COVID-19 and the Sponsored Parent Visa

Parent Visa Covid 19

Covid-19 and the Sponsored Parent Visa

As a further consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, applicants for a Sponsored Parent (subclass 870) visa are now permitted to lodge an application while onshore in Australia, in contrast to the previous offshore requirement.


Sponsored Parent Visa and Covid-19

This recent announcement from the Parent Processing Centre of the Department of Home Affairs has been made in response to the current pandemic and recognises the difficulty of requiring certain applications to be lodged offshore. The new provision demonstrates the leniency of the Australian immigration department in the present circumstances and affords applicants an opportunity to lodge offshore applications from within the country. Many requests addressed to the Parent Processing Centre requesting such permission have been approved as applicants seek to capitalise on this opportunity to remain onshore in Australia amidst the imposed travel restrictions due to the pandemic.


The Sponsored Parent Visa

The subclass 870 visa is a temporary visa allowing the parent of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen visit Australia for a period of three to five years. This visa is an online application and would generally require applicants to be outside of Australia at the time of lodgement unless special permission was granted to apply in Australia.

To be eligible for this visa, applicants must be the biological and legal parent, step-parent or parent-in-law of the Parent Sponsor and will also extend to adoptive parents. There is no requirement to satisfy the balance of family test for this application nor provide an Assurance of Support, unlike some other parent visas.

You must first have obtained an approved Parent Sponsor in order to apply for a subclass 870 visa, and without such sponsorship, an application cannot be made for this visa. A parent sponsor is required to comply with a range of obligations and advise should therefore be sought from a migration agent before this is pursued. Applicants must then evidence an access to sufficient funds to meet the costs and expenses of their intended stay in Australia, have adequate arrangements for health insurance during the period of intended stay and have a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily. Applicants must also demonstrate that they have met and complied with any previous visa obligations and met the relevant health and character requirements.


Onshore Parent Visa

Eligible parents who have obtained an approved Parent Sponsor prior to lodgement may now apply for the subclass 870 visa while holding a valid visa onshore in Australia. Applicants must ensure their current visa is not affected by a condition that would prevent an application for a subsequent visa such as condition 8503 or condition 8543. The condition must be first be waived prior to seeking permission from the Parent Processing Centre to lodge a subclass 870 visa application onshore.

If your current visa is affected by either of the above conditions, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a registered migration agent in order to have this condition waived. Once successfully waived, you may then request permission from the Parent Processing Centre to lodge an onshore application for a subclass 870 visa, provided that you have complied with all the legislative criteria pertaining to this visa.


Benefits of the Sponsored Parent Visa

This visa allows the parent of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to remain in Australia for a period of up 5 years without any requirement to depart the country. It is a viable alternative to a visitor visa which permits only short periods of stay of up to 12 months, enabling parents to be reunited with their children and grandchildren for a more substantial period of time.

Significantly, the subclass 870 visa does not require applicants to meet the balance of family test meaning the Department of Home Affairs will not consider the number of Australian citizens or permanent residents as a factor in their assessment. This test has proved to be an obstacle for many parent visa applicants so the ability to dispense with this requirement is an appealing aspect of this particular visa.


Parent Visa Options

There are a number of available visa options for parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents seeking to visit their children in Australia which require different criteria to be satisfied. Such requirements may vary based on your child’s duration of residence in Australia, the number of children you have and their country of residence or the need to obtain a valid sponsorship. The parent visa migration programme is capped and operates on a queueing system with classifications based on an applicant’s age and temporary or permanent residence. Due to the cap and queue restrictions on certain parent visa types, the processing time may extend up to  


How No Borders Can Help

It is essential that you seek professional advice prior to determining the appropriate parent category visa as there a variety of personal and legal circumstances which may influence the correct decision.

As specialists in migration law and the Australian visa process, No Borders offers a dedicated team of registered migration agents to provide a wealth of personal and professional experience. Established in 1998, No Borders currently has a presence in four cities across Australia and comprises an international team with more than 11 languages between us. 

If you require any advice or assistance in lodging your parent visa onshore, please contact one of our experienced migration agents to arrange a free consultation and assessment of your case.


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