Being so far from most parts of the world, you may reasonably be wanting to bring your parents to Australia to reside with you. This can happen once you have gained permanent residence in Australia. There are various avenues to achieve this, however each comes with different advantages and disadvantages that you will need to closely consider against the criteria for each visa type, the wait periods for processing different visa types and your family’s individual circumstances.

Bringing your Parents to Australia. Where to begin?

There are temporary and permanent visa pathways allowing your parents to spend time with you in Australia or to settle with you here. If you and your parents wish to explore permanent settlement in Australia, it is important to understand what the requirements are for Contributory and Non-Contributory Parent Visas. If the rules for these types of visas disqualify your parents from joining you in Australia on a permanent basis, other temporary visa options are available.

Contributory Parent Visas (subclasses 143, 173, 864, 884

The majority of prospective Australian parent visa applicants consider the more expensive Contributory Parent Visa options on offer as these tend to be processed faster and offer a range of benefits.
There are 4 visa subclasses available under the Contributory Parent Visa scheme open to applicants (parents) on the basis of age and location at the time of lodgment as follows:


available to parents of any age

available to parents of pension age*

*65-67 years and older, depending on the year parents were born

Parent location

Outside Australia

Inside Australia

Temporary Visa

Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 173)

Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 884)

Permanent Visa

Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa (subclass 173)

Contributory Aged Parent Visa (subclass 864)



Approximate Total Fees

Residence period


Right to work & study

Medicare access

Subclasses 173/884 (temporary)

  • Health and Character tests
  • Balance of Family test
  • Have a Sponsor residing in Australia
  • Pension age (subclass 884)
AUD31,930 (subclass 173)
AUD33,285 (subclass 884)
Up to 2 years
Can travel to and from Australia for 2 years

Subclasses 143/864 (permanent)

  • Health and Character tests
  • Balance of Family test
  • Have a Sponsor residing in Australia
  • Assurance of Support
  • Pension age (subclass 864)


Indefinitely stay in Australia as a permanent resident and sponsor eligible relatives to come to Australia.

Can apply to be an Australian citizen if meets criteria.

Can travel to and from Australia for 5 years before requiring a Resident Return visa

For each subclass, the sponsor is usually the parent’s child and an eligible Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. However, if the child is below 18 years, the parent can be sponsored by certain other people, such as the child’s relative or legal guardian in Australia or a community organisation.

Parent Visa (subclass 103, subclass 804)

The Parent Visa (subclass 103) and Aged Parent (Residence) Visa (subclass 804) are non-contributory parent visas. Their fees, paid in two instalments start from $6,415AUD. Other relatives can be added to this visa at additional costs.

Parents who are retired can also apply for these visas, and do not have to satisfy the full range of tests that are otherwise required.

The level of benefits arising with the permanent Contributory Parent Visas (subclasses 143 and 864) come with the Parent Visa (subclass 103).

Sponsored Parent Temporary Visa (subclass 870)

This visa is a separate type of Parent Visa. It is a temporary visa that does not present any age requirements for the applicant. Once on or having applied for this visa, parents cannot apply for either the Parent Visa or a Contributory Parent Visa.

In the case of sponsorship for this visa, the sponsor must have held Australian citizenship, permanent residence or have been an eligible New Zealand citizen for at least 4 years and have a minimum household taxable income of around $83,454AUD.

To apply for a Sponsored Parent Temporary Visa (subclass 870) for a stay of up to 3 years’ costs $5,000AUD. Up to 5 years’ costs $10,000AUD.

Visa Processing Times

Another aspect to bear in mind is how long it takes to get each visa.

Typically, Australian Parent Visas take significant time to process. Each year, the Australian government caps the number of visas it permits under several categories. Parent Visas fall under the Family category. Although more than 70,000 places are available to family members to rejoin their loved ones in Australia for this 2020-21 year, only 4,500 of those have been made available to parents.

There is a queueing system for Australian visas for parents. There are various stages involved in processing Parent visas. Applications that are not withdrawn, changed or rejected, reach the last stage known as “released for final processing”. Applications in this phase can remain in the queue if they are not finalised in a given year, and be placed for processing in a subsequent year.

On the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) website, information on processing times is periodically updated. Applicants can expect these to vary annually.

Current processing times stated by the Australian government for Parent Visas are:

  • Approximately and at least 58 months for contributory parent visas
  • Up to 30 years for the Parent Visa (non-contributory and permanent visa)
  • No given processing time for Aged Parent Visa
  • 75% of Sponsored Parent Temporary Visas are processed within 4 months
  • 90% of Sponsored Parent Temporary Visas are processed within 5 months

How can VEVS help?

When it comes to getting an Australian visa for your parents, there is quite a bit of information to understand and in some circumstances considerably long visa processing times. Questions might arise, such as what happens for families with children spread across the globe, blended families with step-parents and step-siblings, retirees and even new born siblings? VEVS Global understands how to navigate Australian parent visa options to address your family’s needs.

Whether you are just seeking assistance to help your parents arrange a Visitor Visa for Australia, or need to sort out a long-term Australian contributory or non-contributory parent visa option, call us! We can work with you to determine the best pathways for your family and provide you with technical support to ensure you fully understand the requirements of tests and support related to Australian parent visas and health insurance available for subclass 870 applicants.