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Visa processing times

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Capping and Queuing of Parent visa applications

All Parent visa applications are subject to capping and queueing. This includes:

  • Parent (subclass 103)
  • Aged Parent (subclass 804)
  • Contributory Parent (including subclasses 143 and 173)
  • Contributory Aged Parent (subclasses 864 and 884).​​

What this means

‘Capping’ means there is a maximum number of visas that we can grant each migration program year. Once we reach that number, we cannot grant more visas in that year. All remaining visa applications will stay in the ‘queue’ until a place becomes available in a future program year.​ See Glossary.

How we queue applications

We assess all Parent visa applications in lodgement date order.

When we receive a valid Parent visa application, we assess it against the core visa criteria. These include health and character requirements, where applicable.

We assign applications that meet the core visa criteria a queue date and place them in a queue. We will tell you your application’s queue date in writing.

Note: If you applied for a Contributory Parent visa before 1 June 2018, the queue date is the application lodgement date. For all other applications, we assign the queue date once we assess the application as meeting the core visa criteria.

If your application does not meet the core visa criteria to be assigned a queue date, we will refuse it. We will tell you of this in writing.​​​

Queue release dates

We release queued visa applications in queue date order for final processing throughout the year. If we have already met the migration program outcomes for the year, we will not release any more visa applications in the current migration program year.

As at 31 May 2024, we have released the following applications for final processing:

  • Contributory Parent visa applications with a queue date up to June 2017
  • Parent visa applications with a queue date up to December 2011
  • Aged Parent visa applications with a queue date up to January 2013.
Key processing milestone dates*.
MilestoneTemporary to Permanent (173 to 143 and 884 to 864)Contributory Parent (143)**
Contributory Parent (Temp) (173)**
Contributory Aged Parent (864)**
Contributory Aged Parent (Temp) (884)**
Parent (103)
Aged Parent (804)***
Acknowledge New ApplicationApprox 4 weeksApprox 4 weeksApprox 4 weeks
Queue Assessment
N/ALodged August 2020Lodged January 2022
Visa Assessment (Queue release date)May 2024Lodged/queued up to 27 June 2017Parent Subclass 103 - Date queued up to April 2012 
Aged Parent subclass 804​ - ​Date queued up to January 2013
*as at 31 May 2024​

Note that the Department has to process Parent and Contributory Parent applications in lodgement date order and within annual limits. We have identified some discrepancies in processing times between offshore and onshore visas in both Parent and Contributory Parent categories. We are taking action to correct these.

** We have given all Contributory Parent visa applications lodged before 1 June 2018 a queue date of the application lodgement date. We will assess and give a queue date to applications lodged on or after 1 June 2018 when they meet the initial visa criteria.

*** We have assessed Onshore Aged Parent (BP804) visas up to Queued Date of January 2013. Onshore Aged Parent applications with a Queued Date of January 2013 onwards may take longer to process while we action offshore Parent (AX103) applications to bring the dates back to parity.

We update this information when the latest processing dates are available.

We encourage you to keep up to date with the above queue release dates. We will contact you in writing when we release your queued visa application for final processing.

Processing times

The demand for Parent visas is greater than the number of places available each year. As a result, processing times for these applications can be lengthy.

We process Parent visa applications in two stages. There is an initial assessment. This determines whether we will place an application in the queue. Later, as places become available, we release applications from the queue for final assessment. ​

We can’t give exact processing timeframes for these visas. These visas are subject to ​capping and queueing.

Visa application status updates

We will not respond to individual visa application status enquiries. This is due to the volume of applications we process.

New visa applications

If you lodge a new application, the processing time frame will vary. This depends on the type of visa you apply for. We estimate these time frames on the current number of places available per year.

Processing time frames for new applications
VisaProcessing time frame (estimate)
Contributory Parent visas12 years
Parent & Aged Parent visas29 years

Note: We generally update this information on a yearly basis.

For more information on Migration Program outcomes against planning for each migration program year refer to the Reports on Migration Programs.

Changes to processing times

Parent visa processing times may change because of:

  • changes in planning levels
  • the number of visa applications submitted
  • the number of applications that are withdrawn or refused
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal outcomes
  • Ministerial Intervention cases
  • changes to processing directions.

Estimated visa processing times do not indicate how long your individual visa application may take to process. Your application processing time can vary due to individual circumstances. These may include:

  • whether you have lodged a complete application and included all necessary supporting documents
  • how promptly you respond to any requests for more information
  • the length of time required to perform checks on the supporting information provided
  • the length of time it takes to receive additional information from external agencies, health, character, and national security requirements
  • the number of places available in the migration program.

Contact us

Find answers to commonly asked questions, make an enquiry or submit documents to the Parent Visa Centre.