How can I join my son and grandkids in Australia?

Ask the Experts: I am alone in Ireland, and want to move there. Can I get a visa?

‘I am single, never married. I am alone here, and I want to move there to help out with my grandchildren.’ Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

‘I am single, never married. I am alone here, and I want to move there to help out with my grandchildren.’ Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

 

Question

I want to go and live with my only child in Melbourne. He is permanent citizen in Australia, married to an Australian girl, and they have two children. I am single, never married. I am alone here, and I want to move there to help out with my grandchildren. What are my chances of getting a visa?

Answer: John McQuaid, Arrive Australia Migration Services (arriveaustralia.com.au)

Australia allows permanent residents and citizens to sponsor their parents to come and live in Australia.

The quick and cheap option is a longer visitor visa (Subclass 600), available to parents of Australian permanent residents or citizens. This visitor visa allows you to stay in Australia for 12 months in any 18-month period. For more information about this visa, see border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/600-

If you want to apply for permanent residence yourself, your sponsoring children first need to be “settled” in Australia for at least two years as permanent residents. You must also meet “the balance of family test”, meaning that more of your children must be living in Australia than in any other country, and pass the “health and character requirements”. See the balance of family table at homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/brin/pare/balance-of-family-test#e

Currently, a maximum of around 8,500 parent visas can be granted each year, so with high demand, the wait periods are long.

The “contributory” parent (Subclass 143) visa currently takes about three to four years to be approved, and costs around $49,000 (€31,000) per parent. This cost can be split over a few years by first applying for a temporary 173 visa to start, and then the permanent visa about two years later.

Unfortunately, the much cheaper non-contributory parent 103 visa option has a very unrealistic waiting time of about 30 years, but is still an option if you can meet the age criteria (above pensionable age ) to apply for the onshore 804 visas while in Australia, and then get a bridging visa to stay .You must still meet “the balance of family test”, and pass the “health and character requirements”.

For more information on the various options open to you as the parent of a permanent resident or citizen, see homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Brin/Pare .

Have a query for our panel of experts about emigrating, life abroad or moving home? Click here to submit yours or email abroad@irishtimes.comThis column is a reader service and is not intended to replace professional advice. Unfortunately we cannot provide personal responses to every query and only those selected for publication will be answered.

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