804 Visa in Australia: How it works in 2024

Immigration information is subject to change. Please contact a migration agent for your visa enquiries!

Table of Contents

    Corazon Jasa

    Written: January 24, 2024

    Updated: June 17, 2024

    15 min read

    804 visa

    Are you dreaming of reuniting with your parents in Australia as they age? The 804 Visa offers a path for elderly parents to join their children down under permanently. Our article will guide you through the intricacies of obtaining this visa, ensuring clarity at each step.

    Dive in to turn that family reunion into reality!

    Key Takeaways

    • The 804 Visa lets aged parents live in Australia with their children for good. They need to be old enough and pass health, character, and balance-of-family tests.
    • Parents must queue for the visa because there’s a yearly limit. It can take up to 30 years due to many people applying.
    • An Australian child or another person must promise financial support so the parent doesn’t need government money.
    • While waiting for the visa, an aged parent can stay in Australia legally on a bridging visa.

    Overview of the Aged Parent Visa – Subclass 804

    The Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804) is designed to reunite parents with their children who are permanent residents or citizens of Australia. To be eligible, applicants must meet certain age and balance-of-family criteria and go through a thorough application process.

    Eligibility criteria

    You want to get an aged parent visa, subclass 804. Here’s what you need to qualify:

    • You must be the parent of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
    • Your child must have been living in Australia lawfully for at least two years before you apply.
    • You have to pass the balance-of-family test. This means at least half of your children must live permanently in Australia, or more of your children live in Australia than any other country.
    • You should meet health requirements. A medical exam will check that you don’t have a condition that could cost a lot for the Australian health system.
    • Your character matters. Police checks make sure you don’t have a criminal record that could be a risk to the Australian community.
    • An assurance of support may be needed. Someone must promise to help you financially so you don’t rely on government money.
    • Your age counts too. Men must be 65 or older and women must fall within a certain age range which changes over time; this depends on when they were born.

    Application process

    1. Check your eligibility – Verify that you meet the age requirements and that your child is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
    2. Gather your documents – Prepare identity documents like your birth certificate and passport, along with police clearance certificates and any divorce or custody papers if applicable.
    3. Complete necessary forms – Fill out the visa application form accurately; details matter here.
    4. Submit health checks – Undergo the required medical examinations to prove you meet health standards.
    5. Meet character requirements – Provide police clearance to show you have a good character.
    6. Balance-of-family test – Prove that at least half of your children live permanently in Australia or more of your children live in Australia than any other country.
    7. Assurance of support – Find someone who can assure financial support so you won’t rely on social security.
    8. Pay the fees – Ensure all necessary fees are paid with your application to avoid delays.
    9. Apply in Australia – Make sure you’re in Australia when you lodge the application but not in immigration clearance.
    10. Receive bridging visa – Stay legally in Australia with a bridging visa while waiting for the 804 Visa decision.

    Key Considerations for the 804 Visa

    When applying for the 804 Visa, it’s important to meet health and character requirements, as well as the balance-of-family test. Additionally, you may need an assurance of support from a sponsor in Australia.

    These key considerations are crucial to understand before beginning the application process.

    Health and character requirements

    You need to meet health and character requirements for the 804 Visa. Australia wants to ensure you’re healthy and of good character before you join your family.

    • Complete a medical exam – A doctor approved by the Australian government must check that you’re in good health.
    • Provide a police clearance – Show you have no criminal record with a clearance from every country you’ve lived in for more than 12 months in the last ten years.
    • Sign the Australian Values Statement – Agree to respect Australian laws and way of life by signing this statement.
    • Health insurance may be needed – Consider getting medical insurance to cover any healthcare costs during your stay.
    • No serious health conditions – You should not have any health issues that could be costly or strain Australia’s health care system.
    • Character test – You’ll need to pass this test, which looks at any past criminal offenses or conduct that could pose a risk.

    Balance-of-family test

    The Balance-of-family test is a crucial step for the 804 Visa. It checks if at least half of your children live permanently in Australia or if more of your children live there than in any other country.

    This rule ensures that elderly parents can join their Australian family and enjoy close bonds during retirement.

