As noted in an earlier blog post the Department of Home Affairs now queues applications for Contributory Parent visas.
The process of queuing Contributory Parent visa applications has had a slow start, but we are now starting to see subclass 143 Contributory Parent visa applications being reviewed by delegates at the Parent Visa Centre with a view to them being given a queue date.
Specifically, from Ministerial Direction 103:
queue date means the date on which the applicant is assessed by a delegate as meeting all of the prescribed criteria for the visa, other than the following:
(c) for Onshore Parent visas (Subclass 804) and Contributory Parent visas (Subclass 864 and 884), the applicant’s payment of the second instalment of the visa application charge and, where applicable, assurance of support requirements;
(d) for Parent visas (Subclass 103) and Contributory Parent visas (Subclass 143 and 173), the applicant’s health and character requirements, payment of the second instalment of the visa application charge and, where applicable, assurance of support requirements.
Customarily with the non Contributory Parent visa caseload (subclasses 103 and 804) the queue date given is the date the application is assessed by the delegate as meeting certain requirements.
Some of the queue dates issued recently – notably in October 2023 – were the dates on which the delegate assessed the prescribed criteria as being met, as per the Ministerial Direction.
However, a short time later these applicants (or their agents) received letters from the Department of Home Affairs advising of updated queue dates, which was the date the visa application was submitted to the Department.
We have made enquiry of the Department and have been advised:
The Department is currently assessing a large number of Contributory Parent visa applications for a place in the queue. In order to ensure that clients are not disadvantaged by the delay in assessing their application for the queue, the Parent Visa team are currently utilising provisions within Ministerial Direction 103 to assign a retrospective queue date.
Given the large number of Contributory Parent visas under current assessment this will ensure that cases lodged months or potentially years apart do not ‘skip’ each other for a place in the queue due to our processes. It will also align with the queue method applied to Contributory Parent visas that were lodged up to 1 June 2018. To ensure equity, the Parent Visa team are currently revising the queue date assigned to a small number of Contributory Parent visa applications that were incorrectly assigned a 2023 queue date.
While we do not wholly subscribe to the procedure being adopted – it doesn’t align with the queuing of non Contributory Parent visa applications under subclasses 103 and 804 – this response does provide context to what we and some other visa applicants have experienced recently.