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The contents of this article are correct as at 20 Ocober 2008 

Parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to apply for permanent residency under the Contributory Parent Visa (“CPV”) or Parent Visa streams.

Like most immigration streams, the CPV and Parent visa steams are capped. This means that once the annual quota of successful applications is reached, all valid applications are queued for processing in subsequent years, in order of the date of lodgment. The majority of places are reserved for offshore applications, where the applicant waits outside Australia during processing. Only a few hundred places each year are available for parents applying from within Australia.  

For the CPV subclasses (subclasses 143, 173, 864 and 884) the cap is set at 6500 for the 2008-09 financial year. There are currently enough applications lodged with DIAC to fill all available places for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 financial years. This means that an application lodged now would likely entail a waiting period of two years. The application fees for CPV subclasses currently range from $32,975 to $33,860.

Application fees for the Parent Visa subclasses (subclasses 103 and 804) are substantially smaller, currently ranging from $2655 to $3340. However the cap for Parent Visas is set at 2000 for the 2008-09 financial year. There are currently 14,000 applications queued. Assuming the cap remains at 2000 per year, the current number of queued applications means that an application lodged now would likely entail a waiting period of eight years. 

A principal consideration in deciding which CPV or Parent Visa subclass to apply for is the timing of the compulsory health examination. Parents with existing medical conditions need to be aware that they must pass a comprehensive health examination before a visa is granted. Waiting for long periods overseas may mean that health deteriorates to a point where the applicant will not pass a health examination when they reach the end of their waiting period. If this happens, the visa application will be refused.

Parent visa applications require careful project management. Selecting the right subclass of visa is critical to ensuring the best prospects of success. 

We have assisted many parents and their Australian children sponsors by guiding them through the application process and formulating application strategies that minimise the impact of waiting periods on their prospects of a successful application. 

You can find detailed information about the criteria for CPV and Parent Visa subclasses on our Family Visaspage. 

If you would like advice or assistance with understanding the CPV and Parent Visa streams and their implications for your family, please contact Visa Lawyers Australia.