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This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom - Content Editor - Brisbane

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

Parent Visas


Parent visas are visas that allow the holder to be in Australia on the basis that they are the parent of an Australian citizen or permanent resident. There are several classes of parent visas that are available to parents in different circumstances. The Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994 set out the rules surrounding them.

Parent visas generally

A parent visa allows a person who is a parent to live in Australia either temporarily or permanently if they are sponsored by a child who is either an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen who is settled and has lived in Australia for at least two years.

The person sponsoring the applicant is generally the person’s child, or the child’s spouse or partner.

The Balance of Family Test

A person seeking any type of parent visa must pass the balance of family test. This test is satisfied if:

  • At least half of the applicant’s eligible children live permanently in Australia; and
  • more of the applicant’s children live in Australia permanently than in any other country.

Under Migration Regulations, an eligible child is a child who is:

  • a citizen of Australia;
  • a permanent resident of Australia who is usually resident in Australia; or
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.

A child is ineligible if they are resident overseas. If the child’s wheraabouts are unknown, then the child is taken to be resident in their last known country of residence.

Aged Parent Visas

There are two types of Aged Parent Visas. These are:

  • Subclass 103, which can be applied for when the applicant is outside of Australia; and
  • Subclass 804, which can be applied for when the applicant is inside Australia.

As the processing time for the Aged Parent Visa is up to 30 years, the majority of applicants will find it preferable to apply for the Aged Parent Visa subclass 804 while they are in Australia.

Aged Parent Visa subclass 804

The Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804) is a permanent visa that entitles a person to remain in Australia indefinitely. Most applicants must be sponsored by a child. 

An applicant may be eligible for the Subclass 804 Visa if:

  • they are inside Australia;
  • they are sponsored by a child who is settled in Australia;
  • they meet the age requirements (over 65);
  • they meet the balance of family test; and
  • they are prepared to wait on a Bridging Visa while the visa application is assessed.

Due to the significant demand, an applicant may wait up to 30 years before this type of visa is approved. Therefore, it is recommended to consider the other visa options available before pursuing this visa type.

Contributory Parent Visas

There are two classes of contributory parent visas. These are the Contributory Parent Visa (subclass 143), which is applied for from outside Australia and the Contributory Aged Parent Visa (subclass 864), which is applied for from inside Australia.

Contributory Parent Visa applications are processed within 12 to 24 months. 

Contributory Parent Visa subclass 143

The Contributory Parent Visa subclass 143 is a permanent visa that entitles the holder to enter and reside in Australia indefinitely. Holders can work, study, and reside in Australia, are entitles to Medicare and may leave Australia for a period of up to five years.

A person may be eligible for a Subclass 143 Visa if:

  • they are sponsored;
  • they satisfy the balance of family test;
  • they meet the health and character requirements;
  • they have an assurance of support if requested; and
  • they have prepared to pay a Second Visa Application Charge.

Contributory Aged Parent Visa subclass 864

The Contributory Parent Visa subclass 864 is a permanent visa that entitles a person to live in Australia indefinitely. Holders are entitled to reside, work, and study in Australia indefinitely, and to leave Australia for up to five years.

A person may be eligible for a Subclass 864 Visa if:

  • they are sponsored by an eligible child;
  • they meet the balance of family test;
  • they meet the age requirements (over 60)
  • they meet the health and character requirements; and
  • they are prepared to pay a Second Visa Application Charge.

Assurances of support

An assurance of support may be requested during visa processing. An assurance of support acts as a bond and covers the applicant and any family members included in the application.

If requested, the assurer (usually the sponsor), must lodge a bond for each applicant aged over 18. The bond payable is $10,000 for the main applicant and $4,000 for each adult family member. This amount is refunded after two years has passed from the date the applicant entered Australia on the visa.

Any debts the visa-holder owes to the government, including Centrelink benefits that have been received, are deducted from the assurance of support, and the balance is refunded to the sponsor.

Visa decision

When the DoHA has completed processing an application, the applicant is advised of:

  • when they can enter into Australia as a holder of the visa;
  • the visa grant number; and
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

If the application is refused, the applicant will be informed of the reasons for this and of the applicant’s rights of review and how long they have to lodge an appeal.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal. 

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