Parent visas for South Africans moving to Australia – what you need to know

 ·13 May 2023

There is a large number of South Africans living as permanent residents or citizens in Australia, with many wanting to bring their parents over from South Africa, according to Sam Hopwood, an Australia Migration Agent from Sable International.

Luckily for them, the Australian Department of Home Affairs has a system for people who have children living in Australia as permanent residents or citizens for a minimum of two years.

To qualify, applicants must meet the ‘balance of family’ test, which states that they have at least half of their children living in Australia as permanent residents or citizens. Stepchildren and adopted children are included in the test.

Other areas of eligibly for the test include:

  • Sponsor: They must be sponsored by an eligible person – usually their adult child.
  • Health: Applicants must pass certain Australian health criteria. Health conditions that incur large costs, such as dementia, could fail the medical.
  • Character: Applicants will have to meet character requirements evidenced by police clearances.
  • Assurance of Support (AOS)–  The Australian Government receives a financial bond which depends on the type of visa, the applicant’s age and the number of applications.

There are three main types of visas:

Contributory Parent Visas

Subclass 143 (offshore) permanent visa has an initial application fee of AU$ 4,355 (R54,000) for the first applicant and $1,465 (R18,000) for their partner/spouse. This visa is open to people of any age and currently takes roughly 12 years to process.

Applications will not have the automatic right to live in Australia while the application is processed, as it is not a bridging visa.

Whereas the subclass 864 (onshore) visa carries an initial application fee of $4,355 (R54,000) and $2,175 (R27,000) for the applicant’s partner. This visa requires that the main applicant be over the age of 67 years of age.

The current processing time is also 12 years long.

However, as time may be of the essence, the applicant is given a bridging visa on shore, allowing them to stay in Australia indefinitely.

For both of the aforementioned visas, a second “contribution” instalment of $43,600 (R540,000) is required. This instalment aims to offset the rights awarded to the visa holder under permanent residents, like health care which they have not contributed towards like ordinary Australians.

Moreover, the AoS under this subclass is $10,000 (R124,000) for the first applicant and an additional $4,000 (R50,000) for secondary applicants.

Aged Non-contributory Parent Visa

The Subclass 804 (onshore) is a permanent visa, but it will take over 30+ years to process.

This visa is only viable for people who come to Australia on a visa as it allows them to apply for it on shore. They are then given a bridging visa allowing them to stay indefinitely.

The application fee is $4,560 (R56,000) for the main applicant and $2,280 (R28,000) for the second applicant. The main applicant has to be over 67 years old – meaning they will be around 100 years old when the visa is processed.

The applicant will fund their own healthcare and are not eligible for the Australian Medicare system – there is an exemption for citizens who fall under reciprocal healthcare agreements

Other details

The second instalment of monies is only asked for if the applicant has passed the health and character tests and the AoS has been acknowledged by the Australian government. The AoS will be held by the Australian government in bond for a decade.

Hopwood said that applicants should apply onshore and will be ‘Aged’ according to Australia’s Social Security Act. The below shows the application dates and ages the applicant must be to apply for certain visas – currently, applicants are aged 66 years and 6 months, but this will change on 1 July.

Hopwood added that applicants should assess all aspects of their life – life, medical expenses, insurance costs, and life expectancy – when deciding on the appropriate visa.

Read: This country is quickly becoming the next ‘Australia’ for South African expats

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