The Subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa provides a pathway for a child to sponsor their parent for a long-term temporary stay in Australia. Eligible applicants can apply for either a three or five year visa term, with the option to re-apply thereafter. A maximum 10-year cumulative stay period is permitted.
This long term visa for parents can be a good option for a child to sponsor their parent/s for a temporary extended stay in Australia without needing to depart, with the ability to travel to and from the country on an unlimited basis throughout the visa term. Compare this with the current situation whereby a parent visiting their child in Australia can usually only stay for 3 months at a time, and no more than 12 months in any 18 month period.
Among the key eligibility requirements to qualify, the applicant must be sponsored by an eligible family member, and this must be approved before the visa application can be lodged.
Importantly, one of the benefits of this type of visa is that it is not subject to the Balance of Family test or Assurance of Support requirements that normally apply to the parent visa stream.
Let us now take a closer look at the subclass 870 visa, including the eligibility criteria, sponsorship requirements and obligations, cost and how to apply for a parent visa 870.
Who Is Eligible For A Long Term Parent Visa?
To qualify for a subclass 870 visa, you must meet the following key requirements:
- be at least 18 years of age at time of application;
- be sponsored by a ‘parent sponsor,’ which must be approved before the visa application can be lodged;
- be the biological, legal (including adoptive) parent, step-parent or parent in-law of the parent sponsor;
- have access to sufficient funds to meet the costs and expenses of your intended stay in Australia;
- have adequate arrangements for health insurance during the period of your intended stay in Australia;
- have complied substantially with the conditions of your last substantive visa, and any subsequent bridging visa that you held; and
- genuinely intend to stay in Australia temporarily.
You must also not have an outstanding public health debt, or if you do, the debt must have been paid in full or appropriate arrangements have been made for its payment.
Public interest Criteria including health and character requirements, as well as Special Return Criteria, must also be met, .
What Are The Sponsorship Requirements For A Subclass 870 Parent Visa?
To be approved as a Parent Sponsor for a long term parent visa, the following key requirements must be satisfied by your prospective sponsor:
- they must be at least 18 years of age;
- they must be either:
- an Australian citizen; or
- an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen who has been usually resident in Australia for at least the four years immediately before the day the application is made; and have not been unlawful or held a bridging visa (other than a bridging visa A, B or C) during the last 4 years;
- they must meet the income test;
- they must comply with prescribed sponsorship obligations;
- they must have complied with any previous sponsorship obligations;
- they must have no debt owing to the Australian government (or otherwise have repaid it, or arranged to pay it back); and
- they must meet the character requirement.
Let us now take a closer look at the main sponsorship requirements that apply to the subclass 870 parent visa.
Who Can Be Sponsored?
A child sponsor may sponsor their biological, legal (including adoptive) parent or step-parent. They can also sponsor their spouse or de facto partner’s parent/s, provided their spouse or de facto partner is also an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
Therefore, a parent sponsor can sponsor:
- One or both of their parents;
- One or both of their partner’s parents; or
- One of their parents and one of their partner’s parents.
Also note that each household is limited to one sponsorship at a time. The sponsorship can cover up to two parents per household at a time.
What Is The Income Test?
To pass the income test, the sponsor’s taxable income for the most recently completed taxable income year prior to the date of lodgement of the sponsorship application must be at least $83,454.80.
If the sponsor alone cannot meet the income test, their taxable income can be combined with their spouse or de facto partner, and/or another child of the visa applicant who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
If combining income, the sponsor’s taxable income must be at least 50% of the prescribed taxable income amount required to pass the income test. That is, at least $41,727.40.
What Are The Sponsorship Obligations?
The parent sponsor must agree to:
- provide financial support and accommodation for the sponsored parent whilst they are in Australia as a subclass 870 visa holder;
- notify the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) if things change and if certain events occur (such as if the sponsor is charged with a crime, or the sponsored parent dies);
- repay all outstanding public health debts incurred by the sponsored parent in Australia, or have an approved arrangement in place to repay the debt. This must be paid even if the sponsored parent departs Australia;
- prior to sponsorship approval, agree to disclose the sponsor’s criminal or family violence history or conviction to the sponsored parent; and
- agree to the sharing of information with other Commonwealth and State and Territory agencies.
A commitment to abide by their sponsorship obligations is made when completing the sponsorship application.
A failure to comply with their sponsorship obligations may result in the cancellation of the sponsorship and/or the parent’s visa subclass 870.
Also be aware that certain sponsorship obligations continue even after the sponsorship ceases.
When Does The Sponsorship End?
The parent sponsorship will cease in the following circumstances:
- the sponsor’s permanent visa is cancelled;
- the sponsor dies;
- the sponsorship is withdrawn;
- the prospective visa applicant does not apply for a subclass 870 visa within 6 months of the sponsorshop being approved;
- when the subclass 870 visa ceases.
