Bringing Parents to Australia: A Comprehensive Guide


Bringing parents to Australia is a significant step that can enhance family unity and provide your loved ones with the opportunity to experience a new culture, environment, and lifestyle. However, the process involves meticulous planning and adherence to Australian immigration laws. This guide will provide an in-depth overview of the necessary steps, requirements, and options available for bringing your parents to Australia.

Understanding the Visa Options

Parent Visa Categories

Australia offers several visa categories for parents, each with its unique requirements and processing times. The most common options include:

  • Parent Visa (Subclass 103): This visa allows parents to live permanently in Australia. However, the processing time can be extensive, often taking up to 30 years.
  • Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143): This visa also allows for permanent residency but has a significantly shorter processing time compared to the Parent Visa. The trade-off is a higher application fee.
  • Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804): This is designed for parents who are old enough to receive an Australian age pension. Similar to the Parent Visa, the processing time is quite long.
  • Contributory Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 864): This visa provides a faster route to permanent residency for older parents, with higher costs involved.
  • Temporary Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 173/884): These visas are temporary and can be used as a pathway to permanent residency.

Key Requirements

To be eligible for these visas, parents must meet several criteria, including:

  • Balance of Family Test: At least half of the parent’s children must be permanent residents or citizens of Australia, or more of their children live in Australia than in any other single country.
  • Assurance of Support: The sponsoring child must provide a financial guarantee, ensuring that the parents will not rely on government assistance.
  • Health and Character Requirements: Applicants must meet certain health and character criteria, ensuring they do not pose a risk to the Australian community.

Step-by-Step Process for Applying for a Parent Visa

  1. Assess Eligibility

The first step in bringing parents to Australia is to assess their eligibility. This involves understanding the visa requirements and ensuring that your parents meet the necessary criteria.

  1. Choose the Appropriate Visa

Selecting the right visa category is crucial. Consider factors such as processing time, costs, and your parents’ age. For instance, if faster processing is a priority and cost is not a major concern, the Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143) might be suitable.

  1. Gather Necessary Documents

Collect all required documents to support the visa application. This typically includes:

  • Proof of Relationship: Birth certificates, marriage certificates, or adoption papers.
  • Identity Documents: Passports, national IDs, and photographs.
  • Health and Character Documents: Medical reports, police clearance certificates.
  1. Submit the Application

Submit the completed application form along with the required documents and application fee. This can be done online or via post, depending on the visa category.

  1. Await Processing

Processing times vary significantly between visa categories. It is important to keep track of your application status and respond promptly to any requests for additional information from the Department of Home Affairs.

  1. Provide Assurance of Support

The Assurance of Support is a mandatory requirement for parent visas. This involves a financial bond lodged by the sponsor, ensuring that the parents will not rely on public funds for a specified period after their arrival.

  1. Health and Character Checks

Applicants must undergo health examinations and provide police clearance certificates to meet the health and character requirements. These checks ensure that the applicants do not pose a health or security risk to the Australian community.

  1. Visa Decision

Once all requirements are met, and the application has been processed, a decision will be made. If the visa is granted, your parents will be able to move to Australia under the conditions specified in their visa grant notice.

Costs Involved in Bringing Parents to Australia

Visa Application Fees

Visa application fees vary depending on the visa category. Contributory parent visas tend to have higher fees but offer faster processing times.

Assurance of Support

The Assurance of Support requires a financial bond, which varies depending on the visa type and the number of applicants.

Medical and Travel Costs

Additional costs include medical examinations, travel insurance, and airfare for your parents.

Benefits of Bringing Parents to Australia

Family Reunion

Reuniting with parents strengthens family bonds and provides emotional support, enhancing the well-being of all family members.

Childcare Support

Parents can provide invaluable assistance with childcare, enabling the primary earners to focus on their careers and contribute more effectively to the household.

Cultural Exchange

Bringing parents to Australia promotes cultural exchange, enriching the lives of both the parents and the local community.

Challenges and Considerations

Processing Times

Long processing times for certain visa categories can be a significant challenge. It is important to plan accordingly and explore alternative visa options if necessary.

Financial Commitments

The cost of bringing parents to Australia can be substantial, particularly for contributory parent visas. Ensure that you are financially prepared for these commitments.

Adaptation and Integration

Helping your parents adapt to a new country and integrate into Australian society can be challenging. Providing support and resources can ease this transition.


Bringing parents to Australia is a rewarding but complex process that requires careful planning and adherence to immigration laws. By understanding the available visa options, meeting the necessary requirements, and preparing for the associated costs, you can successfully bring your parents to Australia and enjoy the numerous benefits of family reunification.

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