Good News for Retirement Visa Holders
As a result of amendments to the migration regulations which came into effect from 17 November 2018, certain holders or former holders of subclass 405 (investor retirement) Visa or subclass 410 (retirement) visas may now apply for permanent residence through either the subclass 103 (Parent) Visa or a subclass 143 (Contributory Parent) Visa, without the need to demonstrate that they are the parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents.
To be eligible, applicants must have held either a subclass 405 or subclass 410 Visa on 8 May 2018, or not have held any substantive visa on that date and the last substantive visa held prior to that date was one of those visas. Applicants must be in Australia to apply.
It is important to be aware of the distinction between the two visa pathways which are now available. The Contributory Parent Visa (S/C 143) carries with it a substantial Visa Application Charge (VAC) which must be paid before the Visa is granted. Processing can generally take between two and three years. At the moment the VAC is $43,600 for a single applicant.
The Parent Visa (S/C 103) on the other hand has a much lower charge at time of approval, currently $2065. However, the disadvantage with this visa is that the number of visa grants in any one year is capped or limited by the government – usually around no more than 1500 places per year, and because of this there is a tremendous backlog of applications waiting to be processed, meaning that applications may take many years before they are finalised. For persons wishing to transfer from the retirement visa this is not necessarily a problem because they will be entitled to remain in Australia on a bridging visa until such time as their Parent visa application is dealt with.
Irrespective of which pathway is taken it will be necessary for applicants to maintain health insurance until the permanent Visa is granted and meet the relevant health, character and other public interest criteria for the grant of the permanent Visa.