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Government Focus On Parent Visa Grants To Continue In 2023/24

Parent Visa

Australia allocated almost double the amount of placements to Parent Visas in 2022/23 (8,500 placements) compared to the previous year (4,500 placements), and another 8,500 places have again been allocated in 2023/24.

Written by Sheila Woods (MARN: 0533879) of Interstaff  15 June, 2023

But although the Government is continuing to focus on granting Parent Visas, unfortunately applicants are still facing very long waiting periods.

If you are an Australian PR/Citizen or eligible NZ Citizen and would like to migrate your parent to Australia, or if you currently have a Parent Visa application in progress, here’s what you should know about the waiting periods and other options you may wish to consider.

Parent Visas in the Queue

Unfortunately, all Permanent Parent Visas are subject to capping and queueing as the demand for these visas is much stronger than the number of places available each year.

This includes the Contributory Parent, Parent and Aged Parent Visas.

Unfortunately, between 2010 and 2022, Australia’s backlog of Parent Visa applications increased from around 35,000 to 120,000.

Once the Department of Home Affairs’ annual cap for Permanent Parent Visas has been reached, any remaining applications are queued until a place becomes available in a future program year.

How are Parent Visas Queued?

Permanent Parent Visa applications are assessed according to their lodgement date.

If an application meets the core visa criteria, but cannot be assessed in the current program year, it will be placed in the queue.

This process generally involves the applicants demonstrating they meet health and character criteria, such as undertaking health checks and providing police certificates.

The Department of Home Affairs then issues a letter to notify that your application has been placed in a queue.

I’ve already applied for a Permanent Parent Visa – how long is the queue?

As at 30 April 2023, the Department of Home Affairs has released the following applications for final processing:

  • Contributory Parent Visa applications with a queue date up to May 2017
  • Parent Visa applications with a queue date up to October 2011
  • Aged Parent visa applications with a queue date up to December 2012

For visas finalised so far in the 2022-23 Migration Program year, these were the average waiting periods/processing times:

  • Approximately 6 years for Contributory Parent Visas
  • Approximately 12 years for Parent and Aged Parent Visas

What is the current waiting period for new Parent Visa applications in 2023?

While Permanent Parent Visa waiting periods are typically very long, recently they have become even longer.

As at 8 June 2023, the Department of Home Affairs indicates you should expect at least the below waiting periods if you lodge a new Parent Visa application:

  • At least 12 years for Contributory Parent Visas
  • At least 29 years for Parent and Aged Parent Visas

While Contributory Parent Visas have a significantly shorter waiting period, the Government application fee is much more expensive and currently at AUD $47,455, the majority of which is paid at the time a decision is made. 

I’ve already applied for a Permanent Parent Visa – how long is the queue?

Given the long waiting periods for Permanent Parent Visas, some people may wish to consider the Subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa option.

Currently, 90% of Subclass 870 applications are processed within 5 months.

The 870 Visa provides a stay of up to 10 years in Australia but does not lead to Permanent Residence (PR). Another alternative is to apply for a longer validity Visitor Visa to travel regularly to Australia for shorter periods.

Application fees for the 870 Visa may also be more cost-effective than other Parent Visas, although the applicant must have health insurance and access to enough funds to support themselves in Australia.

It is worth noting that the Subclass 870 Parent Visa program is also capped, but at a larger amount of 15,000 places each program year.

Migration Review Addresses the Need to Reform Parent Visas

The Government’s recent Migration Review has highlighted the need to reform the Parent Visa program due to long waiting periods and expensive costs.

However, it appears it will be addressed after reforms to the Skilled Migration program are implemented.

The Migration Review flagged that the Government may consider shortening the Subclass 870 Temporary Parent Visa option in the future and opening up more affordable short-term stay visas for parents.

It also flagged that a lottery system could be introduced, similar to models in Canada and New Zealand. We will certainly keep you updated.

To understand your eligibility for various Parent Visa options, we encourage you to contact Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents to arrange a consultation.

Interstaff assist people all over the world with the legal and professional process to travel or migrate to Australia for temporary work or permanent residence. Established in 1988, Interstaff has been trusted by migrating individuals and businesses for over 30 years and are the strongest group of experts for visa work in Australia. MARN: 0533879..