The long awaited parent visa has been revealed. On 1 March 2019, Minister Coleman announced that applications to sponsor a parent for a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 870) will be open from 17 April 2019.
The visa responds to community concerns about the limited number of Parent places in the migration program and associated lengthy waiting periods. It provides parents with a new pathway to temporarily reunite with their children and grandchildren in Australia, while ensuring that taxpayers are not required to cover additional costs. This also help both the parents and their Australian families on saving airfares that would be incurred over this period if the parents were required to depart and re-enter Australia on a regular basis.
We have summarised the nine important facts you need to know before you apply for the visa.
1. How it works?
There will be a two-stage process. It involves sponsorship and visa application.
Sponsorship applications can be lodged from 17 April 2019. When a sponsor has been approved, the visa applicant will then be able to lodge their visa application.
Visa applications must be lodged within six months of sponsorship approval and cannot be lodged until a sponsor has been approved.
Once the visa is granted this allows parents to remain in Australia for a longer period of time, up to five years at a time without departing. It provides an alternative option to Visitor visas which only allow shorter periods of stay.Max. 15,000 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visas may be granted each program year (from 1 July to 30 June). If the cap is reached in a program year, no further visas will be granted until the next program year commences on 1 July.
2. Any quota for this visa?
Yes. This visa is subject to a cap of 15,000 for each program year (from 1 July to 30 June). If the cap is reached in a program year, no further visas will be granted until the next program year commences on 1 July..
3. How long can the visa holder stay in Australia?
The visa allows parents to stay in Australia temporarily for a period of up to five years at a time. A parent must be outside Australia for at least 90 days before being eligible to apply for a further Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa. A parent will be able to hold visas up to a total stay in Australia of 10 years, reflecting that the visa is a temporary visa and does not lead to permanent residence.
Parents who have held Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visas for the cumulative maximum 10 year period must either depart Australia or apply for another visa that will allow them to remain in Australia. They will not be eligible for grant of a further Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa.
The visa allows Parents are still eligible to apply for Visitor visas and/or permanent Parent visas.
4. How to be come a sponsor?
Only two parents per household can be sponsored for this visa at a time. The application fee for sponsorship is A$420.
Sponsors must meet the following criteria:
- the sponsor/parent relationship requirements (ie: a parent must be the biological, adoptive, or step-parent of the sponsor and a step-parent can only apply if they are still in a married/de facto relationship with a biological parent of the sponsor)
- be aged at least 18 years of age
- be an Australian citizen/permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who has been usually resident in Australia for four years
- have met any prior sponsorship obligations
- have no adverse information unless it is reasonable to disregard the information
- have no debts to the Commonwealth or public health debts unless appropriate arrangements have been made for payment
- a minimum household income threshold (based on the income of the sponsor, or the combined income of the sponsor and their spouse/partner and/or another child of the parent)
- provide police clearances for any country they have spent more than 12 months cumulatively in during the past 10 years
- authorise information to be shared with the visa applicant.
- Sponsors must also agree to comply with sponsorship obligations in relation to the parent(s) they are sponsoring.
5. Are my parents eligible?
The visa applicants must:
- be sponsored by a person who is an approved parent sponsor
- be at least 18 years of age
- be outside Australia (unless invited in writing to apply by the Department), for at least 90 days if the applicant holds or has previously held a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa
- not have engaged in payment for visas conduct
- provide evidence of access to funds
- provide evidence of health insurance
- not have an outstanding public health debt (unless appropriate arrangements have been made to repay the debt)
- satisfy health, character, and national security requirements.
Unlike permanent Parent visas, there is no Balance of Family Test requirement for this visa, meaning a visa applicant is not required to have more than half of their children residing in Australia.
6. How much is the visa application charge?
The visa application charge is:
- $5,000 for a visa of up to three years’ duration; or
- $10,000 for a visa of up to five years’ duration.
The visa application charge is payable in two instalments, with one payment at time of application and the remainder paid prior to visa grant.
7. Can the visa holder work during their stay?
Generally, the visa holders will generally be subject to a “no work” condition.
8. What are the differences between this new pathway vs the existing ones?
Standard Visitor visa arrangements remain unchanged. The Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa replaces the Visitor visa concession that existed for parents of Australian citizens/permanent residents to stay in Australia for longer periods.
While the Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa allows for a significantly longer stay period than a visitor visa, it is still only a temporary visa and does not allow for permanent residence in Australia like a permanent Parent visa. The new visa provides a pathway for existing Parent visa applicants to travel to Australia temporarily to spend time with their children and grandchildren while their permanent Parent visa application is being processed.
9. How can FortuneChance help?
Not sure which visa best suits your needs? As a registered migration agent, FortuneChance is more than happy to assist our clients in applying for the sponsorship as well as the visa application and answering your enquiry about this new visa subclass. Contact us now.