There are two streams of visas available to parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents:

  • The contributory parent stream; or

  • The queued parent stream.

For both visas your parents will need to show that the pass the balance of family (BOF) test. The BOF is convoluted and restrictive. It disqualifies a lot of people from the parent visa. Finding out whether your parent satisfies the BOF test is a critical first step in any parent visa application.

Contributory parent visas are usually granted within 12 months of lodging the application but (as at September 2012) the costs associated with the application are significant: $86,500 per couple in Department of Immigration fees alone. 

In contrast, the fees for the queued parent visas are about $2,000 but at the moment applicants are waiting more than 15 years to be granted one of these visas.

Our expert immigration lawyers will work with you and provide you with advice about the best way to bring a parent to Australia. It is important to consider your parent’s circumstances to decide whether there is an easier and less costly way to bring into Australia rather than using a parent visa, and we can help you do this.


Contributory parent visas are sometimes the only way to bring a parent to Australia relatively quickly.

As at September 2012, the visa application fees payable to the Department of Immigration for the permanent resident contributory parent visa are $86,500 per couple, $84,400 of which must be paid prior to the visa being granted. 

An assurance of support must also be accepted before the visa is granted.

It is possible to break up the visa application charges over two years but this strategy is risky, especially if your parents are not in the best of health.

Our expert immigration lawyers can advise you about:

  • whether the contributory parent visa is the only option available to your parents

  • the costs involved in applying for the visa

  • the most appropriate strategy for your parents (temporary transitioning to permanent residence, or straight to permanent residence)

  • your liability as a sponsor and / or the person that lodges the bond and signs the guarantee

Waiting time

The Department of Immigration website states that if you “are applying for a Parent visa you can expect an approximate 15 year wait before visa grant consideration”.

The limited number of queued parent visas available each year means that the processing time is likely to increase in the future.

Strict health criteria apply to this visa. This coupled with the extraordinary processing times make this visa inappropriate for most people.

For faster visa process please contact us - Contributory parent visas.


The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) allows you to live in Australia if you are the spouse or de facto partner of:

In some circumstances the visa can be granted where your partner relationship has ended.

The temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) is the first stage towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801). You must be in Australia when you apply and also when this visa is decided.

You lodge one application form for your temporary and permanent visas and pay one application charge. Your application is processed in two stages, about two years apart.

 At the moment an average processing time for this visa is 12 to 15 months.​


A small number of visas are available to the siblings and more distant relatives of Australian citizens and permanent residents. These visas include:

  • remaining relative visas

  • carer visas

  • offshore humanitarian visas

There are issues associated with each of these visas, such as the time it takes for the visa to be granted, the limited number of visas that are available each year relative to the number of applications that are lodged, and the nature of the evidence that needs to be provided in order to qualify for one of these visas.

Our expert immigration lawyers can advise whether any of these visas represents the best way to brin family members to Australia. We have acted in a number of these cases and can provide you with clear and detailed advice about what evidence needs to be included in the application.


Humanitarian visas aside (which are not an option for most people anyway) the remaining relative visa is the only option for you to bring your last brother, sister or adult child to Australia.

To qualify for this visa your brother, sister or adult child must prove that:

  • They do not have any parents, siblings (including steps siblings) or non-dependent children that live outside Australia.

  • If they are married or in a defacto relationship, their spouse does not have any parents, siblings (including steps siblings) or non-dependent children that live outside Australia.

The number of remaining relative visas that are made available each year is limited. As a result you can expect to wait about 10+ years until you are granted a remaining relative visa.

Before you lodge an application for a remaining relative visa you should get advice from our expert immigration lawyers about whether your relative qualifies for this visa and whether there is a better visa available.