The government has announced that from 2 June 2014, the subclass 103 visa will NO longer accept new applications. There will be NO equivalent visa to replace it. The only option for parents to gain permanent visa will be the contributory category.
The parent visas allow parents to migrate to Australia permanently to join their child, who is settled Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. You must be sponsored by your child or another eligible sponsors, in Australia.
There are a number of subclasses of visas in this category. When selecting the suitable subclass, it depends on whether the applicant is onshore or offshore; whether you are willing to make a contributory payment. The key criteria for these subclasses are very similar.
Capping and Queuing
Most family visas are subject to capping and queuing. Parent visas are usually given low priority for processing. If you apply for non-contributory parent visa, you can expect very lengthy waiting period.
Social securities and Assurance of support
New migrants are entitled to receiving social security payment, subject to waiting period. The waiting period is generally 2 years. For aged pension, the waiting period is 10 years, unless you are from a country that has reciprocal arrangement with Australia.
Your sponsor must provide an Assurance of support, for a period of 2 years or 10 years, depending on the visa. If during the assurance period you receive any social security payment, the assurer must repay the amount. It is mandatory to provide assurance of support for parent visas.
The assurance of support is handled by Centrelink. To be eligible as an assurer, you must meet income test, and aged 18 years or over. Centrelink may request the assurer to provide a bank guarantee. The amount currently is $5,000 for a single applicant, and $7,000 for 2 applicants for a 2-year assurance. The amounts are $10,000 and $14,000 respectively for a 10 -year assurance. An organisation can be an assurer, and is not subject to income test, but it must provide a bank guarantee.
It is unlikely a current recipient of Centrelink payments will be accepted as an assurer.
Balance of family test
It is an important criterion for parent visas. You must be able to demonstrate one of the following: 1) at least half of your children are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens who are usually resident in Australia. 2) You have more children living in Australia as Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens than in any other country. All children, including step children and adopted children, of both parents are counted in the balance of family test.
The applicant’s partner, dependent child / children or other dependants can be added to the application as secondary applicants. Your child or stepchild is considered a dependent when they are one of the following:
- Under 18 years of age
- Aged 18 years or over and have been wholly or substantially reliant on you for a substantial period for their basic needs (food, clothing and shelter)
- Any age and incapacitated for work due to a total or partial loss of bodily or mental functions (whether or not they migrate with you).
A child of any age is not considered dependent if they are married, engaged to be married or in a de facto relationship.
Other dependent relatives
Your other relatives may be considered dependent if they are all of the following:
- Single (has never married or entered a de facto relationship, or is widowed, divorced or separated)
- Usually resident in your household
- Wholly or substantially reliant on your financial support for their basic living needs (food, shelter and clothing)
- more reliant on you for support than on any other person or source have been reliant on you for a substantial period.
Limitations on applications
If you are in Australia, you may be prevented from applying for this visa if, for example:
* you do not hold a substantive visa (which is any visa other than a bridging visa, a criminal justice visa or an enforcement visa) and had a visa cancelled or refused since you last arrived in Australia
* Your last visa was granted on the condition that you would not be granted a substantive visa while you remain in Australia
* You hold a sponsored visitor visa
* You are in immigration detention.