Closure of some parent visas to Australia

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IMPORTANT UPDATE – NON-CONTRIBUTORY PARENT VISAS TO END

In my recent articles about Parent Visas, I discussed non-contributory (low-fee) and contributory parent (high-fee) visa options. The Australian Federal Government, in the release of its budget last week, announced that it will end non-contributory parent visas before the end of this financial year. Whilst no specific date has been announced, it is clear that this category of visa will end within the next 6 weeks and with it, the chance of applying for a low-fee parent visa to reunite your family in Australia.

As a result of the announcement, the focus of this article is on non-contributory parent visas. I have discussed non-contributory visas previously within the context on the program as a whole. However, as this is the last chance to apply for this type of visa, it is important to understand onshore and offshore non-contributory requirements as it is the last (affordable) way for your parents to be re-united with your family in Australia.

If you are considering applying for a non-contributory parent visa, I urge you not to delay, because it is highly likely the Government will not make another announcement about non-contributory visas until they announce you can no longer apply. As such it is important to note that the information below will only be accurate, up until the government announces that no more non-contributory applications will be accepted, which could be any day now, before 30 June 2014.

Follow National Visas blogs and Twitter as we will make announcements on important changes to immigration as they are announced.

Non-Contributory Parent Visas

Non-contributory parent visas may be applied for inside or outside Australia, depending on your circumstances.

Basic Criteria for all Parent Visas

There are a number of criteria that apply to all parent visas. They are:

  • Parents must have an Australian citizen, Permanent Resident or Eligible New Zealand citizen child settled in Australia willing to sponsor them;
  • Must meet the “Balance of Family Test”;
  • Must be over 18 (there are rare exceptions to this requirement).

Offshore Parent Visa – Non-Contributory (Subclass 103)

This is a long-term but relatively affordable way for your parents to migrate to Australia. The waiting times are long approximately 14 years at present. However, once the initial visa application fee is paid, no additional contributions are required (other than a refundable Assurance of Support). Once approved, your parents will have permanent residence, access to Medicare and welfare (after a waiting period).

This visa is for people who do not have considerable savings or have a longer-term plan for their parents to join them in Australia.

Real-life scenario: A client had two children in Australia who had studied, became skilled and then employed in Australia. The parents applied for the subclass 103 visa. After a period, the children left Australia for a few years to spend some time in their country of origin with their parents and other family members. The children will return to Australia (to meet the “settled” requirement at time of decision) to continue their lives in Australia, and later once the subclass 103 visa has been granted, their parents will join them.

Whilst the parents are waiting for their subclass 103 visa to be granted, they may like to apply for a long stay visitor visa to visit their children.

Additional Requirements for Parent Visa applications – inside Australia

  • You must be inside Australia at time of application
  • Hold an eligible visa – without a No Further Stay condition (there are rare exceptions to this requirement)
  • The onshore parent visas are also referred to as Aged Parent visas. This is a reference to the fact that the main applicant must be 65 years of age or older at the time of application

If your parents meet the basic criteria and additional requirements, they may wish to make an application for a parent visa while they are inside Australia. This would then also allow them to be granted a Bridging Visa to remain in Australia during processing.

Onshore Aged Parent – Non-Contributory (Subclass 804)

Whilst this visa has a longer waiting time, most people do not realise that waiting times are much shorter than offshore non-contributory visas. Waiting times are approximately 6 years at present.

The main advantage of applying for this visa is the fact that there is no “contributory” fee, and it allows the applicant to remain in Australia during processing. Once the initial visa application fee is paid, no additional contributions are required other than a refundable Assurance of Support. Whilst your parents are waiting for their visa to be approved in Australia, they have work rights (in certain circumstances). Once approved, your parents will have permanent residence, access to Medicare and welfare (after a waiting period).

This visa is for people who do not have considerable savings, do not consider permanent residence an urgent need or would like to save their funds for retirement.

Real-life scenario: A client had one child who had lived most of their life in Australia, and while the client was still in good health, she wanted to move to Australia to be with her son and his family. The parents intended to apply for the subclass 864, but after an initial assessment, we determined they would be eligible for the subclass 804. The client had no desire to work and decided to apply for the subclass 804, spend the waiting period in Australia and save the funds that would have been used for the subclass 864 application for her retirement.

Would you like to know if you qualify for a Parent Visa?

For more information or to check your eligibility to apply for a Parent Visa, you can start the process by taking a free online assessment here. Remember: If you are considering the non-contributory visa, there is no time to delay. Preparing the basics to lodge an application takes time, so you must act immediately or you will miss out. The window of opportunity is about to close on this inexpensive permanent parent visa.

Ensure you save my blog as a favourite and stay tuned for my next article where I will expand on important Parent Visa requirements, including Sponsorship, Balance of Family Test, Assurance of Support and the “settled” requirement.

I look forward to an opportunity to assist you with your visa application in the future.

Nicole Kirkwood

Migration Advisor

MARN 0962323

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John Bell

Migration Advisor at National Visas
John Bell has been involved in the immigration industry since 2000 and has practiced in Australia as an Australian Registered Migration Agent since 2003. John also worked in the UK as a UK immigration adviser between 2000 and 2002.

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