Parent Visa (subclass 103)

You may be able to apply for an Australia parent visa (subclass 103) providing that you are the parent of either a child or step-child who is a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand living in Australia.

Individuals whose application for a parent visa is successful will be permitted to move to Australia permanently in order to join their children.

Eligibility for this visa primarily depends on:

  • your child or children’s formal residency in Australia
  • how long your sponsor has been living in Australia
  • the balance of family test
  • meeting Australia’s standard good health and character requirements for visa applications

Requirements of a Parent Visa


  • Waiting times for an Australian parent visa can be extremely long – as much as 30 years
  • Applicants currently in Australia on a temporary visa will not be permitted to apply for a bridging visa enabling them to wait for a decision on their parent visa application.
  • Applicants should be physically located outside Australia when the decision on their application is made.

Benefits of a Parent Visa

Australian parent visas permit an individual to live in Australia permanently with their partner and any dependent family members. They can:

  • work or take up full-time study
  • use the Australian public healthcare system, Medicare
  • become sponsors for other family members who wish to apply for permanent residency
  • access Australian social security after a minimum waiting period

Eligibilty for a Parent visa


The applicant’s child must be either:

  • a citizen of Australia
  • a permanent resident of Australia
  • an eligible citizen of New Zealand

In addition to the applicant’s child, it is also possible to be sponsored by either:

  • the partner of your child
  • your child’s family member or guardian
  • your child’s partner’s family member or guardian
  • certain community organisations

All applicants and any family members accompanying them will be required to complete and pass a health check.


Any personal debt to the Goverment of Australia must be paid before an application for this visa can be successful.


Individuals seeking to apply while already inside Australia may not be permitted to do so if:

  • a previous visa condition specified that they are not eligible to be granted a substantive visa while physically in Australia
  • they do not have a substantive visa at present and have had a previous application refused or visa cancelled
  • they are currently in Australia on a sponsor-dependent visitor visa
  • they are being detained by immigration authorities

An individuals’ ties to Australia are measured using something called the balance-of-family test. To pass the test, individuals must meet either of the following criteria:

  • at least half their children are permanently living in Australia
  • more of their children are permanently resident in Australia than in any other country

This visa is a ‘hard’ requirement for an Australian parent visa, meaning that there are no exceptions under any circumstances. Put simply, if an individual fails the balance-of-family test, they will not be granted a Parent visa.

Some examples of family makeup and whether they would pass the balance-of-family test are below:

Total number of children Number of children usually living in Australia Number of children usually living in countries other than Australia Meets balance of family test
Country A Country B Country C Country D
1 1 Yes
2 1 1  – Yes
3 1 2  – No
3 1 1 1  – No
4 2 2  – Yes
4 1 1 1 1  – No
4 1 2 1  – No
5 1 1 1 1 1 No
5 2 1 1 1 Yes
5 3 2  – Yes
6 2 2 2  – No

The nature of an individual’s relationship/s with their children will not be assessed.

Children whose current location is unknown will be assumed by the Department of Home Affairs to be living in their last known location.

To be considered to be resident in Australia, an applicant’s child must have their normal place of residence in Australia. They must also usually be either:

  • a citizen of Australia
  • a permanent resident of Australia
  • an eligible citizen of New Zealand

NB: Individuals living in Australia on a temporary visa (for example, a student visa), are generally not considered to be resident in Australia for the purposes of the balance-of-family test.

Stepchildren and adopted children are included in the balance-of-family test, as are the applicant’s partner’s children. There are limited exceptions to this rule, such as where the child is deceased or has been removed from the parent’s legal custody.

For visa application purposes, a ‘stepchild’ is defined as either:

  • the child of the applicant’s current partner;
  • the underage child of the applicant’s former partner, or of the applicant’s current partner’s former partner

Recipients of Parent visas and any family members accompanying them to Australia will be expected to comply with Australian federal, state and local laws.


Sponsors should be prepared to assist their parent and any accompanying family members in moving to and living in Australia by providing moral and financial support, as well as appropriate accommodation if needed. This expectation will remain in place for the first two years’ of the successful applicant’s residency.


Assurers of Support make a formal, legal undertaking to pay back any social security payments made by the Australian Government which have been received by sponsored individuals and/or their family members during the assurance period.

Formal assurers of support must:

  • ensure that applicants, accompanying family members and the sponsor themselves do not need to draw upon financial support from the Australian government for two years
  • ensure that the Government is refunded any recoverable social security payments, including from Centrelink
  • be prepared to pay a security bond as a precondition for approval of the Parent visa
    • This bond is refundable
103 Visa Costs
Visa Subclass Base Application Charge Additional Applicant Charge 18 And Over Additional Applicant Charge Under 18 Non-Internet Application Charge Subsequent Temporary Application Charge

Book your no-obligation consultation today with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne, and find out the right visa options for your unique circumstances.

Permanent Parent Visas

  • Aged Parent visa (subclass 804)
  • Contributory Aged Parent visa (864 visa)
  • Contributory Parent (Migrant) visa (subclass 143)
  • Parent (Migrant) visa (subclass 103)

Temporary Parent Visas

  • Sponsored Parent 870 Visa
  • Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173)
  • Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 884)


To see if you or a loved one are eligible, please complete our Parent visa assessment form. VELawyers have a hard-earned reputation for operating at the top of our industry and our immigration lawyers and licensed migration agents are ready to help you, whether from our HQ in Melbourne or our offices across Australia.