New Temporary Sponsored Parent visa to be available from April – Start Planning Now.

Parent visa update

The Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs) has announced that Temporary Parent (Sc870) sponsorships will open on 17 April 2019 with visa applications to open on 1 July 2019.

Further details on the regulations of this visa have not been released. We will provide further details once these are available. From the initial information provided it is clear that families need to start planning now if they intend to use this program.

Overview of Temporary Parent Visa (subclass 870 visa)

The Temporary Parent Visa (subclass 870 visa) will involve two stages:

  1. Sponsorship
  2. Visa Application

These are explained briefly below.


An Australian citizen/permanent resident must have approved a sponsorship prior to their parent or parent-in-law lodging a visa application.

Sponsorship criteria include:

  • The Australian must have been resident in Australia for at least 4 years;
  • An income test will apply;
  • Police clearances;
  • No debts to the Commonwealth or a health care agency.

As an approved sponsorship you will have obligations to comply with. Your sponsorship can be cancelled (and therefore your parents’ visa) if you do not comply with these.

Visa Application

The parent or parent-in-law must apply for a visa when they are outside of Australia.

Parents with 870 visas must apply to renew their visas while outside Australia and have been outside Australia for at least 90 days before reapplying.

Importantly your parent must be of good health and character.

Your parent:

  • will not be allowed to work on this visa;
  • can stay for a maximum of 10 years in Australia on the 870 visa.

Visa Length and Costs

ItemCost – 3 year visaCost – 5 year visa
Sponsorship application$420$420
Visa application charge$5,000$10,000

The visa application charge will be in two stages. A smaller amount when you apply for the visa and the remainder prior to visa approval. You only pay the final payment if your parent is assessed as meeting the criteria for the visa.

Visa cap

Grants of 870 visa will be capped at $15,000 each financial year. It will be beneficial for your parents to lodge their visa application ‘complete’ and as close to 1 July 2019 as possible to have the best chance of having a visa granted this year. 

Why is it important to plan now?

The 870 visa raises a number of issues which need to be considered by families wishing to sponsor their parents. These issues include:

  • Limiting sponsorships to two parents at a time for each household;
  • Replace the existing visitor visa concession for parents of Australian citizens/permanent residents;
  • Health criteria applies for each 870 visa;

Limit on sponsoring two parents per household

Only two parents per household can be sponsored at once. This means if you have a partner who also wants to sponsor their parents you must choose two out of your four parents.

You can add and remove parents from your sponsorship enabling you to rotate your parents in Australia.

A potential way around the two parents per household limit is to lodge visitor visas for the two parents you do not plan to sponsor for a 870 visa. See below for more information.

Replaces the visitor visa concessions currently in place

The TPV will replace the concession available for parents of Australian citizens/permanent residents. The concession is likely to be removed on 1 July 2019 when the new 870 visa opens for applications.

The current visitor visa concession gives Home Affairs a discretion to approve long term visitor visas to parents of Australians. These include:

Compliance RecordVisa lengthStay length
Good record of immigration compliance in Australia3 year visitor visaMaximum 12 month stay in one stretch
No record of immigration compliance in Australia
18 month visitor visa
Maximum 12 month stay in one stretch

If you have four parents you wish to sponsor you will have until 30 June 2019 to have approved long-term visitor visa for the two who will not apply for a 870 visa. Once this concession is removed your parents may only be granted visitor periods of 3 months.

If you have not be settled in Australia for 4 years you will not be an eligible Sponsor and so your parents cannot apply for a 870 visa. You may wish to apply for visitor visas for your parents before this concession is removed.

Health criteria for 870 visas

Each time your parent makes an application for an 870 visa they will need to meet the health requirement. For people of advancing age, their health can change rapidly within the period of their visa.

Should you parent not meet the health criteria during their subsequent 870 visa application their visa may be refused. We recommend you consider applying for a 5 year visa if this concerns you.

Help planning

Planning for the future of your family is complex particularly when the detailed criteria for the Temporary Parent (870) Visa have not been released.

We recommend you start discussions with your family now and speak to your Hammond Taylor migration agent to put a plan in place for your parent /parent-in-law’s migration to Australia.