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Contributory Parent visa

Australian Immigration

Contributory parent visas

Questions and answers

On 5 March 2003, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock, announced that the Senate had passed legislation:

  • introducing a new contributory parent visa category; and
  • providing for an additional 4,000 parent places in the Migration Program.

Q.1 What are the new arrangements and when do they start?

The new contributory parent visa category will begin on:

  • 27 June 2003 for applicants residing outside Australia
  • 1 July 2003 for applicants residing in Australia

An application for this category can only be lodged on or after that time.

There are currently 500 places for parents under existing parent visa categories. Under the new arrangements, these existing parent categories will remain open and will be increased by 500 places to a total program of 1,000 places a year.

In addition, a new contributory parent category will be introduced, to allow a further 3,500 parents (in a full year) to migrate, on the basis of a higher health charge and social security bond.

Q.2 What are the new contributory parent visa subclasses?

There are four new parent visa subclasses:

For parents residing outside Australia:

  • Subclass 143 Contributory Parent (Migrant) visa; and
  • Subclass 173 Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa.

For parents residing in Australia:

  • Subclass 864 Contributory Aged Parent (Residence) visa; and
  • Subclass 884 Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa.

Note that only parents who are aged can apply in Australia (65 years of age for men and currently 62 years for women).

Q.3 How would the new category work, what would be the charges?

The threshold requirements for the new contributory parent visa categories will be substantially similar to existing parent categories.

Both categories will have the same first Visa Application Charge (VAC) which is payable at the time of application (presently $1,175 for applicants residing outside Australia and $1,745 for applicants applying in Australia).

The key differences would be the level of the second VAC (payable before a visa is granted) and the level and duration of the Assurance of Support bond.

As noted above, there would be significantly more places available under the contributory parent visa categories than for existing categories. This recognises the fact that contributory parent visa applicants are willing to pay a significantly higher second VAC as a contribution to their ongoing health costs.

There would be two payment options for contributory parent visa applicants:

  • Permanent visa: pay a A$26,000 second VAC per person ($1,050 for dependents under 18); or
  • Temporary visa: pay a $A15,000 second VAC which would entitle parents to a two-year temporary residence visa including Medicare access and work rights.

During that period, parents may apply at any time for a permanent visa at which time the remaining payment of A$10,000 is required.

The contributory parent visa category also requires a 10-year, $10,000 Assurance of Support (AoS) bond for main applicants and $4,000 for adult secondary applicants (for temporary visa holders, this is payable during processing of the permanent visa).

Q.4 Who would be able to apply for the new contributory parent visa categories?

Parents of any age residing outside Australia will be able to apply but only aged parents residing in Australia will be able to apply.

The definition of aged parent is 65 years of age for men and currently 62 years for women. Applicants would still need to meet threshold criteria including balance of family test, sponsorship requirements, health and character.

Q.5 When and how would I/my parents be able to apply for the new parent categories?

The contributory parent visa categories begin on:

  • 27 June 2003 for applicants residing outside Australia
  • 1 July 2003 for applicants residing in Australia

Q.6 How long would an application for the contributory parent visa categories take to be processed?

While it is not possible to say exactly how long processing would take, applications for the contributory parent visa categories are likely to be processed more quickly than in existing parent visa categories.

There will be considerably more places available for the contributory parent visa categories each year (3,500 compared with a total 1,000 existing category places).

This means that applicants for the contributory parent visa categories would be granted a visa more quickly than applicants for existing parent visa categories who apply at the same time.

Q.7 If my parents/I already have an application for migration/permanent residence under the existing parent category, will they/I be able to apply for the contributory parent visa categories?

Yes. Parents who have already applied for an existing parent visa before the new contributory parent visa category starts will not have to pay another first VAC if they apply for one of the new contributory parent visas.

However, only applicants for the existing Aged Parent visa category will be able to apply for the corresponding contributory aged parent visa category without having to pay another first VAC.

Similarly, only applicants residing outside Australia will be able to apply for the equivalent contributory parent visa category without having to pay another first VAC.

To make a valid application for a contributory parent category, a parent will have to withdraw any other parent visa applications that are not finally determined.

Q.8 Are there any special requirements for the contributory parent categories?

The same basic criteria that apply to the existing parent visa categories would generally apply to the new contributory parent visa category, both temporary and permanent. These are that applicants:

  • are sponsored by a 'settled' Australian citizen, permanent
  • resident or eligible New Zealand citizen;
  • meet the Balance of Family (BOF) test; and
  • meet standard health and character requirements.

Q.9 What happens to the old application?

To make a valid application for a new parent visa category, a parent will have to withdraw the previous application.

Q.10 What if the original sponsor withdraws or dies while their parent is holding a temporary contributory parent visa (but before they have been granted a permanent contributory parent visa)?

