The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Contributory Parent Visas

When talking about Australian visas such as the Partner visas or employer sponsored visas, most of us will probably know something about it. And it’s undeniable that information is easily accessible because of their popularity. One search on the search engine could probably get you all the answers you’re looking for.

But what about the Contributory Parent visa category – How much do we actually know about it apart from the fact that it’s expensive?

The Contributory Parent visa category is commonly overlooked. Fair enough… it’s only limited to people who want to bring their parents from overseas to Australia and let’s be real… you can only afford this if you have a large amount of savings or is earning big bucks.

Nevertheless, there are little-known facts about it.

Whether you are applying for the Contributory Parent visa Subclass 173 or Subclass 143, or the Contributory Aged Parent visa subclass 884 or subclass 864, here are the top 10 things you need to know.

  1. Contributory Parent visa has the FASTEST processing time out of all the Parent visas available

Yes – you don’t have to wait for 30 years!

Applicants who apply for the Contributory Parent visa category are not given a queuing date and therefore are not subject to queuing arrangements.

The reason being? Well… the obvious answer. It’s because you are paying a tremendous amount of money to bring your parents over! Although in total you’ll be looking at paying approximately $57,370 to bring one parent over permanently, the waiting period is MUCH SHORTER – approximately 39-40 months (see processing time) for a decision to be made.

So it’s a good deal compared to paying a much lower fee (approximately AUD 12,000) but will have to wait for about 30 years (or more) for a decision to be made on the visa application.

  1. Lower refusal rates for Contributory Parent visas

According to MIA’s findings, Contributory parent visas have much lower rates of refusal compare to non-contributory parent visas!

Contributory parent refusal rates
Contributory Parent visa refusal rates versus Non-Contributory parent visas. Source: MIA

In 2016/2017 it can be seen that the refusal rate for Contributory Parent visas was only 1.4% (1.9% in 2015/2016) compare to Non-Contributory Parent visas which was 13% (23.5% in 2015/2016)!

That’s a lot of refusals with such a long waiting period. Yes, you’re paying much lower, but is it worth it to wait about 30 years (or more) to get a refusal?

  1. You receive Medicare benefits MUCH FASTER TOO!

Faster processing time means you will be able to take advantage of Medicare a lot faster too!

That’s right – the minute the visa is granted, whether temporary or permanent, you will be eligible to apply for Medicare!

People who apply for the non-contributory parent visas will have to wait until their visa is granted, which again, is up to 30 years or longer!

  1. Live and work in Australia!

Absolutely! Once the visa is granted you will be allowed to work full time, study AND live in Australia.

Whilst the temporary Contributory Parent visa is only valid for two years, the permanent Contributory Parent visa will allow you to live, work and study in Australia indefinitely!

The permanent Contributory Parent visa also allows you to travel to and from Australia as many times as you want for five years!

  1. It’s more expensive when applying in 2 stages

YES – you’re definitely paying a bit more if you apply in 2 stages.

Based on the current fee advised by the department and for simplicity reason, we’re going to calculate the total cost for 1 parent applying in 1-stage vs. 2 -stages.

ONE stage process:

Charges FEES (not incl. surcharge)
Application AUD 3,770
Assurance of Support AUD 10,000
Contribution to Government AUD 43,600
TOTAL AUD 57,370

TWO stage process:

1st Stage – Temporary (fees not incl. surcharge)
Application AUD 2,540
Assurance of Support nil
Contribution to Government AUD 29,130
Sum total AUD 31,670
2nd Stage – Permanent (fees not incl. surcharge)
Application AUD 330
Assurance of Support AUD 10,000
Contribution to Government AUD 19,420
Sum total AUD 29,750

In total, you’ll be paying about AUD 4,050 more if you apply in 2 stages and let’s not forget, you’ll be adding another 38-40 months (approximately) processing time on top of that, before a decision will be made on your permanent contributory parent visa. (See processing time).

The big question is – is it worth it? Well, it’s another option available if you are not ready to pay upfront and prefer to spread the total cost of migration over three to four years (depending on when a decision is made).

Also, if you apply for the corresponding permanent Contributory Parent visa while holding a temporary Contributory Parent visa, in addition to Medicare, study rights and full work rights, you’ll also obtain certain concessions such as:

  • A shorter application form,
  • Not being re-assessed against the balance of family test,
  • Usually not being required to undergo further health checks.
  1. Do I get a Bridging visa if I apply for one of the Contributory Parent visas onshore?

Yes and No.

What a lot of people misunderstand is that they will get granted a Bridging visa if they lodge any Contributory Parent visa onshore. The answer is NO! You WILL NOT get granted a Bridging visa if you apply for the Contributory Parent visa Subclass 173, even if you had lodged the application onshore!

Let’s be clear – you will only get the Bridging visa if you are applying for the Contributory Aged Parent visa (subclass 884 or 864)!

If you are old enough to be granted Australian aged pension and your current visa allows you to apply for another visa onshore – we encourage you to take advantage of this!

  1. Assurance of Support is increasing by about 50% on 1 April 2019

There is no such thing as too much money. Well, it’s true. The department has announced that Assurance of Support (AoS) will increase by approximately 50% from 1 April 2019.

AoS is a provision financial support for the duration of the AoS period (10 years) to ensure that you will not rely on social security payments.

Because AoS is at time of decision requirement, you will be affected by this change even if you have already lodged your visa application and if a decision is not made by 1 April 2019.

  1. The sponsor/s (the assurer/s) MUST meet the Income requirement 

Your sponsor must meet the income requirement to sponsor you.

The income requirement is enforced to ensure that your sponsor has the financial capacity to support you, as needed, while you are in Australia.

There has been a significant increase in the level of income requirement which was commenced from 1 April 2018. To calculate the sponsor/s (the assurer/s) level of income see HERE.

  1. If I don’t apply for the permanent Contributory Parent visa before the temporary Contributory Parent visa expires…

For those of you that have applied or will be applying through the 2-stage process, this is very important!

The temporary Contributory Parent visa (subclass 173 or subclass 884) cannot be extended or renewed.

As the holder of the temporary Contributory Parent visa, you must apply for the corresponding permanent Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143 or subclass 864) if you want to stay in Australia permanently.

If you do not apply for the permanent Contributory Parent visa during the validity of the temporary Contributory Parent visa, well, you will need to leave Australia before your visa expires otherwise you will become unlawful – and that’s not a good thing.

  1. What about Pension and Social Security payment?

The answer is no, well not automatically.

As the holder of a Contributory Aged Parent visa, you will not receive age Pension and Social Security payment automatically.

You will have to wait before you become eligible:

  • Two years for most social security.
  • Ten years for age and disability pension payments.

You might be eligible for a Special Benefit payment if you are experiencing a major change in your circumstances that are beyond your control. See HERE to find out if you are eligible.

Agape Henry Crux (formally known as Crux Migration) can help you assess eligibility and understand the requirements and processes involved in the Contributory Parent visa program.

Book your consultation today!


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