FAQs

1. I have lodged a subclass 103/143 visa application. Can I travel to Australia on holiday while this application is being processed?

2. I have heard that my visa application is subject to “capping and queuing.” What is this?

3. Tell me more about the queuing of a subclass 103 or 804 visa application.

4. I have lodged an application for a Contributory Parent visa. How long will it take to be granted?

5. The main Visa Application Charge for a subclass 143 visa is very expensive, and is on a per applicant basis. We are a husband and wife couple: can I lodge a 143 visa application for me, and the sponsor my spouse for a Partner visa once my visa has been granted?

6. We meet the age requirements for an Aged Parent visa (subclass 804), and are planning to holiday in Australia. We don’t want to pay the cost of a subclass 143 visa – can we can apply for an Aged Parent visa when we are in Australia?

7. What is an Assurance of Support?

8. I am in receipt of a UK pension. How should this be taxed when I move to Australia as the holder of a Contributory Parent visa?


Q. I have lodged a subclass 103/143 visa application. Can I travel to Australia on holiday while this application is being processed?

  • Yes, you should be able to obtain a visitor visa that allows you to spend time with friends and family in Australia. This will not adversely impact your permanent residency visa application, and you can request a longer stay in Australia than the usual 3 months if you want to spend an extended period in Australia.

Q. I have heard that my visa application is subject to “capping and queuing.” What is this?

  • Australia’s Immigration Minister has the power to “cap” or limit the number of visas which can be granted each year in a particular visa subclass.
  • This limit, or cap, applies only for the migration program year in which it is announced. When a cap is reached, applicants then wait in a queue for visa grant consideration in a following year, subject to places becoming available. Applications are considered for visa grant in the order of their queue date, when places become available.
  • In other words, when the number of visas set by the minister for a visa class for the migration program year has been reached, no further visas can be granted in that program year.
  • Parent and Contributory Parent visas are subject to capping by the Minister.
  • Contributory Parent visas are not presently queued, but visa applications under subclasses 103 and 804 are.

Q. Tell me more about the queuing of a subclass 103 or 804 visa application.

  • If you lodge a subclass 103 (Parent) or 804 (Aged Parent) visa application you will be asked to arrange a police clearance certificate and to attend medical examinations some 12 to 18 months after your visa application is lodged. Assuming these are satisfactory you will be given a queue date by the Department of Immigration.
  • The Department of Immigration publishes a queue calculator on its website, which shows how many applicants for the visa subclass are ahead of you in the queue. Based on the number of visas available each year you can estimate how long it will take for your application to be processed to a decision.
  • The queue calculator is here.

Q. I have lodged an application for a Contributory Parent visa. How long will it take to be granted?

  • Visa application processing times are difficult to estimate with certainty, but as a general rule we are seeing subclass 143 and 173 Contributory Parent visa applications being processed to a decision in about 24 months.
  • Applications for the granting of onshore subclass 864 and 884 visas are taking less time than the offshore subclasses, at about 9 months.
  • You can obtain details of which visas are being processed currently by sending a blank email (no subject line or email content is required) to parents@border.gov.au

Q. The main Visa Application Charge for a subclass 143 visa is very expensive, and is on a per applicant basis. We are a husband and wife couple: can I lodge a 143 visa application for me, and the sponsor my spouse for a Partner visa once my visa has been granted?

  • This used to be a viable strategy, but the Department of Immigration has now introduced legislation that prevents a newly granted Contributory Parent visa holder from sponsoring a partner for 5 years following visa grant, effectively stopping the use of this strategy to reduce costs.

Q. We meet the age requirements for an Aged Parent visa (subclass 804), and are planning to holiday in Australia. We don’t want to pay the cost of a subclass 143 visa – can we can apply for an Aged Parent visa when we are in Australia?

  • First, you should be aware that you should only travel to Australia as the holder of a visitor visa if you have a genuine intention to visit family or friends, or to holiday in Australia.
  • Assuming you are happy you will satisfy this requirement, you can apply for an 804 visa once you are in Australia, so long as you do not have what is called an 8503 condition on your visa. You will then be granted a Bridging Visa which will come into effect upon the expiry of the last visa used to enter to maintain your lawful status.
  • Practical issues can arise if the intention is to return to one’s home country to wind up affairs there – the Bridging Visa granted initially will not allow for a return to Australia, and a separate BV must be applied for.
  • More details appear in our factsheet, which can be requested from the tab above.

Q. What is an Assurance of Support?

  • The Assurance of Support (AoS) is a guarantee provided by an Assurer who is an individual (usually – a limited company can also act, and up to three individuals can combine to provide a joint AoS). The individual need not be a member of the same family as the visa applicant, though often is.
  • The AoS involves attending an interview at the Australian Federal Government body called Centrelink, when confirmation of the Assurer’s income is required with a view to the Assurer satisfying an income test.
  • Once Centrelink is happy the Assurer will be asked to attend the local branch of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. An AoS Bond will be lodged with the Commonwealth Bank, which will allow the Bank to issue a bank guarantee in favour of the Australian Government.
  • The amount of the AoS Bond will depend on the type of visa being sought. If the visa is a permanent Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143 or 864) the AoS Bond will be A$10,000 for the main applicant and A$4,000 for a secondary applicant.
  • The obligations of the Assurer are explained at the Centrelink interview, which include:
    • financial responsibility for the support of the Assuree for the duration of the AoS period – which is 2 years for a subclass 103 or 804 visa, and 10 years for a subclass 143 or 864 visa – and
    • repayment of any recoverable social security payments which may be paid to the Assuree during the AoS period.
  • More details about an Assurance of Support are here. {link to http://guidesacts.fahcsia.gov.au/guides_acts/ssg/ssguide-9/ssguide-9.4/ssguide-9.4.3.html}

Q. I am in receipt of a UK pension. How should this be taxed when I move to Australia as the holder of a Contributory Parent visa?

  • If you move to Australia holding a temporary residency visa, such as a subclass 173 visa, or a Visitor visa leading to a Bridging Visa once an onshore Aged Parent visa (subclass 804) has been lodged you are technically a temporary visaholder and can make use of the exemption from the charge to Australian tax in respect of income arising outside Australia. In other words, UK pension income received in this situation will remain properly taxable in the UK.
  • By contrast, if you are living in Australia as the holder of a permanent residency visa pension income from the UK is wholly taxable in Australia, and a NT (No Tax) PAYE Coding should be issued by HM Revenue to the administrators of the pension, so the pension income is received gross, with no tax deducted. There is a specific HM Revenue form to be used for this purpose.
  • The UK pension income is then taxable in Australia, and the income should be included on the Australian tax return each year.
  • There may be a tax deduction available in respect of what is called the Undeducted Purchase Price of the pension. If available, this will reduce the taxable amount of the pension, and hence the tax payable for the year.
  • Tax in Australia will initially be payable following the issuing of the Tax Assessment Notice by the Australian Taxation Office, after the first Australian tax return has been lodged.
  • Subsequently, tax will most probably be requested quarterly on account of each year’s tax bill via the issuing of Activity Statements by the ATO.
  • Once the Australian tax return has been lodged each year the tax payable for the year based on your total assessable income will be compared with the total tax already paid during the tax year via the quarterly Activity Statements, to arrive at a balance that is payable or repayable for the tax year.