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Visa Options for Parents

Parents of Australian Permanent Residents or Citizens may be able to sponsor their parents to live with them in Australia. There are some options for parents that want to spend time with their children in Australia on a temporary or permanent basis. Check if you qualify.

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Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa – 870

This visa was implemented in 2019 and allows permanent residents or citizens of Australia to sponsor their parents to live here with them for 3 or 5 five years consecutively. The visa can be reapplied again for another 3 or 5 years, but the maximum time a parent can stay in this visa is for a maximum of 10 years.

As the name says this visa requires sponsorship by an Australian child and this child has to meet some requirements to be able to sponsor their parents such as:

  • Be resident in Australia for at least 4 years
  • Earn a minimum annual income of AUD$ 83,454.80.

If the child doesn’t meet this alone, they can combine their income with that of their spouse or another child of the visa applicant.

“Be careful here as there are more details to this requirement”

The sponsoring child cannot have any serious criminal convictions and preferably a clean criminal record;

Only 2 parents per household can be sponsored at the same time for this visa Subclass.

This visa is a good option for parents that cannot apply for any permanent visas due to not being able to meet the Balance of the Family Test (see more below).

Visitor Visas

Parents of permanent residents or citizens have the usual Visitor Visa option if they want to spend time in Australia with their children, but in some cases they may also be able to obtain a Visitor Visa that would allow them to extend periods of time in Australia.

A regular Visitor Visa normally is granted for a period of 12 months, but it only allows holders to stay for a period of 3 months after each entry.

Applicants who show evidence of having permanent resident or citizen children in Australia can apply for extended stays and be granted Visitor Visas for up to 5 years with stays of up to 12 months at a time permitted. This is a great option if your parents are not willing to travel in and out of Australia multiple times.

This visa does not have work permission, it only allows holders to study up to 3 months on a full-time basis and it does not provide access to government benefits such as Medicare.

Permanent Visa Options for Parents

  • Parent (Subclass 103) visa (offshore)
  • Aged Parent (subclass 804) visa (onshore)
  • Contributory Parent (subclass 143) visa (offshore)
  • Contributory Aged Parent (subclass 864) visa (offshore)
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Main differences

  1. Parent Visas are affordable as they only require a regular application fee. However, they will take more than 20 years to be approved as there is a very large queue, and only around 1500 visas to be granted per year.

  2. Contributory Parent Visas, on the other hand, are approved in around 5 years, but applicants must make a monetary contribution just before the visa is granted, which will fund social services to them. This contribution is currently almost AUD$43,000.00 per person included in the application.

  3. Only “Aged” Parent visas allow applicants to lodge their applications in Australia and be granted a Bridging Visa, so they can remain here while the application is being processed. This Bridging Visa will come with no limitations so the holder can even work full-time in Australia. So it is beneficial to apply for one of the “Aged” visas, but not everyone can.

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What does Aged mean?

Balance of the Family Test

This is another requirement that can prevent people from applying for any of the permanent visas above. A parent will only meet the balance of family test if at least half of their children (including step-children) or more are living in Australia as permanent residents or citizens. This is irrespective of being close or in contact at all with their children.

For parents who don’t pass this test, the Subclass 870 Temporary Parent visa is a good option but it will not lead to permanent residence.


Once approved the permanent visa options for parents give access to Medicare immediately and other government benefits with time. If applying for the Aged versions of the visa onshore, applicants may be able to enroll with Medicare while still on a Bridging Visa.

Assurance of Support (AoS)

This is another important requirement of the permanent Parent Visa options.

An Assurance of Support is a legal agreement between an Australian resident or organisation (the assurer) and the Australian Government. The assurer agrees to support the migrant (the assure) in Australia so that the assure does not need to rely on government payments.

This involves a bond (payment deposit) that will stay with the government for 2 or 10 years depending on the visa subclass. The amount to be paid also varies depending on the visa subclass. Each Assurance of Support can cover up to 2 adults and an unlimited number of their dependent children.

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