You’ve been living in Australia for a while now and you’ve grown to love the country. Your parents may be ageing but still live in your home country.
Wouldn’t it be great to have them here with you, so that you can look after them?
Whilst that may seem the ideal situation for you, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before you make the decision to migrate your parents to Australia.
Why do you want them in Australia?
What are your goals for migrating your parents to Australia? Is it so that you can look after them as they age? Encourage a deeper connection with their grandchildren? Can they have better access to quality healthcare in Australia, as compared to their home country? Will they be safer in Australia?
Before you start the process of migrating your parents to Australia, check to see whether it’s something that they want to do! The visa applicants (your parents) really need to be onboard with this process.
As hard as it is to understand, sometimes parents don’t want to move. They’ve lived their entire lives in their home country, have friends, regular events and community connections. If you want to migrate your parents to Australia, be mindful of this. When they move here, they often live with you or other family which can severely decrease their independence. This is affected even more when they struggle with English.
You can read this blog for more guidance on understanding your goals in the visa application process.
Assurance of Support
When you apply for a parent visa you will be required to supply an Assurance of Support (AoS) for each parent.
An AoS is like a bond. It’s put in place to cover any payments that the Australian Government may give to your parents. It is a large financial commitment and Services Australia are responsible for the assessment of Assurance of Support applications, including bond lodgement via Centrelink offices.
The AoS is usually payable towards the end of the processing of your parent’s visa application, and not a required payment at the time of visa application. Depending on your family circumstances and the type of visa being applied for, the AoS can range from AU$3,000 to AU$15,000 per applicant.
You will need to pass strict income tests to be an eligible sponsor. If you don’t have the financial capacity to provide the AoS, another person can do it on your behalf.
Generally, this can be a person who is an Australian Citizen or Australian permanent resident living in Australia, including NZ citizens who are protected Special Category Visa (SCV) holders, be over the age of 18 years and meet the income test requirements. Alternatively, there can be more than 1 person who is an assurer. Combined income can be assessed against the modified income test requirements.
For more information on providing an AoS, visit the Australian Government website here.
What it means to be a sponsor
Sponsoring your parents to migrate to Australia can be a costly exercise. You can expect the initial visa application fee to be in the vicinity of AU$4,000-AU$5,000 per applicant. This must be paid at time of application. There is also the AoS and the second Visa Application Charge (VAC) that will be due when their application is nearing decision.
The 2nd VAC can range from AU$30,000 to AU$47,000 per person, depending on the type of parent visa being submitted.
There is also the AoS that needs to be provided. Given the amount of money involved in migrating your parents to Australia, it’s important that it’s the right decision for the entire family.
However, you should also take into consideration the anticipated processing time of various parent visa pathways. On average, you may expect to wait approximately 2-4 years before the application matures and the final payments are due. This gives you and your family time to plan your finances.
Besides the financial commitment, as a sponsor you will be committed emotionally to the process of migrating your parents to Australia. This is another reason why it is important to be clear on your goals for the visa process.
What are the alternatives?
There are other less permanent alternatives to the Parent Visa to enable your parents to live in Australia with you.
The first is a Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa Subclass 870 which allows your parents to remain with you for 3 or 5 years. This visa can be requested again, up to a maximum stay period of 10 years.
The other alternative is the Aged Parent Visa which currently has a very long wait time of about 30 years. Although this last option is the least costly, we recommend families to speak with a migration agent and truly understand what this visa entails.
All of the parent visa options require thought and care to determine which one is right for your family’s circumstances.
Applying for a parent visa isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. There are many considerations in the process, but Home of Visas is here to help you every step of the way.
If you’re wondering whether this is the right decision for you and your family, you can contact us here for a free visa migration call. We’ll talk through your goals and options so that you can make a sound decision on whether you wish to migrate your parents to Australia.
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