There are two types of Contributory Aged Parent Visas: the Subclass 884 Visa, which is temporary and the Subclass 864 Visa that lets you stay permanently in Australia.

They are called “contributory” parent visas because the visa fee is very high – upwards of AUD 40,000. The upside to these visa types is that they are processed much quicker than non-contributory aged parent visas which can take up to 30 years.

To make the payment of the fee easier to afford, you can apply for the Temporary Aged Parent Visa (884) initially and then for the permanent one; this allows you to spread the cost of the visa through several years.

However, if you do not wish to wait, you can also apply for the 864 Visa directly.

Eligibility Criteria for the Contributory Aged Parent Visas

To be eligible for the Contributory Aged Parent Visas, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a sponsor in Australia (in the vast majority of cases, the sponsor is your child).
  • Your sponsor must be settled in Australia. They must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • You must have more children living in Australia than any other country (i.e. meet the requirements of the Balance of Family Test).
  • You must be of pension age (at least 66 years old).
    • Starting from 1 July 2021 the age requirement will be raised to 66 years and 6 months.
    • Starting from 1 July 2023 the age requirement will be raised to 67 years.
  • You must have a good character.
  • Your sponsor must be able to support you financially.
  • You must not have had an Australian visa refusal or cancellation in the past.
  • You must not have a Subclass 870 Parent Visa at the time of application.

Contributory Aged Parent Visa Document Checklist

When you submit your application for a Contributory Aged Parent Visa, you must have the following documents:

  • Your passport.
  • Your birth certificate, stating the names of both your parents. If you cannot provide this, you may submit any of the following:
    • Family registration document
    • An identification document, issued by a government authority
    • An identification document, issued by a court
  • Birth certificates of all the family members included in the application.
  • 4 recent pictures, following the required picture guidelines.
  • The completed Sponsorship for Migration to Australia Form 40.
  • Completed Application Form for Parent Visa (Form 47PA).
  • The birth certificates of all your children, even those who do not live in Australia.
  • For adopted children: Adoption certificate.
  • For any applicants who are or have been married: Marriage certificate.
  • For any applicants who have had a divorce: Divorce documents.
  • For any applicant who is a widow/widower: Death certificate.
  • For any applicant who has changed their name: Documents of the name change.
  • For any applicant who has been in the military: Proof of military service.
  • Proof of the visa fee payment.
  • If the sponsor is not your child: Provide proof of relationship.

Remember: You have to certify all the documents you submit for an Australian visa.

Difference Between the 884 Visa and 864 Visa

The biggest difference between the two contributory aged parent visas is that the 884 is temporary and serves as the first step towards getting the permanent 864 Visa. You do not necessarily need to get the 884 in order to apply for the 864, but many choose to do so because it allows them to pay the visa fee in four instalments instead of two, which is often easier to afford.

Subclass 884 Visa Subclass 864 Visa
Valid for two years maximum. Permanent – does not expire.
Allows you to work and study in Australia. Allows you to work and study in Australia.
You are not eligible for government support. You are eligible for government support.
You are not eligible to enroll with Medicare. You are eligible to enroll with Medicare.
You cannot sponsor your family members to come to Australia. You can sponsor your family members to come to Australia.
Within two years, you can apply for a Permanent Contributory Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 864). After five years, you can apply for Australian citizenship.

How to Get Contributory Aged Parent Visas?

To apply for the 864 Visa, you have to be in Australia and submit a paper application at the Parent Visa Center of the Department of Home Affairs. There are two methods of application:

  • You can apply for the 864 Visa directly or
  • Apply for the 884 Visa first and then switch it to an 864 Visa. This way, you can spread out the payment of the visa fee in four instalments instead of two.

Applying for the 864 Visa

The process is as follows:

  1. You gather the required documents for the application. See the document checklist below.
  2. You apply for a Tourist Visa (Subclass 600) and travel to Australia.
  3. Once in Australia, you lodge an application with the Parent Visa Center and pay the first instalment of the visa fee (appx. AUD 4,100).
  4. You will receive a Bridging Visa to allow you to live in Australia with your child as the application is processed.
  5. You wait for the DHA to process your visa application. This can take up to two years.
  6. You pay the second instalment of the visa fee (appx. AUD 43,000).
  7. Your visa is sent for final processing.
  8. You receive your 864 Visa.

Switching From Subclass 884 (Temporary) to 864 Visa (Permanent)

The process is as follows:

  1. You gather the required documents. See the checklist below.
  2. You apply for a Tourist Visa (Subclass 600) and travel to Australia.
  3. You apply for a Subclass 884 Visa and pay the first instalment of the fee (appx. AUD 4100).
  4. You wait for the visa to be sent for final processing, about two years.
  5. In the meantime, you receive a Bridging Visa.
  6. Your visa is sent for final processing, and you pay the second instalment of the visa fee (appx. 29,000).
  7. You receive the Temporary 884 Visa.
  8. Within the two years that the 884 Visa is valid, you submit the application for the 864 Visa at the PVC.
  9. You pay the first instalment of the 864 Visa (appx. AUD 365).
  10. You wait about two years for the visa to be submitted for final processing.
  11. You pay the second instalment of the fee (appx. AUD 19,000).
  12. You receive the 864 Visa.

How Long Does It Take to Get the Contributory Aged Parent Visa?

The 884 and 864 Visa each take approximately 1.5 to 2 years to be processed. So, if you apply for both the 884 and 864, it will, of course, mean that it will take over four years until you can become a permanent resident of Australia.

However, this is an approximate period and it may very well take longer.

How Much Does the 864 Visa Cost?

The fee for the 864 Visa starts from AUD 47,755 for the main applicant, with additional charges for each dependent family member. The fee is paid in two instalments:

  • First instalment: AUD 4,155 ( for the main applicant) plus:
    • AUD 2,075 for each adult family member
    • AUD 1,040 for each family member under 18
  • Second instalment (after final processing): Approximately AUD 43,000 for the main applicant.

Remember: If you apply via the two-visa process (884 to 864), the fees will be in four instalments paid during a longer period of time.

Assurance of Support for the 864 Visa

In addition to the cost of the visa, your sponsor also has to pay an Assurance of Support (AoS) bond for you. The bond cost ranges from AUD 5,000 and AUD 15,000, and it is reimbursed after ten years, provided that during that time, you have not sought financial assistance from the Australian government.

The AoS bond is a way to make sure that you will not rely on the Australian government for support after you receive your visa.

Your Travel Rights with the Contributory Aged Parent Visa

With the 884 Visa, you can travel outside Australia and return as many times as you want for the two years it is valid. With the 864 Visa, you can travel as you wish for the first five years, after which you have to get a Resident Return Visa or apply for Australian citizenship.

Can I Stay in Australia While my Application is Processing?

Yes, you can live in Australia with your child for the duration it takes your application to process. Once you submit your application, you will receive a Bridging Visa, which allows you to remain in the country until you get your 864 Visa.