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How long does an Australian parent visa take?

Sharing Li
Sharing Li
Australian Migration Agent
May 25, 2024
minute read

Deciding to pursue an Australian Parent visa is an exciting yet at times challenging process for applicants and families alike. However, understanding how long the application process will take can be difficult and is often frustrating as there is not a lot of official guidance on the topic. 

This post will provide a summary of what to expect when making a Parent visa application in Australia, providing information about the process as well as crucial advice for making an application. For tailored guidance and assistance, contact an Australian Migration Agent today. 

Overview of Australian parent visas

The umbrella term of ‘Parent visa’ refers to the type of visa that facilitates the relocation of parents residing outside Australia to Australia to live with their settled child (living in Australia) who is either an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

There are various Parent visa subclasses that are available, differing based on the circumstances of the applicant, the applicant’s location and the legal status sought. Therefore, it is crucial that applicants assess their situation before making a visa application. Some of the visas that fall within this category include:

While collectively the visas fall under a Parent visa, as each is a unique subclass, the eligibility criteria does vary between each visa. However, all visas require that the applicant is a parent of a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who is willing to sponsor their application. Furthermore, applicants are required to meet various health and character requirements. 

Parent visas offer different benefits depending on whether they are a permanent visa or a temporary visa. A permanent visa lets applicants stay in Australia indefinitely, work and study, access Australia’s public healthcare scheme (Medicare) and where eligible to apply for Australian citizenship, as these visa holders will be considered an Australian permanent resident. While Temporary visas are only for a set period of time, they still allow entry into Australia, can be more cost effective and typically have shorter processing times.

For help selecting the appropriate visa type, navigating the visa application process or further guidance and information, contact an Australian Migration Agent who has knowledge and experience in lodging Parent visa applications. 

Factors influencing parent visa processing times

Prospective applicants and their families should understand that the processing time for Parent visa applications can vary as a result of the interaction between many different factors. Some of these factors include

  • Australian immigration policy
    • Currently, there is a difference between the allocation of visa places in any given migration program year and the current demand for reunification of children and their parents in Australia. Additionally, the differences between the requirements of different visa subclasses, along with their relative visa application charges, influences the volume of applications made for each subclass. Resultantly, the Department of Home Affairs is currently facing a backlog of applications which inherently impacts processing times.
  • Applicant-caused delays
    • Delays can also be caused by the applicant in the process of preparing and lodging their visa application. In addition to paying the initial application fee, applicants must prepare an application form and provide various documents and evidence. Errors, omissions or inaccuracies in the preparation and lodgement of an application can therefore cause delays given time must be taken to rectify and resubmit parts of the application. This adds time on to how long it takes before the Department of Home Affairs can begin to consider any application.
  • Departmental delays
    • Delays also arise as the Department must take time to consider any application. As applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, the Department will need to review the provided materials and authenticate any claims made, a process that inevitably takes time. Additionally, the Department may request an applicant undergo further requirements or respond to inquiries. This prolongs how long an application takes to process as the Department will not move forward until these requests are compiled with.

An Australian Migration Agent can help to mitigate any potential delays, assisting the applicant to make a strong ‘decision-ready’ application at the time of lodgement where the Department is correctly provided with all of the relevant information.

Australian Migration Agents

Current parent visa processing time

Since all applications undergo individual assessment, the processing timeframe for a Parent visa application can hinge on the intricacy of an applicant's case, the thoroughness of the application made and the workload being currently managed by the Department. As a result, it can be difficult to predict how long an application may take.

Applicants should be aware that once an application has been lodged, they are unable to contact the Department on the status of their visa grant or progression of their application.

The Department does provide estimated processing times for different visa types. At the time of writing, for Parent visas, processing times range from 137 days to 9 months for temporary visas, with permanent visas potentially taking a minimum of 12 years.

Applicants should also note that all Parent visa applications are subject to capping and queuing. ‘Capping’ denotes that there is a maximum limit on the number of visas granted within a migration program year. Once this limit has been reached, no further visas of that subclass can be issued, leading to a queue of applications based on time of lodgement forming (the queue date). This process compounds the time it takes for a visa application to be processed. 

While no migration lawyer or agent can circumnavigate these circumstances, an Australian Migration Agent can help prospective applicants exploring alternative options or provide up-to-date information about expected visa processing times.

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Tips for faster processing times

As a result of our experience in handling Parent visa applications, Australian Migration Agents suggest that applicants consider the following when making an application:

  • Prior to applying for a visa, applicants should carefully evaluate their visa options and confirm their eligibility for the desired visa category 
  • Applicants should allocate sufficient time to secure a sponsor (usually a eligible child), complete the necessary forms accurately and gather the required documents (such as identify documents, sponsor documents, family documents)
  • Applicants are recommended to staying informed of changes in Australia’s immigration laws and policies, and appreciate how their application may be affected
  • Applicants should promptly respond to any additional requests or inquiries from the Department
  • After lodging their application, applicants need to review it thoroughly to identify any mistakes or missing information, notifying the Department of any discoveries
  • When applicants are uncertain about any aspect of their application, applicants should consider consulting a migration agent or lawyer such as an Australian Migration Agent to ensure the submission of a valid application

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How an Australian Migration Agent can help

Australian Migration Agents are dedicated to providing personalised assistance to our clients, offering advice and guidance relevant to their circumstances. An Australian Migration Agent can assist clients in identifying the suitable visa options for them, understanding the different requirements for relevant visa subclasses and preparing applications on their behalf. Moreover, Australian Migration Agents maintain regular contact with our clients, ensuring they feel informed of any updates that may arise and aware of any correspondence from the Department. Visa applications can be stressful, time consuming and confusing for applicants and their families. Therefore, we aim to provide services that alleviate these anxieties and instil confidence in our clients that they have given themselves the best chance of success.

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