Australia offers a variety of visa options for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents. Among these, the Sponsored Parent Visa stands out as a popular choice. This visa allows parents to stay in Australia for an extended period, enjoying time with their families while contributing to the local community. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of the Sponsored Parent Visa, covering eligibility criteria, application process, benefits, and frequently asked questions.

Understanding the Sponsored Parent Visa

The Sponsored Parent Visa (Subclass 870) is designed to enable parents to live in Australia temporarily for up to five years. This visa aims to bridge the gap between permanent parent visas, which often have lengthy processing times, and the immediate need for family reunification.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Sponsored Parent Visa, applicants must meet specific requirements:

  1. Sponsorship: Applicants must have a sponsor who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. The sponsor must be a settled resident, meaning they have been living in Australia for at least four years.
  2. Relationship: The sponsor must be the biological, adoptive, or step-child of the applicant.
  3. Health and Character Requirements: Applicants must meet health and character criteria, including undergoing a medical examination and providing police clearances.
  4. Financial Requirement: The sponsor must demonstrate their ability to support the parent(s) financially and provide assurance of support if required.
  5. Previous Visa Compliance: Applicants must comply with the conditions of any previous Australian visa they have held.

Application Process

The application process for the Sponsored Parent Visa involves several steps:

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): The first step is to submit an EOI through the Department of Home Affairs website. This step assesses the applicant’s eligibility and places them in a pool of potential applicants.
  2. Invitation to Apply: If the EOI is successful, the applicant will receive an invitation to apply for the visa. This invitation includes instructions on how to proceed with the application.
  3. Lodging the Visa Application: Once invited, applicants must submit a complete visa application, including all required documents and evidence. This step involves paying the application fee and providing biometrics.
  4. Health and Character Checks: Applicants must undergo health and character checks to ensure they meet Australian standards.
  5. Visa Decision: After assessing the application, the Department of Home Affairs will make a decision. If approved, the visa will be granted, allowing the parent(s) to live in Australia for the specified period.

Benefits of the Sponsored Parent Visa

The Sponsored Parent Visa offers several advantages for both parents and their Australian families:

Extended Stay

Parents can stay in Australia for up to five years on a single visa, providing ample time to bond with family members and participate in family activities.

Multiple Entries

The visa allows for multiple entries, meaning parents can travel in and out of Australia as needed without reapplying for a new visa each time.

Pathway to Permanent Residency

While the Sponsored Parent Visa is temporary, it can serve as a stepping stone for parents considering permanent residency options in the future.

No Work Restrictions

There are no work restrictions attached to this visa, allowing parents to engage in employment or voluntary work if they choose.

Community and Social Benefits

Living in Australia on the Sponsored Parent Visa enables parents to access local community services, healthcare, and social activities, enhancing their overall quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I extend my Sponsored Parent Visa?

Yes, parents can apply for an extension of their Sponsored Parent Visa for an additional five years, provided they continue to meet the eligibility criteria and their sponsor remains willing to support them.

  1. What happens if my sponsor’s circumstances change?

If the sponsor’s circumstances change, such as a change in financial situation or residency status, it is crucial to notify the Department of Home Affairs. They will assess the situation and provide guidance on the next steps.

  1. Can I include my partner in the visa application?

No, the Sponsored Parent Visa is specifically for parents. However, partners of the primary applicant may apply for a separate visa to join them in Australia.

  1. What is the cost of the Sponsored Parent Visa?

The visa application fee varies depending on the duration of the visa and the number of parents applying. It is essential to check the latest fee structure on the Department of Home Affairs website.

  1. Can I apply for the Sponsored Parent Visa while in Australia?

No, the application for the Sponsored Parent Visa must be lodged from outside Australia. Parents need to be offshore when applying and when the visa is granted.


The Sponsored Parent Visa is an excellent opportunity for parents to reunite with their families in Australia, offering an extended stay, multiple entries, and potential pathways to permanent residency. By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and benefits, parents can make informed decisions and enjoy a fulfilling experience in Australia.

For those looking to navigate the complexities of the Sponsored Parent Visa, it is advisable to seek professional assistance or consult the Department of Home Affairs for the most up-to-date information.