Parent Visas

If you want to bring your parents to Australia there’s two main options:

  • The Contributory Parent Visa
  • The Long Stay Tourist Visa

Alternative options might include:

  • The Non-Contributory Parent Visa
  • Skilled Migration if they are under 50
  • Employer Sponsorship as a short terms solution, unless they are either under 50, or very well paid


The Parent Visa

There’s two streams to the parent visa, the contributory parent visa, and the non-contributory parent visa.

The first thing to check is the “balance of family test”. Basically, half the children need to be permanent residents or citizens of Australia. This includes step-children. If you don’t meet the balance of family test you can’t apply.

The second thing to check is health. Your parents need to be in relatively good health, if they have a serious (costly) medical condition then their visa may be refused.

The contributory parent visa requires a “contribution” of roughly $43,000 per parent, as well as a bond for the primary and secondary applicants ($10,000 and $4,000) which you may get back after 10 years.

While it’s an expensive option, please bear in mind this visa gives your parents permanent residence in Australia, and access to Medicare, so Australia will look after them in their old age. According to the productivity commission the average parent costs Australia between $335,000 and $410,000, so for $45,000 it’s actually a bargain!

For those that are considering it, please be aware that Australia is currently reviewing the cost effectiveness of the contributory parent visa, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the contribution increased, and potentially by a significant amount. So, if you want to pursue it, it might be a good idea to get an application in sooner rather than later!

The non-contributory parent visa by contrast does not require a contribution, but it has a processing time which varies, but is somewhere between 25 and 35 years. So, unless your parents are under 50, or you expect them to live to 100, then it’s probably unrealistic to even consider it. Please also note, this somewhat useless visa was removed altogether a couple of years ago before being reinstated, so it may well disappear altogether.


The Tourist Visa

If you don’t want to, or can’t afford to, pay the contribution, then you could consider the new long stay tourist visa for parents. There’s a number of variations for this visa, but it’s a good way to bring your parents for a long visit, or indeed to give them a chance to see if they would want to pay the contribution for the parent visa to relocate here.

Multiple entry visas with a maximum stay of 12 months will be considered on a case-by-case basis with maximum validity periods of up to:

  • five years for parents outside Australia and in the Parent visa (subclass103) queue;
  • three years for parents outside Australia who have:
    • had a previous Australian visa and complied with the conditions; and
    • have not applied for a Parent visa; or
    • have applied for a parent visa but are not yet in the Parent visa (subclass103) queue; and
  • 18 month for parents who have:
    • not previously travelled to Australia; and
    • have not applied for a Parent visa; or
    • have applied for a Parent visa but are not yet in the Parent visa (subclass103) queue.

Longer Visitor visas described above will also be considered for step parents and eligible New Zealand citizens.