On 1st July 2019, the new 870 Parent Visas will be available.

Sponsors may apply after 17th April 2019. This visa will be under subclass 800 series.

The most beneficial aspect of the 870 Visa is that there is no Balance of Family Test which requires the parent being sponsored to have at least half of their eligible children residing in Australia (i.e. for parents with three children, at least two of them must be eligible ‘Australian citizens OR Australian permanent residents/NZ citizens resident in Australia).

A parent who is the biological, adoptive, or step-parent of the sponsor (Australian citizen/permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen) is eligible for this visa.

This visa can be a significant benefit to families with children who need the grandparents to be in Australia to assist parents who are working. Given that childcare costs are prohibitive, grandparents can fulfil their role.

This visa also addresses concerns about the limited number of Parent visas and associated lengthy waiting periods.

This visa can allow existing Parent visa applicants to visit Australia to spend time with their family while their permanent Parent visa application is being processed.

There is no need to leave Australia for six months in an 18 month period. In fact, there is no need to be offshore and parents can stay in Australia for up to 5 years continuously. There can be a significant saving on the cost of airfares that would be incurred over this period if they were required to depart and re-enter Australia. Sponsors can re-apply for an extension which allows their parents to stay in Australia for a total of 10 years.

Only two parents per household can be sponsored for the visa at a time.

Sponsors can still sponsor other visas such as a Temporary Skill Shortage visa or a Sponsored Family Visitor visa if they meet the requirements of those sponsorships.

What are the downsides?

This visa allows parents to stay in Australia for significantly longer period than a visitor visa. However it is still a temporary visa which does not allow permanent residence. There is no access to Medicare or permission to work. Therefore, this visa is most appropriate for parents who wish to temporarily reunite with their children and grandchildren in Australia.

The process of gaining sponsorship approval may be complex. The parents will need to show a genuine need for family purposes.

Processing times depend on a number of factors such as whether an applicant provides all information with their application and the number of applications lodged.

Up to 15,000 New Parent Visas can be granted each year. If the cap is reached, further visas will not be granted until the next year (A year runs from 1 July to 30 June). So, you must act fast if you want to sponsor your parents or grandparents. Legal Migration Services is here to help and make the process as easy as possible.