If you’re planning to bring your parents to visit you in Australia, a visitor visa in the tourist stream is likely to be one of your best options. A visitor visa will allow your parents to remain with you in Australia for up to 12 months – and may even allow them to travel to and from Australia to visit you for an even longer period. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a tourist visa?
A visitor visa in the tourist stream (sometimes called a tourist visa) is a short stay visa that will allow your parents to visit Australia for a continuous period of three, six, or twelve months. This visa does not grant the right to work.
Each of your parents will need an individual tourist visa, but they can link their applications together.
How long does a tourist visa last?
Ordinarily, visitor visas last for a maximum of 12 months. However, if you are an Australian resident or citizen, the Department may decide to grant your parents a visa that lasts for a longer period of time. The length of your parents’ visa will be determined by the Department after they have assessed their application.
The maximum length is as follows:
- If your parents are in the Parent Visa (subclass 103) queue, the Department can grant a visa that lasts up to five years
- If your parents are not in the queue, but have previously held an Australian visa and complied with the conditions, the Department can grant a visa that lasts up to three years
- If your parents have never been to Australia, the Department can grant a visa that lasts up to 18 months
If your parents are granted an extended visitor visa, their visa will have three additional conditions:
- Your parents can stay for a maximum of 12 months in an 18-month period
- Your parents must maintain fully comprehensive health insurance
- Your parents cannot apply for an additional visa from Australia (the “no further stay” condition)
What are the requirements for a tourist visa?
When your parents apply for a visitor visa in the tourist stream they must:
- Intend to do the activities in the tourist stream, such as holiday activities or visiting family
- Show that they are travelling to Australia as genuine visitors
- Have enough money to support themselves during their stay in Australia
- Meet health and character requirements
In addition, in order to be eligible for the extended visa length outlined above, your parents must apply for their visa from outside Australia.
Will my parents need a sponsor to come to Australia?
Whether your parents’ visa will need a sponsor will depend on the Department. When your parents apply for their visa, it is possible the Department will require them to apply for the sponsored family stream of the visitor visa instead of the tourist stream.
If they do, your parents’ visa will need to be sponsored by an eligible relative, who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident and has been settled in Australia for a reasonable period (usually more than two years). If you meet these requirements, you can sponsor your parent’s visa.
The Department may also require the sponsor to pay a security bond.
What happens when my parents’ visa expires? What if I want them to stay longer?
When your parents’ visa expires, they may be able to apply for a new visitor visa from within Australia, provided that their visa does not have the “no further stay” condition. If their visas do have the no further stay condition they must leave Australia – but can apply for a new visa from outside the country.
If you wish your parents to stay with you for the long term, you may wish to consider a parent visa or contributory parent visa.
Looking for a tourist visa Migration Agent or Immigration Lawyer in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane? We can help. Contact us today to find out how we can help your parents to visit you in Australia.