If you have a child or children living in Australia, then you can apply for a visa to join them. One of the parent visas for Australia is the Subclass 103 Visa, which would allow you to live in Australia permanently and even apply for Australian citizenship in the future.

While it is a permanent visa and comes with a lot of benefits, one of the biggest drawbacks of this visa is that it takes a really long time to process. While there are other types of parent visas for Australia, which are processed quicker, they do cost a lot more.

Australia Parent Visa Requirements

When applying for the 103 Visa, you will be asked to submit several documents, including:

  • Your passport.
  • Passport size pictures.
  • Birth certificate showing both of your parents’ names. If you cannot get the birth certificate, you may submit the following documents:
    • Certified copy of your family book stating both your parents’ names.
    • Certified copy of your Identification Document (ID).
    • A document issued by a court verifying your identity.
    • Any other acceptable proof of your identity.
  • Certified copies of the birth certificates of all people included in your application.
  • Documents showing custody of any children under 18 included in your application. If both parents are included in the application, this is not necessary.
  • Application Form for a Parent to Migrate to Australia (Form 47PA). Completed and signed by the parent.
  • Application Form for Sponsorship for Migration to Australia (Form 40). Completed and signed by the child.
  • Proof of the sponsor’s legal status in Australia, such as:
    • Proof of Australian citizenship (citizenship certificate or birth certificate).
    • Proof of Permanent Residence.
    • Proof of being an eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • Proof of family relationship, as is relevant, such as:
    • Birth certificates for all your children.
    • Family book showing all your children’s names.
  • Marriage certificates (for whomever is applicable).
  • Adoption certificates (for whomever is applicable).
  • Proof of where all your children live (if you have any other children living outside Australia).
  • If you served in the army: Proof of military service and/or discharge records.
  • Proof of having paid the first instalment of the visa fee.

How to Apply for the Australia Parent Visa?

You have to apply for the 103 Visa on paper, at the Parent Visa Centre (PVC) of the Department of Home Affairs in Australia. You can be in or outside Australia at the time. The application process is as follows:

  1. Your child completes the Sponsorship for Migration to Australia Form (Form 40), agreeing to sponsor you. This Form must be attached to the rest of your application documents.
  2. You collect the required documents for visa application, as requested by the Immigration Authorities.
  3. Send the documents to your child in Australia, who must submit them at the Parent Visa Centre (PVC) by mail or courier. You may also mail them directly to the PVC yourself, in which case your child must send you the Sponsorship Form to attach to the rest of the required documents.
  4. You or your child pay the first installment of the visa fee.
  5. Wait for the visa to be processed. This visa is known to take years to process.
  6. After the application has been processed, the Department of Home Affairs will let you know of the outcome. Because this is a very lengthy process, you can use the DHA’s “Parent Visa Queue Calculator” to estimate more or less how many applications are ahead of yours.

How Long Does the Subclass 103 Visa Take to Process?

Because the Australian Subclass 103 Visa is capped and queued, it can take several years to reach a final decision. According to the Department of Home Affairs, some cases may take up to 30 years! So, needless to say, it is a very long and drawn-out process.

The reason for the long waiting period is due to the capping and queuing that the 103 Visa is subject to. It means that the Australian Immigration Authorities will only grant a certain amount of parent visas every year and the rest will be postponed to the next Migration Program year.

For example, the 2020-21 Migration program planning level included only 4,500 visas for the Parent (103) and Aged Parent Visa categories.

You can check here to see Parent Visa queue release dates and processing times.

Sponsorship Requirements for the 103 Parent Visa

To be able to sponsor you to Australia, the sponsor must fulfil the following requirements:

  • They must be over the age of 18.
  • They must be your child or your child’s partner (in some cases).
  • They must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • They must pass the Balance of Family Test.
  • They must be settled and living in Australia at the time of visa application.
  • They must meet income requirements to be able to cover your financial expenses.
  • They must be willing to lodge an Assurance of Support (AoS) bond at the Services Australia Assurance of Support. The AoS is meant to cover any financial burden that you may palace on the Australian health and welfare system. They must pay this bond after you receive the visa, and it can be up to AUD 10,000 for two applicants.

Who Can Apply Alongside the Main Applicant?

When applying for a Parent Visa 103, the following members of your family can apply alongside you:

  • Your spouse or de facto partner
  • Your or your partner’s child, who must not be married, engaged or in a de facto relationship and falls under one of the following categories:
    • Is under the age of 18; or
    • Is between the ages of 18 and 23 years and is dependent on you or your partner; or
    • Is over the age of 23 and is dependent on you or your partner due to a partial or total disability (physical or mental).
  • The dependent child of your child, as outlined above.

Australia Parent Visa 103 Cost

The 103 Visa costs start from AUD 4,425 but can be more expensive depending on how many people are applying together, the age of the applicants, and the date of visa submission. You will pay the visa fee in two separate instalments.

For example, if your fee is AUD 8,700, you would pay two instalments of AUD 4,350. You can calculate an estimation of your 103 Visa fee here.

Can I Apply For Another Parent Visa That’s Quicker to Process?

Other than the Subclass 103 Visa, you can also apply for the Contributory Parent Temporary Visa (173) or the Contributory Parent Permanent Visa (143), which are both processed much quicker, but cost a lot more. For context, while the 103 Visa cost starts from AUD 6,415, the fee for the Subclass 173 and 143 visas start from AUD 31,930 and AUD 47,755, respectively.

Remember that the 173 Visa is temporary. When you receive the 173 Visa, you still have to apply for the 143 visa in the future if you want to live with your child in Australia permanently.

Can I Work in Australia if I Have a 103 Visa?

Yes, if you have a Parent Visa 103, you are allowed to work in Australia. You can also study and sponsor other family members to come to Australia.

Can I Enroll Under Australian Public Healthcare With a 103 Visa?

Yes, according to the Department of Home Affairs, if you get the 103 Visa, you can enroll under the Australian public health care scheme, Medicare. If you do not enroll under Medicare, you will have to get some other type of Australian health insurance.

Can I Travel to and From Australia with a Parent Visa 103?

Yes, when you get the 103 Visa, you will be able to use it to travel in and out of the country for a period of five years. After that, you must either:

  • Apply for a Resident Return, which allows you to leave and re-enter Australia as a permanent resident.
  • Apply for Australian citizenship, which grants you all travelling rights as born citizens of Australia. You can generally apply for Australian citizenship after four years of residence.