Parent Visas

Parent Visas

Expert guidance for navigating the parent visa process.

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Parent Visa Options

Contributory Parent Visa (Offshore)

Permanent (Subclass 143)
Temporary (Subclass 173)


These visas are classified as “contributory” due to their elevated application fees and assurance of support requirements, offering a faster route to permanent residency.

Both temporary and permanent options are available under the Contributory Parent Visa. The Subclass 173 (Temporary) permits parents to reside in Australia for up to two years, followed by the opportunity to apply for the Subclass 143 (Permanent). This essentially splits up the second Visa Application Charge and Assurance of Support bond costs over the two applications.

Offshore Contributory Parent visa applicants are not eligible for a Bridging Visa to remain in Australia during processing. It is possible to travel on a visitor visa during process, or applicants may consider a temporary Parent visa for a longer stay.

Aged Contributory Parent Visa (Onshore)

Permanent (Subclass 864)
Temporary (Subclass 884)


The Aged Contributory Parent Visa also offers both temporary and permanent pathways. Parents can initially apply for the Subclass 884 (Temporary), allowing them to stay in Australia, followed by the opportunity to convert to permanent residency by applying for the Subclass 864 (Permanent) visa.

The main difference between the onshore and offshore visas is that onshore applicants must meet the ‘Aged’ requirement, which is deemed to be a person who would be old enough to secure an Australian pension.

These applicants are also able to obtain a Bridging Visa to remain in Australia during processing, with full working rights. Access to Medicare is restricted to those with reciprocal healthcare access.

Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa

(Subclass 870)


Parents can reside in Australia for 3 or 5 years at a time with this visa, with a maximum 10 years total stay. This visa does not lead to permanent residency and cannot be extended beyond the maximum stay period.

The Subclass 870 visa is split into two separate applications; a Family Sponsorship and a Parent Visa application.

The Family Sponsorship must be lodged first and approved before a Parent Visa application can be lodged. The sponsor must be a child of the applicant (or the spouse/partner of the child), and be an Australian Citizen, or is an Australian permanent resident or Eligible New Zealand citizen who has been living in Australia for at least 4 years. The sponsor is also required to meet minimum income requirements.

Once Sponsorship is approved, there is a limited period of time to submit the Parent visa application. Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the health and character requirements, that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay (as there are no work rights on this visa), and that they hold private health insurance.

Both the sponsor and the visa applicants are required to meet the character test.

Parent Visa or Aged Parent Visa

Permanent (Subclass 103/804)


The non-contributory Parent Visas offer a permanent pathway only. Though the costs are much lower, applicants typically encounter significant waiting periods before being granted these visas, with the Subclass 103 Parent visa expected to take at least 20 years to process.

Again, onshore Aged Parent visa applicants able to obtain a Bridging Visa to remain in Australia during processing, and access to Medicare is restricted to those with reciprocal healthcare access.

What You Need To Know:

  • Most Parent visas have Balance of Family Test requirements, where at least half of the applicant’s children must be Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens living in Australia, or they must have more children living in Australia than in any other single country.
  • Careful planning is necessary for these visas due to associated costs, waiting periods, and eligibility criteria.
  • The choice between temporary and permanent options should consider the parent’s goals, family circumstances, and financial considerations.
  • There are legal restrictions on applying for certain visas while holding a Parent visa

The processing time for a Parent Visa varies significantly based on the visa type, documentation, and individual circumstances. For an estimate of the timeframe, we recommend visiting the Department of Home Affairs website.