Australian Government Media Release
From today, parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for a travel exemption, for travel to Australia from 1 November 2021.
Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said the changes would reunite many families separated by the pandemic.
See the full media release here.
The Australian Government has published a Legislative Instrument which caps the number of parent visas that can be granted for the current program year that ends on 30 June 2021.
There is a ceiling of 3,600 visas on the number of Contributory Parent visas.
For the last 2 program years the numbers were:
2019/20 – 6,096
2018/19 – 7,175
For non CP visas – ie visa subclasses 103 and 804 – the ceiling is 900.
2019/20 – 1,275
2018/19 – 1,500
The ceiling on the granting of CP Visas includes 125 visas that are available to subclass 410 and 405 visa holders who are seeking permanent residency under the pathway to permanent residency for retirement and investor retirement visa holders.
Comment: Clearly COVID-19 has significantly affected the number of visas being granted to parents. With a significant number of applications for parent visas lodged with the Australian Government – see our recent post in this regard – and political pressure building on the Government to react to a significantly lengthening waiting time – we like to think that the planned parent visa program for the program year to 30 June 2022 will respond appropriately.
The number of parent visas for the following program year is usually announced at the time of the Federal Budget. The 2021 Budget is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 11 May, 2021.
We will bring news here regarding the 2021/22 program numbers as soon as they are known to us.
Temporary relaxations in the place where parent visa applicants are required to be at the time of visa grant come into effect today.
The Migration Amendment (Parent Visas) Regulations amend the Migration Regulations to allow specified Parent Visas to be granted during the COVID concession period in locations other than those usually applying.
For applicants for the following Parent visa classes who are located in Australia, but who would be otherwise required to be outside Australia at the time of visa grant, these visas may be granted when onshore:
- Parent (Permanent) (subclass 103)
- Contributory Parent (Permanent) (subclass 143)
- Contributory Parent (Temporary) (subclass 173)
For applicants for the following Parent visa subclasses who are located outside Australia, but who would otherwise be required to be in Australia at the time of visa grant, these visas may be granted when offshore:
- Aged Parent (Permanent) (subclass 804)
- Contributory Aged Parent (Permanent) (subclass 864)
These COVID concessions apply to visas that were lodged before 24 March 2021 and before the end of the concession period prescribed in Regulation 1.15N(1).
No end date for the concession period has been prescribed at the time of writing this article.
For the grant of a Subclass 103, Subclass 143 or Subclass 173 visa while the applicant is in Australia, the applicant must have been in Australia on 24 March 2021, but not in immigration clearance.
For grant of a Subclass 804 or Subclass 864 while the applicant is overseas, the applicant must have been outside Australia on 24 March 2021 and must not be in immigration clearance.
Those who have a child living in Australia and who meet the balance of family test can consider an onshore parent visa application if one of the visa applicants is “aged” (as defined).
A parent is defined as being aged if s/he is old enough to be granted an Age Pension under Australia’s Social Security Act 1991.
Since the 1st of July 2013 the threshold age has been 65 for men and for women.
However, the age at which Age Pension is available is increasing from the 1st of July, 2017.
More specifically, from the 1st of July, 2017 the minimum age for both men and women to qualify for the Age Pension will increase, such that for men and women born on or after the 1st of July, 1952 the pension age will progressively increase by 6 months every 2 years until it reaches 67 on the 1st of July, 2023.
The changes to the age at which the Age Pension is available – and hence when an individual will be able to apply for an onshore parent visa – are described more fully at this webpage.
To recap, the following sub classes are onshore parent visas:
- 804, Aged Parent
- 864, Contributory Aged Parent
- 884, Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary)