assume that the Remaining Relative visa may be available to single or widowed parents. Unfortunately, this is not the case as the regulations prevent parents from applying. For parents who may be single, widowed and “aged”, the Aged Dependent Relative Visa (subclass 114 and subclass 838) may be a better option to pursue.

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