The Subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa enables an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen child to sponsor a parent for a long term temporary visa in Australia. It offers the option of applying for either a 3 or 5 year visa, with a maximum 10-year cumulative stay in Australia permitted as a subclass 870 visa holder.
One of the main features to be aware of if you are considering sponsoring a parent for a subclass 870 visa, or applying for this visa yourself, is the fact that the sponsorship application must be lodged online and approved first, before the visa application can be submitted. Also be mindful that this process must be repeated for a subsequent application for the sponsored parent visa 870, that is, you need to re-apply for sponsorship approval each time an application is made for a subclass 870 visa. The sponsorship application may be lodged onshore or outside Australia.
The visa application must be submitted online, and within 6 months of the sponsorship approval being granted.
You must be outside Australia for at least 90 days before being eligible to be granted a further Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa.
If you are granted Permission to Apply in Australia, you must apply within 60 days of the sponsorship being approved.
You can be in or outside Australia for the visa to be granted.
In this article, we take a closer look at the subclass 870 temporary sponsored parent visa, including its key features, the main visa and sponsorship eligibility requirements, sponsorship obligations and cost to apply.
We also take a more detailed look at what is meant by a ‘Permission to Apply’ in Australia, as was referred to above, later in this article.
What Are Other Key Features Of The Subclass 870 Visa?
Other key features of the subclass 870 sponsored parent temporary visa include the fact that no balance of family test is applied, and that no sponsorship bond (called an Assurance of Support) is required.
The sponsor must also pass the income test, which requires that the sponsor’s taxable income for the most recent completed taxable income year prior to the date of lodgement of the sponsorship application to be at least $83,454.80.
The sponsor’s taxable income can be combined with their partner and/or another child of the visa applicant if they too are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, to meet the income threshold. In this case, the sponsor’s taxable income must be at least 50% of the taxable income threshold prescribed, that is, $41,727.40.
Some other important elements of the subclass 870 temporary sponsored parent visa include the following:
- as a subclass 870 visa holder, you are not required to depart Australia during the visa period;
- the long term temporary parent visa permits multiple entries to Australia, enabling unlimited travel to and from Australia for the visa period; and
- a sponsored parent visa 870 holder is also not permitted to work in Australia, due to condition 8103 being imposed on the visa. Certain voluntary work is permitted, such as providing care to family in a domestic environment (such as to grandchildren). No unpaid work is allowed in a commercial environment or a family business;
- the sponsored parent must have genuine access to funds sufficient to meet the costs and expenses of their intended stay in Australia;
- sponsored parents are required to maintain adequate health insurance for the duration of their stay in Australia;
- sponsors are required to pay in full any outstanding public health debts incurred by their parent;
- the sponsored parent is required to disclose any criminal history particularly offences related to family violence;
- a sponsorship or visa refusal decision are reviewable; and
- you cannot include dependent family members in your visa application.
Who Is Eligible For A Subclass 870 Visa?
To be eligible to apply for a subclass 870 temporary sponsored parent visa, the key requirements are that the applicant must:
- be the biological, legal (incl. adoptive) parent, step-parent or parent in-law of the sponsor;
- be at least 18 years of age;
- have an approved sponsor;
- have complied substantially with the conditions of their previous substantive visa, and any subsequent bridging visa;
- have access to sufficient funds to meet the costs and expenses of the applicant’s intended stay in Australia;
- have adequate arrangements for health insurance during the period of the applicant’s intended stay in Australia;
- have an intention to genuinely stay in Australia temporarily and to comply with visa conditions; and
- have no outstanding public health debts (otherwise, these must have been repaid in full, or appropriate arrangements are made for repayment).
The visa applicant must also meet health and character requirements.
What Are The Sponsorship Requirements For A Subclass 870 Visa?
To be eligible to sponsor a parent for a sponsored parent visa 870, the sponsor must be:
- at least 18 years old;
- the biological, adoptive, or step child of the parent (the child’s spouse or de facto partner can also sponsor, provided they too are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen);
- be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, and not be an ineligible sponsor;
- only sponsor two parents at any one time;
- have a minimum household taxable income threshold of $83,454.80;
- have no debts to the Commonwealth or outstanding public health debts (if so, the sponsor must have arranged to repay the debt/s);
- have met and complied with any previous sponsorship obligations;
- agree to the sharing of information with the visa applicant and government agencies, as required;
- meet the character requirement;
- have met and complied with any previous sponsorship obligations; and
- agree to comply with prescribed sponsorship obligations as a parent sponsor.
A sponsor’s household is limited to one sponsorship at a time. A sponsorship can cover up to 2 parents per household at a time.
Approved sponsorship arrangements may be changed to add or replace a sponsored parent.
If the sponsor is an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, they must be usually resident in Australia for at least 4 years, and have not been unlawful or held a bridging visa (other than a bridging visa A, B or C) during the last 4 years.
