Note: Ministerial Direction 83 was replaced by Ministerial Direction 103 on 9 February 2023. There have been no changes to the issues discussed below as a result of MD103 coming into force.
As many applicants for Australian parent visas know, there is a choice available when submitting an application: apply for a non-Contributory parent visa (subclass 103 or 804) or for a Contributory parent visa (usually subclass 143 or 864).
The non-Contributory parent visa option is cheaper, but expected application processing times are such that most will not live long enough to see the visa being granted – over 30 years is the present expectation.
Nevertheless many apply for non-Contributory parent visas. Some do so because they are unaware of the expected visa application processing time.
Others lodge an application for a subclass 103 or 804 visa application and some time later wish they had submitted an application for a Contributory parent visa.
This is where Ministerial Direction 83 can save the day.
Section 7 of the Direction includes the following:
(2) To ensure fairness and equity in the processing of parent visa applications, the principle of processing applications for Family visas in the order in which they are received by the Department is to be departed from in the following circumstances:
(a) if before lodging a Contributory Parent (classes CA and Class UT) or Contributory Aged Parent (classes DG and UU) visa application the applicant had an unfinalised Parent (Class AX) or Aged Parent (Class BP) visa application, then the date of lodgement of the Contributory Parent or Contributory Aged Parent visa application should be deemed to be the date of lodgement of the unfinalised Parent or Aged Parent visa application.
In other words the date the non-Contributory parent visa application was lodged is deemed to be the date on which a subsequent Contributory parent visa application is lodged.
Note: Migration Regulations permit only 1 x application for one of these parent visas to be awaiting a decision at any given time
So if an application for (say) a subclass 804 visa application was lodged on 1st June 2014 a subsequent application for a subclass 864 visa application this month (September 2022) will be deemed to have been submitted on 1st June 2014.
Such an application would move to the front of the processing queue given the Parent Visa Centre is presently assessing applications that were lodged in the second half of calendar year 2016.
The same outcome can be achieved by subclass 103 visa applicants who move to an onshore Contributory Aged Parent visa application under subclass 864, making use of Ministerial Direction 83.
Parent visa processing times are now significant – even Contributory parent visa applications are taking many years to be decided. A strategy for those who are not yet aged (as defined – 66.5 presently; 67 for those born on or after 1 January 1957) and hence cannot presently apply for an onshore parent visa might therefore be to apply for a subclass 103 parent visa now, and to apply for a subclass 864 visa when the aged requirement is met.
The lodgement date of the subclass 103 parent visa application will then be deemed to be the lodgement date of the subclass 864 visa application.
Note: the 1st Visa Application Charge has to be paid again when such a strategy is adopted.
Go Matilda Visas is a proactive Australian visa advisory practice. We have been helping parents apply for visas for over 20 years and work with clients to develop visa strategies that are innovative and relevant to the needs of our clients.
If you are a parent with a child or children living in Australia and would like to discuss a current or planned parent visa application please complete the enquiry form on this page.
We’ll be pleased to have a free initial conversation about your situation, after which we can send a no obligation fee proposal to you.