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Visa processing times

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

All Parent (including Parent (subclass 103), Aged Parent (subclass 804)), Contributory Parent (including Contributory Parent (subclasses 143 and 173) and Contributory Aged Parent (subclasses 864 and 884)) visa applications are subject to capping and queueing.

What this means

‘Capping’ means there is a maximum number of visas that can be granted each migration program year. Once we reach that number, no more visas may be granted that year. All remaining visa applications will remain in the ‘queue​’ until a place becomes available in a future program year. See Glossary.

How cases are queued

All Parent visa applications are assessed in lodgement date order.

When a valid Parent visa application is received, it undergoes an assessment against the core visa criteria including health and character requirements, where applicable.

An application that meets the core visa criteria is assigned a queue date and placed in a queue. We will notify you in writing of your application’s queue date.

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, the queue date is assigned once the application is assessed as meeting the core visa criteria.

If your application does not meet the core visa criteria to be assigned a queue date, it will be refused and you will be notified in writing.

Queue release dates

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

As at 31 August 2023, we have released the following applications for final processing:

  • Contributory Parent visa applications with a queue date up to May 2017
  • Parent visa applications with a queue date up to October 2011
  • Aged Parent visa applications with a queue date up to December 2012
Key processing milestone dates*.
 Temporary 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 Application

Approx 4 weeks

Approx 4 weeks

Approx 4 weeks

Queue Assessment


Lodged September 2018

Lodged August 2019

Visa Assessment (Queue release date)

January 2022

Lodged/queued up to May 2017

Parent Subclass 103 - Date queued up to October 2011

Aged Parent subclass 804 - Date queued up to December 2012

*as at 31 August​ 2023

Note that the Department is required 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 and are taking action to correct them.

** All Contributory Parent visa applications lodged before 1 June 2018 have been given a queue date of the application lodgement date and applications lodged on or after 1 June 2018 will be assessed and given a queue date when it meets the initial visa criteria.​

*** Onshore Aged Parent (BP804) visas have been assessed up to Queued Date of December 2012. Onshore Aged Parent applications with a Queued Date of December 2012 onwards are likely to take longer to process while we action offshore Parent (AX103) applications to bring the dates back to parity.

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

You are encouraged to keep up to date with the above queue release dates. We will contact you in writing when your queued visa application is released 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 provide 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 visa application, we estimate that, based on the current number of places available per year, your application may be processed according to the following timeframe:


New applications may be processed in at least

Contributory Parent visas

12 years

Parent & Aged Parent visas

29 years

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

Processing times for finalised applications

For those visas finalised so far in the 2022-23 migration program year:

  • for Contributory Parent visa applications, the processing time was approximately 6 years and
  • for Parent and Aged Parent visas, the processing time was approximately 12 years.

This estimated timeframe is based on how long it has taken to process recently finalised applications. It does not guarantee your application will be finalised within this timeframe.

Note: We only update this information when the latest data is available.

The Reports on Migration Programs have further information on Migration Program outcomes against planning for each migration program year.

Changes to processing times

Parent visa processing times may change due to:

  • changes in planning levels
  • the number of visa applications submitted
  • the number of applications which have been withdrawn or refused
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal outcomes
  • Ministerial Intervention cases and
  • 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, which may include:

  • whether you have lodged a complete application and included all necessary supporting documents
  • how promptly you respond to any requests for additional 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, particularly in relation to health, character, and national security requirements and
  • 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.