    Imagine sharing special moments with your grandchildren and being part of their lives as they grow up. The test helps make this a reality by allowing you to become permanent residents in Australia, surrounded by loved ones.

    If you pass, it’s one step closer to making cherished family memories on Aussie soil!

    Assurance of support

    To be eligible for the Subclass 804 Aged Parent visa, you must have an assurer who will provide financial support to ensure you don’t rely on Australian government assistance. An assurer can be your child, another relative, or a friend who agrees to provide this assurance of support.

    The assurer needs to meet specific income requirements and may need to post a bond as security. This assurance is crucial for your application’s success and ensures that you will have the necessary support during your stay in Australia.

    The assurance of support is a key requirement for the Subclass 804 Aged Parent visa, offering you the comfort of knowing that someone has pledged financial assistance for your well-being in Australia.

    Specifics of Visa Processing

    Upon application for the Aged Parent Visa – Subclass 804, you will need to consider queuing and release dates as well as processing times. make sure to stay informed on the latest updates and requirements for a smooth visa processing experience.

    Queuing and release dates

    Understanding the queuing system for the Subclass 804 Aged Parent Visa is vital. Let’s delve into the specifics of how the queue works and when visas are typically released.

    Application QueueOnce an application is lodged, it joins a queue due to the capped number of visas each year. This means a wait time is inevitable.
    Priority ProcessingApplications are processed in the order they are received. Those meeting specific criteria may be afforded priority.
    Release DatesVisas are granted throughout the financial year. Exact release dates are not specified, as it depends on the annual planning levels.
    Wait TimesCurrently, wait times can be significant, often several years. Applicants are encouraged to maintain valid visas while waiting.
    Bridging VisasA bridging visa is typically granted to allow the applicant to remain in Australia lawfully while waiting for the 804 Visa decision.
    Visa CapThe annual cap limits the number of 804 Visas granted each year, influencing the queue and wait times.
    Processing UpdatesApplicants can check the status of their application and their place in the queue through the Department of Home Affairs.

    Applicants should prepare for a waiting period and have interim arrangements in place. Keeping track of one’s place in the queue is essential to estimate the potential wait time. While the process may take time, the prospect of reuniting with family and enjoying retirement in Australia remains a strong motivator for many.

    Processing times

    Taking into account the various factors that influence the speed at which your Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804) application is processed, it’s essential to have a grasp of the expected time frames. These figures are not set in stone, given that each case is unique and might take shorter or longer depending on individual circumstances. However, here’s an overview of the general processing times in an easy-to-digest table format:

    Processing StageEstimated Time Frame
    Application Acknowledgement1-2 weeks after submission
    Bridging Visa GrantConcurrent with application acknowledgement
    Initial Assessment3-6 months after submission
    Further Assessment/Documentation Request6-12 months after initial assessment
    Final DecisionUp to 30 years due to significant queue*
    (Subject to cap and queue)
    Post-decision SettlementImmediate upon visa grant

    *Note: The Subclass 804 visa has a lengthy queue because it’s subject to annual caps. This means applicants are placed in a queue and invited to apply for the visa in order of their queue date when places become available.

    Remember, patience is paramount throughout this process. The wait might be long, but the outcome allows aged parents to enjoy their retirement surrounded by family in Australia. Keep in mind, the bridging visa allows applicants to remain in the country, awaiting their turn in the queue.


    In conclusion, the Aged Parent Visa – Subclass 804 is a pathway for aged parents to permanently stay in Australia with their children. Once granted, this visa allows them to travel in and out of Australia for up to five years.

    With work and study rights, access to government benefits, and an opportunity to live close to family, this visa offers a chance to spend retirement years surrounded by loved ones in Australia.

    The assurance of support must be met along with health requirements and the balance-of-family test as part of the application process. Overall, the 804 Visa provides elderly parents with an invaluable opportunity for familial reunification and a fulfilling retirement in Australia.


    CJMigration is a well-respected Sydney migration agency with over 30 years of experience in the industry. We can help guide you through the process and achieve your immigration goals.

    5/5 – from 75+ Google ratings