The Minister for Immigration has announced that Sponsors can apply to be approved to bring their parents to Australia on the Five Year subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa from 17 April 2019. The following information has been placed on the Immigration website.
The visa provides parents with a new pathway to temporarily reunite with their children and grandchildren in Australia, while ensuring that taxpayers are not required to cover additional costs. The visa responds to community concerns about the limited number of Parent places in the migration program and associated lengthy waiting periods.
To be eligible for the visa, a parent must be the biological, adoptive, or step-parent of the sponsor, who must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
Sponsorship applications can be lodged from 17 April 2019. When a sponsor has been approved, the visa applicant will then be able to lodge their visa application. Visa applications must be lodged within six months of sponsorship approval and cannot be lodged until a sponsor has been approved.
The visa allows parents to remain in Australia for a longer period of time, up to five years at a time without departing. It provides an alternative option to Visitor visas which only allow shorter periods of stay. Parents are still eligible to apply for Visitor visas and/or permanent Parent visas.
While the Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa allows for a significantly longer stay period than a visitor visa, it is still only a temporary visa and does not allow for permanent residence in Australia like a permanent Parent visa.
Up to 15,000 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visas may be granted each program year (from 1 July to 30 June). If the cap is reached in a program year, no further visas will be granted until the next program year commences on 1 July. Only two parents per household can be sponsored for this visa at a time. The limit allows more households to sponsor a parent and reflects the potential costs a sponsor will be required to meet. A minimum household income threshold (based on the income of the sponsor, or the combined income of the sponsor and their spouse/partner and/or another child of the parent) will apply however exact details of this threshold have not yet been released. The fee to apply for sponsorship approval is $420.
A parent sponsor will be required to meet obligations including:
- providing financial support and accommodation for their parent in Australia
- keeping records and providing them to the Department if asked. For example evidence of income. This obligation ends two years after the day the person ceases to be a sponsor
- advising the Department when certain events occur. For example if they are charged with a crime. This obligation ends the day after the person ceases to be a sponsor
- paying outstanding public health debts incurred by their parent in Australia. The obligation ceases if the relevant health authority advises the debt has been repaid, or acceptable repayment arrangements have been made. However, this obligation will continue if there are outstanding health debts, even after the parent who incurred them has departed Australia.
If the parent incurs public health debts in Australia and these are not paid, the party owed the debt will be able to pursue the sponsor, through the Courts if necessary, to have the debt repaid.
Unlike permanent Parent visas, there is no Balance of Family Test requirement for this visa, meaning a visa applicant is not required to have more than half of their children residing in Australia.The visa allows parents to stay in Australia temporarily for a period of up to five years at a time.
A parent must be outside Australia for at least 90 days before being eligible to apply for a further Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa. A parent will be able to hold visas up to a total stay in Australia of 10 years, reflecting that the visa is a temporary visa and does not lead to permanent residence.
Parents who have held Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visas for the cumulative maximum 10 year period must either depart Australia or apply for another visa that will allow them to remain in Australia.
They will not be eligible for grant of a further Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa.
The visa application charge is:
- $5,000 for a visa of up to three years’ duration; or
- $10,000 for a visa of up to five years’ duration.
The visa application charge is payable in two instalments, with one payment at time of application and the remainder paid prior to visa grant.
Visa holders will generally be subject to a “no work” condition.