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What is the Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa?

Written By John Unger
Fri, May 12, 2017
John Unger

On 5 May, the Federal Government announced the introduction of a new temporary sponsored parent visa in 2017-2018. This will allow Australians to sponsor parents to stay in Australia for up to 5 years at a time. 

This new visa does not replace the existing Parent category visas, but it has been introduced to address concerns about wait times under existing parent visa arrangements.

Who is eligible to apply for a temporary sponsored parent visa?

This new visa is for biological or adoptive or step-parents* of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens**

* A step-parent can only apply if they are still in a married/de facto relationship with a biological parent of the sponsoring Australian child.
** a term referring to New Zealand citizens with a history or residence in Australia prior to changes in Australian law in February 2001.

Only one set of parents per household (that is maximum 2 people) can be sponsored for this visa at a time.

How will the temporary sponsored parent visa differ from existing parent visa arrangements?

Under the rules for this new visa:

  • the sponsorship and visa applications will be assessed separately
  • the sponsorship must be approved before a visa application can be made.


What requirements must a sponsor meet?

The Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP) has not provided the exact detail at this stage, but has advised that a sponsor will need to:

  • be a biological, adoptive, or a step-child of their parent
  • provide valid evidence of their identity
  • be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • be 18 years or older
  • have lived in Australia for at least four years
  • meet a household income requirement
  • meet character requirements
  • accept legal liability for any outstanding public health debt their sponsored parent accrues.


Sponsors must also agree to undertake certain obligations in relation to those they are sponsoring.

What requirements must a parent meet to be granted a temporary sponsored parent visa?

The Balance of Family test will not apply to this new visa. This means it will not necessary to show that the majority of the parent’s children live in Australia.

To be granted a temporary sponsored parent visa, a person will need to satisfy a number of requirements, including:

  • having their Australian child approved as a sponsor
  • meet identity, health and character requirements
  • not having an outstanding public health debt in Australia.


They will also be required to hold, and maintain, health insurance, from an Australian provider, valid for their intended period of stay in Australia.

Full details of the requirements are still to be released.

How long will a temporary sponsored parent visa be valid?

Visas will be granted with 3 year or 5 year validity. 

It is understood that a person will be able to apply for this visa more than once, but the maximum stay will be 10 years in total.

What fees and charges will be applicable to this new visa? Will a bond’ be required?

It is expected the visa application charge (VAC) will be:

  • 3 year visa - $5,000
  • 5 year visa - $10,000.


and that no bond will be required.

Will there be an English language requirement?

No. It is understood there will be no English language requirement.

Will holders of this visa be able to work, or study?

The visa will not allow parents to work in Australia. However, under the conditions of the visa they will be able to assist with family childcare or undertake incidental, unpaid volunteer activities. 

They will also be able to undertake short term, informal study on this visa. If they wish to study a formal full-time course, they will need to apply for a Student Visa.

When will the new visa be introduced?  How can someone apply?

Legislation is currently before Parliament. If it is passed, the visa might be introduced in late 2017. 

It is expected the lodgement process will be electronic through the ImmiAccount system.

Will temporary residents be able to sponsor their parents?

No. Sponsorship eligibility will be limited to Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens.

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