Parent category visas

You might be eligible to apply for a parent category visa if:

  • you have a child who is an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
  • your child has been living in Australia lawfully for at least 2 years before you lodge your visa application
  • you have a sponsor
  • you meet the Balance of family test criteria
  • you meet health and character requirements.

How long can I stay in Australia on a parent category visa?

A parent category visa allows you to:

  • live in Australia for up to 2 years as a temporary resident, or
  • live in Australia as an Australian permanent resident.

Sponsors

You will need to have a sponsor to apply for a parent category visa to live in Australia as a temporary or permanent resident.

A sponsor must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen who:

  • is 18 years of age or over
  • has lived in Australia lawfully for at least two years before the parent lodges their visa application.

There are special provisions for a sponsor under 18 years of age.

These provisions are explained in the visa options below.

Balance of family test

All applicants for a parent visa must meet the balance of family test.

The balance of family test is designed to determine the extent of your links to Australia.

You meet the balance of family test if:

  • at least half of your children live permanently in Australia, or
  • more of your children live permanently in Australia than in any other country.

Visa options

The following visa options allow a parent to:

  • live in Australia as a temporary or permanent resident.

Which visa option is right for me?

The following scenarios are designed to assist a person to understand which visa options might be available to them.

Parent visa options vary depending on your circumstances, including:

  • if you are applying in or outside of Australia.

Applying outside Australia

Scenario 1

  • You are applying outside Australia
  • You have a child who lives in Australia
  • You want to become a permanent Australian resident

Visa option: Parent Visa (subclass 103)

To apply for a Parent Visa (subclass 103), a parent must:

  • Meet the balance of family test
  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Have a sponsor

Processing time

  • Up to 30 years

Scenario 2:

  • You are applying outside Australia
  • You have a child who lives in Australia
  • You want to live in Australia for up to 2 years as a temporary resident
  • You are prepared to pay higher visa application charges for faster processing

Visa option: Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 173)

To apply for a Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 173), a parent must:

  • have a sponsor
  • meet the balance of family test
  • meet health and character requirements.

Applying either in or outside Australia

Scenario 3

  • You are applying either inside or outside Australia
  • You have a child who lives in Australia
  • You want to become a permanent Australian resident
  • You are prepared to pay higher visa application charges for faster processing

Visa option: Contributory Parent Visa (subclass 143)

To apply for a Contributory Parent Visa (subclass 143), a parent must:

  • meet the balance of family test
  • have an assurance of support
  • meet health and character requirements
  • have a sponsor.

Processing time

We process applications for this visa in date of lodgement order and according to the planning levels set in the Migration Programme each year. Given the ongoing strong demand for this visa processing times might vary between programme years.

If you hold the Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173) and you would like to stay in Australia permanently, you can apply for the Permanent Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143) before your temporary visa expires.

Applying in Australia

Scenario 4

  • You are applying inside Australia
  • You have a child who lives in Australia
  • You want to become a permanent Australian resident
  • You meet age requirements

Visa option: Aged Parent Visa (subclass 804)

To apply for an Aged Parent visa (subclass 804), a parent must:

  • meet the age requirements
  • meet the balance of family test
  • meet health and character requirements
  • have a sponsor.

Processing time

Up to 30 years

Scenario 5

  • You are applying in Australia
  • You have a child who lives in Australia and you want to live in Australia for up to 2 years as a temporary resident
  • You meet age requirements
  • You are prepared to pay higher visa application charges for faster processing

Visa option: Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 884)

To apply for the Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 884), a parent must:

  • meet age requirements
  • meet the balance-of-family test
  • have a sponsor.

Scenario 6

  • You are applying in Australia
  • You have a child who lives in Australia and you want to become a permanent Australian resident
  • You meet age requirements
  • You are prepared to pay higher visa application charges

Visa option: Contributory Aged Parent Visa (subclass 864)

To apply for the Contributory Aged Parent Visa (subclass 864), a parent must:

  • meet age requirements
  • meet the balance-of-family test
  • meet health and character requirements
  • have an assurance of support
  • have a sponsor.

If you hold a Contributory Aged Parent Visa (subclass 864) and you would like to stay in Australia permanently, you can apply for a permanent Contributory Parent visa (subclass 864) before your temporary visa expires.

Assurance of support

Applications for a permanent Parent category visa require an assurance of support.

An assurance of support is a legal commitment from an individual or organisation to give you financial support so you do not have to rely on social security payments. The assurance covers you and any family members included in your application.

Who can give an assurance of support?

The person or organisation required to give you an assurance of support can be your sponsor or another person. Up to three people can agree to give you a joint assurance of support

See:
Fact sheet - Assurance of Support (AoS)
The Department of Human Services

Capping and queuing

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection might limit how many people can get a certain type of visa each year. This limiting of visa is called capping.

Parent and Aged Parent category visas are subject to capping. Contributory Parent category visas are not currently capped.

If you are applying for a visa that has reached the capping limit, you must wait in a queue until more visa places become available. This might be for many years and you will have to continue to meet all visa requirements.

See > Capping and queuing

More information

More information for family members including:

  • Visa decisions
  • Interview requirements
  • Changes in circumstances

See > After you lodge your application

Visa support

Go to our visa support page for visa information, including:

  • Applying for a visa
  • Finding a migration agent
  • Online services
  • Fees and charges

See > Visa Support

Frequently Asked Questions

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