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Since 19 November 2016, Parents can longer be included on any Permanent Residence visa applications (including all Skilled Migration visas), except those for refugee, humanitarian and protection visas.

See: https://www.border.gov.au/Migrationagents/Pages/member-of-family-unit.aspx and
Parent Visas

For the latest information on Parent Visas, (or any other Visas) ALWAYS consult the Australian Department of Home Affairs: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Brin/Pare

There are two main options for permanent Parent Visas that enable parents to become Permanent Residents in Australia.

These are standard Parent Visas, and Contributory Parent Visas.

The standard 103 (Offshore) and 804 (Onshore) Parent Visas cost about $7000 per person, but may entail a long wait - currently that may be as soon as 6 years, but could be much longer, and processing times may increase. In the past the queue has been many years longer, and may become so again. - there is a limited number of places allocated to these visas each year, and from 2018 some of those places will be given to a new visa pathway for retirees already in Australia on 405 and 410 retiree visas.

If already in Australia, Parents who meet the standard conditions and are over Australian Pension Age may apply for an 804 Aged Parent Visa. They will still need an Australian Permanent Resident sponsor/s, generally with 2 years actual Australian residence, and to meet the balance of family test, etc. Aged Parents in Australia can only apply if they do not have a "No Further Stay" condition on their visa - once their 804 visa application is lodged, they should be given an attached Bridging Visa so that they can stay (without Medicare, unable to work, etc) until their Aged Parent Visa is approved or refused.

Standard offshore 103 Parent visas do not have an attached Bridging Visa, so applicants can not stay in Australia while that 103 Parent visa application (except for the duration of a Visitor Visa or any other valid visa) is being processed.

The Contributory Parent Visa costs much more - close to $48,000 per person, However, processing is much faster, normally perhaps two years although it has blow out to about 3+ years at present. There is also an option to get the Contributory visa as two separate visas, enabling the large payment to be spread over a little more time.

Parent Visas have to have a Sponsor - a person or persons that live in Australia, have PR, and will sign an undertaking that they are legally responsible for the cost of accommodation and financial costs for the parent/s reasonable living expenses, so that they are not a cost to the Australian community. Most often, the sponsor is the parent's child, although another relative in Australia could also be a sponsor.

These Parent visas normally require that Sponsors have been resident in Australia for 2 years, and always require that the Parent/s have 50% or more of all their children living in Australia (the Balance of Family Test).

Parent Visas require a 10 year (returnable) bond. The bond is called an "Assurance of Support". Sponsors are usually also the Assuror/s, but they don't have to be.

Required Assurance amounts will increase to $15,000 and $6,000 for Assurances lodged after April 2019.

Assuror/s have to provide evidence that they are resident in Australia, and meet an income requirement of about $45,000 pa.

These visas, when granted, confer immediate Permanent Resident status on Parents when they arrive in Australia, allow Parents to work, and have full access to Medicare.
There are other options too.

Standard Visitor Visas can be applied for by Parents - these may normally be granted for up to a 12 month period in each 18 months.

Up to a maximum of 3 years per visa may or may not be approved - at present) however those visas will require that Parents leave Australia after 12 months, before returning (dependent on the visa duration). Note: This maximum duration of up to 3 years may no longer be the case once the 870 Temporary Parent Visa starts (see below) - the Visitor visas may then be for a maximum of 12 months each time. These visas will also require parents to pass the medical examinations.:)

It's important to note too that Visitor Visas can not be used as defacto residence visas - so you can't get one for 12 months, and then straightaway get another, there would need to be at least 6 months between leaving on a visitor visa and returning on a new visitor visa, and even that would, as always, be at the Department's discretion.

There is also a new Temporary Parent Visa that has now been approved. This is the 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa.

This visa will be for 3 years at a cost of $5000, or 5 years at a cost of $10,000. The Parent/s must have health insurance from an Australian provider for the duration of the visa. The visa can be renewed up to a total period of 10 years.

Sponsors must have been Australian residents for 4 years. Sponsors can apply from 17 April 2019, and actual visa applications should be accepted from 1 July 2019.

There is no bond or balance of family test required for this visa. Parents will not normally be eligible for Medicare or Centrelink support, and are not permitted to work. For current information, see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/vis...ly/five-year-temporary-sponsored-parents-visa

With special regard to Visitor Visas over 3 months in duration, and the Temporary Parent Visa, a possibly very serious issue with any visa that needs to be renewed, is that each time a new application is made, the Parent/s will have to undergo Health examinations - and as they progressively age, there may be a time where they do not pass this requirement and the new visa will not be issued.

Similarly, with the standard Parent Visas, after their application progresses through the queue and is nearing the grant date, (possibly 10 or 15 or more years after their initial application) Parents will need to undergo Health checks again then - some of those parents may by then no longer meet the Health requirements, and the application would then be refused.
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