The parent visa stream allows parents of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens who have been lawfully residing in Australia for a reasonable period (usually two years), with the choice of migration pathways to Australia.
There are various different visas – the “parent category”, the “aged parent” and the “contributory parent” (including “aged contributory parent”).
Depending on individual circumstances applicants may apply for parent visas from within Australia or offshore.
All applicants must meet the Balance of Family (BoF) test, which means that at least 50% of their children must be living in Australia as permanent residents, Australian citizens or eligible New Zealand citizens or that more of your children live permanently in Australia than in any other country.
The main difference between the parent category and the contributory parent category is the processing time. Currently parent visas have approximate 30 year wait, whilst contributory visas have a 1-2 year wait.
The parent category is a lower cost/longer wait option while the contributory parent category is a higher cost/short wait option.