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.
We have received details of the number of subclass 870 parent visa applications that are awaiting processing and the granting of visas.
As at 31 August, 2021 there were 1,826 applications on hand at the Department of Home Affairs, awaiting a decision.
Given there is an annual quote of 15,000 visas available under this visa subclass there is clearly scope for all of these visas to be granted once Australia’s Covid related border restrictions are eased – and for over 13,000 more visa grants before the end of the current program year on 30 June 2022.
Subclass 870 visa holders are unable to travel to Australia presently, due to restrictions at the point of arrival.
The validity period of subclass 870 visas is 3 years or 5 years from the time the visa is granted – not from the time of first arrival in Australia.
The Australian Government has announced a concession that extends the validity period of subclass 870 visas by 18 months.
If you hold a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) (subclass 870) visa (SPTV) and were outside Australia on 1 July 2021, your visa period has been automatically extended by 18 months.
The concession is intended to help SPTV holders who could not spend the full 3 or 5 years on their visa in Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
If your visa is extended under this concession the additional 18 months will not count toward your cumulative 10 year maximum stay period.
The Department of Home Affairs has said that it will notify eligible visa holders in writing by the end of August 2021.
The sponsorship obligations for SPTV Sponsors have also been extended for the same 18 month period.
Before an application can be submitted for a subclass 870 Temporary Sponsored Parent visa an approved family sponsorship must be in place.
A key requirement to be satisfied is the income test.
The Legislative Instrument that is currently in effect requires evidence to be provided that confirms taxable income of an amount that is at least A$83,454.80.
This income does not have be solely that of the sponsoring child. Migration Regulations allow the following to be aggregated:
- The taxable income of the sponsor
- The spouse or de facto partner of the sponsor
- One additional child of the sponsored visa applicant, so long as the child is an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
Where income of a spouse/de facto partner and/or an additional child is being considered the taxable income of the sponsor must be at least one-half of the specified amount – ie A$41,727.40 presently.
It should also be noted that the requirement is to be met for the income tax year preceding that in which the family sponsor application is submitted.
This means that those looking to submit an application for approval as a family sponsor currently (July 2019) will need to submit their 2019 Australian tax return at the earliest opportunity as the 2019 Tax Assessment Notice will be needed to satisfy the income test.
A Tax Assessment Notice is usually available within a few days of the annual personal tax return being submitted to the Australian Taxation Office.
The author of this article is a registered tax agent as well as a registered migration agent. He will be happy to discuss the practicalities of the tax assessment process if you are interested in sponsoring a subclass 870 visa application – please feel able to complete the enquiry form on this page for a free initial discussion.
Since the beginning of this month it has been possible for a parent with a child in Australia to apply for the new temporary sponsored parent visa (subclass 870).
Many of the requirements for this visa were explored in an earlier post.
The underlying legislation is now available, from which we consider the following to be additionally important:
- An applicant for the 870 visa is required to be outside Australia when the visa application is lodged – unless the Minister for Immigration has agreed otherwise. Note that the applicant does not have to be outside Australia when the application for approval as a family sponsor is submitted or approved.
- On each occasion that an 870 visa is renewed the visa applicant will be required to be outside Australia for at least 90 days.
- The cancellation of the family sponsorship or withdrawal of the sponsorship will lead to the 870 visa ceasing to be valid.
- Similarly the death of the sponsor will lead to the 870 visa ceasing to be in effect if another approved sponsor cannot be found.
- An application for an 870 visa must usually be submitted within 6 months of the date of approval of the family sponsor.
- Holders of a subclass 870 visa cannot apply for a visa under the following visa subclasses:
- 143, Contributory Parent visa
- 864, Contributory Aged Parent visa
- 173, Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa
- 884, Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa
- 804, Aged Parent
- 103, Parent
- Those wanting a permanent residency parent visa outcome should therefore ensure an application under the above visa sub classes is submitted before a visa under subclass 870 is granted.
It should also be remembered that there is no automatic pathway to permanent residency via the subclass 870 visa , and that the total period of time permitted in Australia as the holder of an 870 visa will be 10 years.
This visa will though have a role to play in allowing parents to remain in Australia while awaiting a decision on a subclass 143 permanent residency visa application.
Interested persons may also want to review our separate blog that explores the income requirement to be met by the sponsor of a subclass 870 visa – and to complete the enquiry form on this page if they would like an initial free discussion with us about parent visa strategies.