Parent Visas

Parents of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen may be able to migrate to Australia.

Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa option will also be available from 1 July 2019. This visa is temporary only and does not provide a pathway for permanent residency through a parent visa.


There are two categories of parent visa subclasses, contributory, and non-contributory.

Non-contributory parent visas have a low processing priority with the Australian government and based on current planning levels, the Department of Immigration and Border protection (DIBP) website advises anyone considering applying for a non-contributory parent visa faces a wait of up to 30 years.

With this in mind, most prospective parent visa applicants consider the more expensive contributory parent visa options on offer. The contributory parent visa subclasses are:

  • The subclass 173 temporary visa, or the subclass 143 permanent visa, available to parents of any age.
  • The subclass 884 temporary visa, and 864 permanent visa, available to those of pension age

There is an option here to apply for the temporary visa first, and then after two years transition to the permanent visa where the higher application fee will be payable. The benefit is the staggering of the costs.

The subclass 870 Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa is a separate type of parent visa, as it is temporary only. It does not present any age requirements for the applicant and it is not a contributory parent visa.


To be granted a visa in the Parent category, generally you must have a child who is settled in Australia and is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen. You must also pass the “Balance of Family” test, which is to demonstrate that half or more of your children reside in Australia, or more of your children reside in Australia than in any other country.

One of the children will need act as a sponsor for the visa, and it is a requirement that the child be ‘settled’. Excluding a few exceptions, children are generally required to have lived in Australia for at least 2 years to be considered settled.

If applying for the subclass 870 Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa, parents are not required to meet the ‘balance of family’ test. They will however need to be sponsored by a child who has been settled in Australia and is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen for at least 4 years and has a minimum household taxable income of $83,454.80.


Parent visas require an application to be made by both the applicant and the sponsor. In order for the application to be approved, an Australian permanent resident or citizen will need to lodge a bond with the Australian government office of Centrelink, which is known as an Assurance of Support (AOS). The amount of the bond and the earnings requirements for the Australian will depend on the visa being applied for and the family composition of both the sponsor and the applicant.

The subclass 870 Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa does not require the sponsor to pay a sponsorship bond. However, sponsored parents will have to maintain adequate health insurance for the duration of their stay in Australia and sponsors must agree to support parents financially and provide accommodation during their stay, as well as paying for any public health debts (if incurred).

Common Scenarios

I have one child in Australia, and two children overseas, but they do not live in the same country. Do I meet the balance of family test?

No. You do not meet the balance of family test in this case because you do not have more children that are permanent residents of Australia than you do children living in a single other country, you have an equal number of children living in three different countries.

Even if you do not meet the balance of family test, you can still apply for a subclass 870 Temporary Sponsored Parent visa.

It is not financially viable for my sponsor to provide an assurance of support as a part of my parent visa application. Can this be provided by someone else?

Yes. Generally, the Assurance of Support is provided by a family member living in Australia, however it is not necessary for the assurer to be a relative, so long as they can show sufficient taxable income in Australia to meet the requirements to be approved as an assurer.

Assurances of support can also be given by Corporations or Unincorporated Bodies. It is also possible for up to 3 people to lodge a joint assurance of support – in this case, the income of each person can be counted towards the required minimum.


We assist clients in establishing the most effective visa lodgement strategy, taking into account the individual circumstances of each applicant. We provide full service migration assistance, from initial eligibility assessments to application lodgement and management. Our mission is to reduce the stress that clients may experience when undertaking a visa application process, by ensuring lodgement of a sound visa application, taking responsibility for all deadlines, and liaising with DIBP on your behalf.