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If you are a permanent resident or citizen in Australia, you may be able to sponsor your parents to stay and live in Australia.


The process involves time and expense but naturally can be very rewarding! It includes:

  • paying application fees
  • completing necessary paperwork
  • selecting the right pathway
  • being patient


The two categories of permanent visas are “normal” and “contributory”. Their common features are:

  • for applications that have to be made offshore, your parents do not need to meet the age requirement at the time of their application and they are not required to go through the health and character checks prior to queuing
  • for applications which can be made onshore, they need to meet the age requirement, however, there is an exception which allows a non-aged applicant in Australia to make a valid application for an offshore subclass visa whilst in Australia
  • certain applicants are eligible for bridging visa A without conditions (only in limited circumstances)

Key features of a “normal” visa include:

  • the application fee is significantly lower than visas in the contributory category
  • it has a longer queuing time (exceeding 15 years in some cases)
  • your parents may be entitled to a bridging visa which allows them to remain in Australia during the processing time

Key features of a “contributory” visa include:

  • it has a higher second visa application cost
  • a higher assurance of support bond is required from you and for a longer period of time
  • it has a faster queuing time (around 2 years)
  • the application fee starts at around $48,000 per parent
  • it has two stages – you apply for the temporary visa (valid for 2 years but which cannot be extended or renewed) and then you apply for the permanent visa after payment of visa application cost


Within the two categories of parent visas, there are six visa subclasses (excluding the new temporary visa subclass) which need careful consideration and selection.

Bridging Visa

An applicant who is already in Australia should apply for a bridging visa where possible as it will enable them to remain in Australia after their visa expires until a decision is made regarding the application for a parent visa.

It is important to keep in mind that a substantive visa application made onshore in Australia is not a valid bridging visa application unless the visa applied for can be granted while the applicant is onshore.


Choosing the best strategy can save you stress, time, costs and may allow your parents to enjoy the benefit of living in Australia without the significant wait time.

If you would like further advice or assistance with your application please contact us noting that the new “temporary parent visas” came into force from 17 April 2019 and may also need to be considered.