Parent Visas

There are two streams of visas available to parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents:

For both visas your parents will need to show that the pass the balance of family (BOF) test. The BOF is convoluted and restrictive. It disqualifies a lot of people from the parent visa. Finding out whether your parent satisfies the BOF test is a critical first step in any parent visa application.

Contributory parent visas are usually granted within 12 months of lodging the application but (as at September 2012) the costs associated with the application are significant: $86,500 per couple in Department of Immigration fees alone. 

In contrast, the fees for the queued parent visas are about $2,000 but at the moment applicants are waiting more than 15 years to be granted one of these visas.

Our expert immigration lawyers will work with you and provide you with advice about the best way to bring a parent to Australia. It is important to consider your parent’s circumstances to decide whether there is an easier and less costly way to bring into Australia rather than using a parent visa, and we can help you do this.


Contributory parent visas are sometimes the only way to bring a parent to Australia relatively quickly.

As at September 2012, the visa application fees payable to the Department of Immigration for the permanent resident contributory parent visa are $86,500 per couple, $84,400 of which must be paid prior to the visa being granted. 

An assurance of support must also be accepted before the visa is granted.

It is possible to break up the visa application charges over two years but this strategy is risky, especially if your parents are not in the best of health.

Our expert immigration lawyers can advise you about:


The Department of Immigration website statesthat if you “are applying for a Parent visa you can expect an approximate 15 year wait before visa grant consideration”.

The limited number of queued parent visas available each year means that the processing time is likely to increase in the future.

Strict health criteria apply to this visa. This coupled with the extraordinary processing times make this visa inappropriate for most people.

Before you lodge an application for a queued parent visa you should get advice from our expert immigration lawyers about whether a queued parent visa application is the best option and whether your parents qualify for any other type of visa.

We also recommend that you read our section on contributory parent visas.

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