If the original sponsor withdraws, an alternate sponsor would be required for the permanent contributory parent visa application to proceed.

If the original sponsor has died and no alternate sponsor is available, the application may proceed without having to meet sponsorship requirements. However, an assurer would be required to lodge the Assurance of Support bond.

Q.11 Can my parents/I get a refund if circumstances change before the end of the two year temporary period?

Yes, but the second VAC may only be refunded in limited circumstances. Such circumstances might include where a visa holder dies prior to entry to Australia.

A refund will only be granted before an overseas applicant enters Australia as the holder of either a temporary or permanent new contributory parent visa.

Once granted, a temporary or permanent parent visa holder in Australia will not be eligible for a refund. This is on the grounds that, as a visa holder, they are already eligible to access benefits and services. A request for refund must be made in writing.

Q.12 If my parents/I chose to apply for the temporary contributory parent visa, will they/I have to meet the health requirement again when applying for the permanent contributory parent visa?

No. Applicants for the permanent contributory parent visa, who had met health criteria at the temporary stage, will not be required to meet the criteria again at the end of the two-year period.

However, for public health reasons, checks may be made on applicants who might present a health risk.

For example, those who entered Australia on a health undertaking, or those who had spent more than three months in areas of very high tuberculosis risk while holding a temporary contributory parent visa, may need to undergo further checks.

Health processing undertaken by applicants for an existing parent visa application may be used for the purposes of meeting requirements in the contributory parent visa category.

As with existing parent visa applications, applicants may need to update medical and other checking at the time that a visa place becomes available for them.

Q.13 What is an example of the processing steps and costs required for an existing category parent visa application compared with an application for a contributory parent visa?

Existing category parent visa application (subclass 103/804 for applicants outside/in Australia)

  • At time of application, applicant pays first VAC ($1,175 outside Australia or $1,745 in Australia)
  • Before a decision is made:
    • Applicant pays second VAC of $1,050 per person
    • Applicant pays $3,500 AoS bond (held for 2 years) for main applicant and $1,500 for any adult secondary applicants
    • Applicant pays $3,500 AoS bond (held for 2 years) for main applicant and $1,500 for any adult secondary applicants
    • Assuming applicant meets all other requirements, visa is granted (subject to available places)
    • Note: these charges are subject to indexation for inflation at the start of each financial year.

Contributory parent visa application (permanent) (subclass 143/864 for applicants outside/in Australia)

  • At time of application, applicant pays first VAC ($1,175 outside Australia or $1,745 in Australia)
  • Before a decision is made:
    • Applicant pays second VAC of $25,000 for adult applicants or $1,050 for applicants under 18
    • Applicant pays $10,000 AoS bond (held for 10 years) for main applicant and $4,000 for any adult secondary applicants (note: these charges are subject to indexation for inflation at the start of each financial year)
  • Assuming applicant meets all other requirements, visa is granted (subject to available places)
  • Note: these charges are subject to indexation for inflation at the start of each financial year.

Contributory parent visa application (temporary) (subclass 173/884 for applicants outside/in Australia)

  • At time of temporary visa application, applicant pays first VAC ($1,175 outside Australia or $1,745 in Australia)
  • Before a decision is made, applicant pays second VAC of $15,000 for adult applicants or $1,050 for applicants under 18
  • Assuming applicant meets all other requirements, temporary visa is granted for 2 years (subject to available places)

Within 2 year period, applicant applies for permanent contributory parent visa:

  • At time of permanent visa application, applicant pays $160 first VAC
  • Before a decision is made:
    • Applicant pays second VAC of $10,000 for adult applicants (nil for applicants under 18)
    • Applicant pays $10,000 AoS bond (held for 10 years) for main applicant and $4,000 for any adult secondary applicants
  • Assuming applicant meets all other requirements, visa is granted (subject to available places)
  • Note: these charges are subject to indexation for inflation at the start of each financial year

Q.14 If my parents/I are in Australia on a Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa or Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa can they/I work and get access to Medicare?

Yes.

The following entitlements apply to holders of the new temporary contributory parent visa subclass:

  • work rights
  • multiple re-entry travel facility
  • access to Medicare.

Q.15 Do my parents / I have to wait the full two years before applying for the permanent contributory parent visa?

No. Parents can apply for the permanent contributory parent visa at any stage after the grant of the temporary visa. They will need to make a valid application for the permanent visa and pay the $A10,000 remaining portion of the second VAC and provide an Assurance of Support and appropriate bond (see Question 3).

Q.16 Where do my parents / I apply?

Once the new contributory parent visa category has begun (refer Question 1):

  • Parents residing overseas must apply at the Perth Offshore Parents Centre
  • Parents residing in Australia apply at the nearest Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs office in Australia.

 

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