General Information on Parent Visas
There are two broad types of parent visa: contributory and non-contributory.
Non-contributory parent visas have a very low processing priority with the Australian government and based on current planning levels. The Department of Home Affairs website advises anyone considering applying for a non-contributory parent visa faces a wait of up to 30 years.
To be granted a Parent visa, generally you must have a child who is settled in Australia and is either an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen. You must also pass the 'balance of family' test, which is used to determine whether half or more of your children reside in Australia, or alternatively, whether more of your children reside in Australia than in any other country.
One of the children will need act as a sponsor for the visa, and it is a requirement that the sponsor be ‘settled’ in Australia. With a few exceptions, children are generally required to have lived in Australia for at least 2 years to be considered settled.
Parent visas require an application to be made by both the visa applicant and their sponsor. For the application to be approved, an Australian permanent resident or citizen will need to lodge a bond, or an Assurance of Support, with Centrelink. The amount of the bond and the earnings requirements for the Australian will depend on the visa being applied for and the family composition of both the sponsor and the applicant.
It is important to note that if one of the parents is aged 65.5 years or more, and they enter Australia on a visa that allows them to lodge a Parent visa onshore, and the 'balance of family' test is met, the parents may lodge an application whilst in Australia.