A child 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.
Remember, a ‘partner’ of the child must be their spouse or de facto partner and they too must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
What Are The Sponsorship Obligations Of The Sponsor?
Sponsorship obligations remain in effect for the life of the visa and beyond in some cases, and include:
- liability for any outstanding public health debts incurred by the parent, even after the sponsored parent departs Australia and/or their subclass 870 visa ceases;
- to support sponsored parents financially and to provide accommodation whilst they are in Australia, or are granted a permanent visa;
- to keep and provide records when requested;
- to notify the Department when certain events occur (for example, if the sponsor is charged with, or convicted of an offence, becomes the subject of an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) or incurs a debt to the Commonwealth; or the death of the sponsored parent);
- 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.
The sponsor must commit to abide by the prescribed sponsorship obligations in the sponsorship application form.
Failure to comply with sponsorship obligations may result in the cancellation of the sponsorship, requiring a sponsored parent to find another sponsor, or depart Australia. The sponsor may also be barred from sponsoring any further parents for a certain period.
How Long Will The Sponsorship Remain In Effect
The sponsorship will remain in place until one of the following events occur:
- the sponsor’s permanent residence visa is cancelled;
- the sponsor dies;
- the sponsorship is withdrawn;
- if the parent does not apply for the subclass 870 visa within the 6 months of approval of the sponsorship; or
- when the subclass 870 visas ceases to be in effect.
Be mindful that the end of a sponsorship will not result in all sponsorship obligations ceasing on that date; some will continue to remain in place. One example is the liability to repay public health debts incurred by the parent.
How Does The ‘Permission to Apply in Australia’ Work?
As was discussed in our introduction to this article, a Permission to Apply in Australia allows you to apply for a subclass 870 sponsored parent temporary visa onshore, whereas ordinarily, you would be required to be outside Australia to apply.
It must be requested by the sponsor in their sponsorship application form, during processing of the sponsorship application or before the visa application is lodged.
If a Permission to Apply in Australia is granted, you must lodge your visa application within 60 days of sponsorship approval.
Failing to apply within this 60 day timeframe, the approved sponsor may apply again for Permission to Apply in Australia, provided the sponsorship is still valid.
If the Permission to Apply in Australia request is refused, you must lodge your visa application outside Australia within six months of sponsorship approval.
What Is The Cost To Apply For A Subclass 870 Visa?
The current sponsorship application fee is $420.
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 the application is lodged.
The second instalment is payable before the visa is granted. The amount payable will depend on the visa period, as set out below:
|Visa Period||Second Instalment Charge|
This means a total visa application charge of $5,735 and $11,470 for a 3 and 5-year subclass 870 visa respectively.
A payment surcharge may also be applied, with the percentage rate depending on the method you use to pay.
Note that other costs may also apply, in addition to the visa lodgement fee, as part of the subclass 870 visa application. The amount will depend on your personal situation.
Can You Apply For Another Type Of Parent Visa Whilst You Hold A Subclass 870 Visa?
No, you cannot apply for a permanent or temporary parent visa when you have applied for, or hold this visa.
It is important to note that the subclass 870 sponsored parent temporary visa permits a temporary stay in Australia only. It does not lead to permanent residence. Special provisions have been inserted into the Migration Regulations to prevent this visa from being used as a pathway to permanent residency. These provisions specify that subclass 870 visa holders or previous holders who have not departed Australia are not permitted to apply for prescribed parent visas.
Changes To Subclass 870 Visa Due To COVID-19
Subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa Extended For Certain Holders
The sponsored parent visa 870 commences on the date it is granted, irrespective of where the applicant is located at that time.
Eligible visa holders now have access to a concession to extend their visa by 18 months due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Associated sponsorship obligations are also extended for this same period.
What Are The Changes?
Under the changes, the subclass 870 sponsored parent temporary visa period is extended for an additional 18 months where the visa holder was outside Australia on 1 July 2021.
This measure is designed to assist subclass 870 visa holders who have experiended difficulty in travelling to Australia due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions. They may have been granted the visa whilst outside Australia and are now having difficulty in travelling to Australia, or they may have left Australia while holding the visa but are now unable to return.
This legislative change provides visa holders with additional time to travel to and stay in Australia when travel resumes. It is designed 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.
Subclass 870 visa holders who were outside Australia on 1 July 2021 will have their visa period automatically extended by 18 months.
The 18-month extension does not count towards the cumulative 10 year maximum stay period.
The Department has 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 subclass 870 sponsored parent temporary 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 subclass 870 visa.
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Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation to find out more about the subclass 870 temporary sponsored parent visa 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 sponsored parent visa 870, 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 subclass 870 visa and how to apply for a subclass 870 sponsored parent temporary visa, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration service providing advice on all parent visas, including the subclass 870 temporary sponsored parent visa.
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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