Parents moving to Australia to live with you? Here’s what you need to know

By Ramneek Madahar, registered migration agent

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THE NEW SPONSORED CATEGORY

On 1 March 2019 the new sponsored parent visa was announced. Sponsorships will open from 17 April 2019. The visa will allow parents to stay in Australia for up to five years at a time. The visa application charge is $5,000 for the visa with three-year duration and $10,000 for five-year duration.

EXPERT VIEW: There is a little point in the new five-year visa. The visa holders are not covered under Medicare so maintaining a health cover for them would also incur expenses. Despite reduced fees, the cost is still significant. For example, If the parent is relatively young, the offshore 143 visa should be considered so that work rights are also available. And possibly pension and other benefits in due course. Subject to meeting the criteria, dependent children over the age of 18 can also be included in the application.

OTHER OPTIONS

Apart from the regular tourist visas and the new temporary sponsored visa for parents, there are a number of other temporary and parent visas available for parents:

* Parent Visa (Subclass 103) permanent residency

* Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804) permanent residency

* Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 173) temporary residency

* Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143) permanent residency

* Contributory Aged Parent (Subclass 884) temporary residency

* Contributory Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 864) permanent residency

KEY COMMON CRITERIA

* The visa applicant must have a child who is a settled Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

* The visa applicant is sponsored by their child or child’s spouse or de-facto partner in Australia if they are over 18 years of age.

* If the visa applicant’s sponsoring child is under 18 years of age, a spouse or de-facto partner, guardian or community organisation can also sponsor the applicant.

* The child must have lived in Australia lawfully for two years immediately before the application is made; in some cases a shorter period can be considered.

* The visa applicants must satisfy the ‘balance of family’ test. A parent can meet the balance of family test if at least half of their children live permanently in Australia, or more children live permanently in Australia than in any other country.

* The visa applicants must meet health and character requirements.

* A Refundable Assurance of Support (AoS) is required. This is a legal commitment from an individual or organisation to give financial support so that the visa holder does not have to rely on social security payments. The assurance covers the main applicant and any family members included in the application.

* There is no age limit for parent visas. However, for the Aged Parent Visas, applicants must be old enough to qualify receive the age pension in Australia. Contributory visa can also be done in two stages. A strategy using a combination of visas can be considered based on the budget, timelines, age, health and family needs.

APPROXIMATE PROCESSING TIMES

* Non-contributory visas: more than 30 years

* Contributory visas: 18 to 24 months

GENERAL RANGE OF COSTS (For a Parent couple)

Parent Visa (Subclass 103) permanent residency – $4035 and $2020

Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804) permanent residency – $4035 and $2020

Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 173) temporary residency – $2595.00 and $1300

Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143) permanent residency – $3855.00 and $1300

Contributory Aged Parent (Subclass 884) temporary residency – $3855.00 and $1925.00

Contributory Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 864) permanent residency – $3855.00 and $1925.00

For the Contributory visas: approximately $47,455 per adult applicant is also payable as the second visa application charge per adult applicant prior to the visa grant. This is split into two if Contributory category visa application precedes the permanent category visa application.

Refundable and Mandatory Assurance of support bond: $10000 for the main applicant, and $4000 for the secondary applicant.

RESTRICTIONS AND ALLOWANCES

From the day permanent visa is granted, there is a:

* two-year wait for social security payments

* ten-year wait for age and disability pension payments.

* Medicare will be available during the visa processing where an application for an onshore contributory visa application is made.

* Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804) permanent residency can be lodged to receive Bridging Visa A and keep the parent in Australia. During the processing:

Medicare will not be received. Private Health Cover, that may be indexed upwards annually, will have to be maintained.

No social security payments.

No pension.

Travel rights may not be available very frequently

Very long waiting period – in excess of 30 years.

Ramneek Madahar is a registered migration agent at The Great Learning Tree