How To Apply For Approval As A Parent Sponsor
The sponsorship application is to be lodged online via ImmiAccount.
The prospective sponsor can be in or outside Australia when lodging the sponsorship application.
What Is The Cost To Sponsor A Parent?
The current sponsorship application fee is $420.
How Can You Apply For A Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa
The visa application must be lodged online, and outside Australia, within 6 months of receiving sponsorship approval.
You can apply for this visa in Australia in limited circumstances. To do so, your sponsor must first request permission in their sponsorship application. If permission is granted, you must lodge your visa application within 60 days of the sponsorship being approved.
You must be outside Australia for at least 90 days before being eligible to be granted a further Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa.
What Is The Cost To Apply For A Subclass 870 Visa?
The visa application charge for the subclass 870 visa is payable in two instalments.
The first instalment of $1,145 is payable at the time of application lodgement.
The second instalment is payable before the visa is granted. The amount payable will depend on the term of the visa, as follows:
|Visa Period||Second Instalment Charge|
A payment surcharge may also be applied, with the percentage rate depending on the method you use to pay.
Other Fees And Charges
You are also likely to incur other costs, in addition to the visa lodgement fee, as part of the parent visa 870 application. The amount will depend on your individual circumstances.
Additional costs can include the following:
Health examinations, and where issues are identified, specialist fees and any associated additional costs may be payable.
Medical examinations/tests are carried out in Australia by Bupa Medical Visa Services.
Costs of examinations undertaken outside Australia can vary, depending on the country where the medicals are being conducted. There may also be additional costs if further tests or couriers are required.
The costs and requirements for meeting the character requirements will depend on which country you apply for.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) issues National Police Clearance (NPC) certificate for character checks in Australia.
Information on how to apply for a police clearance outside Australia can be accessed by searching for the relevant Immigration overseas office.
Document Translation Costs
Translating documents where originals are not in English will also incur a fee. The amount payable will depend on the service provider selected.
Note the above is not an exhaustive list and you may incur additional costs that are specific to your case.
If you engage a professional to provide you with immigration advice and assistance, such as a migration agent or immigration lawyer, you will incur professional fees for their service. These will be confirmed to you before you agree to proceed with their services.
Subclass 870 Visa Is Temporary
Remember that this is a temporary visa and as such, it does not lead to permanent residence.
You cannot apply for a permanent or temporary parent visa if you have applied for, hold a subclass 870 visa or previously held a subclass 870 visa but have not departed Australia.
Note that if you have already applied for a permanent parent visa application, you do not need to withdraw it to be able to apply for a subclass 870 visa.
The difference is that you cannot apply for a permanent parent visa after lodging a parent visa 870 application.
What Can You Do In Australia As A Long Term Parent Visa Holder?
Subclass 870 visa holders cannot work in Australia.
You cannot include family members in your visa application.
You can travel to and from Australia on an unrestricted basis whilst the holder of a subclass 870 long term parent visa.
Changes To Long Term Parent Visa Due To COVID-19
Subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa Extended For Certain Holders
Subclass 870 visas commence at the time they are granted, irrespective of where the applicant is located at that time.
A concession to extend this visa by 18 months has been introduced for eligible visa holders due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Associated sponsorship obligations are also extended for the same period.
What Are The Changes?
A new Legislative Instrument, which amends the Migration Regulations with effect from 30 July 2021, extends the Subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa for an additional 18 months where the visa holder was outside Australia on 1 July 2021.
This measure is designed to assist those visa holders who have had difficulty using the visa to travel to Australia due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
These visa holders may have been granted the visa whilst outside Australia and now have difficulty in travelling to Australia, or they may have left Australia while holding the visa but are now unable to return.
The amendments assist these visa holders by allowing them additional time to travel to and stay in Australia when travel resumes.
If you held a Subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa and were outside Australia on 1 July 2021, your visa period is automatically extended by 18 months. This concession aims to assist visa holders who could not spend the full three or five years on their visa in Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
If your visa is extended under this concession, the additional 18 months does not count towards your cumulative 10 year maximum stay period.
The Department advised that it would notify eligible visa holders in writing by the end of August 2021.
Sponsorship obligations have also been extended for the same 18-month period.
Get More Information
To learn more about the long term parent visa and parent visas generally, please refer to our articles below.
You can also use our Parent Visa Assessment tool to check whether you might qualify for a parent visa 870.
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Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation to find out more about the visa subclass 870 and how you can qualify.
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Australia’s migration laws are complex, and each case is different. We recommend that you seek professional advice if you are interested in a long term visa for parents, as being fully informed will give you the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your case. A migration professional can help you to do this.
For up to date advice on the visa subclass 870 and how to apply for a long term parent visa, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration service providing advice on the long term visa for parents.
Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs – COVID-19 and the border – COVID-19 visa concessions – Staying in Australia – COVID-19 visa concessions – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) (subclass 870) visas
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