Contributory Parent Visas: Options Following the End of Parent and Aged Parent Visas

With the imminent closure of the Parent and Aged Parent visa pathways to new applicants, many parents and their children in Australia are asking about alternative visa options.

In this blog we highlight the Contributory Parent visas, including the two step strategy which is a helpful means of managing the cash flow associated with the high cost Contributory Parent visas.

Following the closure of the Parent and Aged Parent visas parents with children living in Australia can look at the following pathways to permanent residency:

Onshore Visas
The onshore visas for parents require you to be physically within Australia when the application is lodged with the Department of Immigration.

The main visa applicant must also be “aged”, which means:

– Where a man is the main applicant, he must be older than 65 years of age

– Where a woman is the main applicant, if she is:

born before 30 June 1947, she can apply at the age of 64;
born between 1 July 1947 and 31 December 1948, she can apply when 64.5 years of age;
born after 1 January 1949, she can apply when she is aged 65 or older

The onshore visa options for parents following the withdrawal of the subclass 804 Aged Parent visa are:

> Subclass 864, Contributory Aged Parent (Residence)

> Subclass 884, Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary), leading to a subclass 864, Contributory Aged Parent (Residence), within 2 years of the granting of the 884 visa

The main advantage of the 884 to 864 visa is the splitting of the main Visa Application Charge into two stages.

The disadvantage of the two step strategy is the higher overall Visa Application Charges payable to the Department of Immigration. Based on the present scale of VACs for a 2 person visa application:

> 864 visa outright: 1st VACs total A$5,280; 2nd VACs A$43,600 x 2, or A$87,200 – giving a total of A$92,480

> 884 visa first: 1st VACs total A$5,280; 2nd VACs A$29,130 x 2, or A$58,260 – giving a total of A$63,540
> 864 for an 884 visa holder: 1st VACs total A$490; 2nd VACs A$19,420 x 2, or A$38,840 – giving a total of A$39,330
> Overall total for the 2-step strategy of A$102,870

Note also that the VACs payable at the 864 stage for 884 visa holders will be based on the VACs chargeable when the second visa application is lodged, which will almost certainly be higher than they are when the 884 application is lodged.

However, the smoothing of cash flow is valuable, so the 2-step strategy will be the pathway of choice for many.

The Assurance of Support process – when a Bond is required to be lodged with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia – is required in the closing stages of the permanent residency visa application.

Offshore Visas
Applicants can be onshore or offshore when an application for this visa is lodged with the Department of Immigration, and there is no age requirement.

> Subclass 143, Contributory Parent (Migrant)

> Subclass 173, Contributory Parent (Temporary), leading to a subclass 143, Contributory Parent (Migrant), within 2 years of the granting of the 173 visa

The same considerations as noted above apply for the 2-step strategy insofar as the cost of the application and the smoothing of cash flow are concerned.

Visa Processing Times
We are presently seeing the onshore Contributory Aged Parent visas being processed to a decision quickly – in some 6 months – while the offshore Contributory Parent visas are taking some 20 to 22 months to reach a decision.

A relatively quick processing time can be a factor for those who have to realise an asset to generate the funds to pay the VACs, and should be factored into a decision as to visa strategy.

If you are a parent with children living in Australia and would like to discuss your visa strategy please feel able to contact your closest GM Parents office or complete the enquiry form on this page.

We will be pleased to have an initial discussion with you, after which we can send a no obligation fixed fee proposal to you.