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29/10/2018

Pathway to Permanent Residence for Retirees

The Pathway was announced by Government on 8 May 2018 as part of the 2018-19 Budget and will be introduced on 17 November 2018.

What is the Pathway and when is it being introduced

The Pathway was announced by Government on 8 May 2018 as part of the 2018-19 Budget and will be introduced in November 2018.

The Pathway will provide eligible Retirement (subclass 410) and Investor Retirement (subclass 405) visa holders (Retirees) with the ability to obtain permanent residence in Australia. It reflects that, although these visas are temporary, Retirees are generally long-term residents who have contributed to and are well established in the community.

Who is eligible to apply for the Pathway

You are eligible to apply for the Pathway if, on 8 May 2018:

  • you held a Retirement (subclass 410) or Investor Retirement (subclass 405) visa; or
  • your last substantive visa was a Retirement (subclass 410) or Investor Retirement (subclass 405) visa.

You must also be in Australia to lodge a Pathway application and must have not held any substantive visa apart from a Retirement (subclass 410) or Investor Retirement (subclass 405) between 8 May 2018 and the date of your Pathway application.

How can I access the Pathway

If you are an eligible Retiree, you can access the Pathway by applying for a Parent (subclass 103) or Contributory Parent (subclass 143) visa in Australia by sending a completed visa application form to the Parent Visa Centre in Perth.

You can be inside or outside Australia when your Pathway application is decided.

What is the difference between the Parent (subclass 103) and Contributory Parent (subclass 143) visas under the Pathway

The Contributory Parent (subclass 143) visa has substantially shorter processing times and a higher visa application charge than the Parent (subclass 103) visa.

However, the requirements for both visas are essentially the same.

What are the costs of applying for a Pathway visa

The visa application charges for a Pathway application will be the same as those for a standard Parent (subclass 103) or Contributory Parent (subclass 143) visa application.

How many Pathway places are available and how long will applications take to be processed

The Government sets the planning ceiling for the annual permanent migration program. This planning process includes allocating planning ceilings for the Parent category.

Within these Parent category places, a small number of places will be allocated to the Pathway. Pathway places will be allocated over a number of years starting in 2018-19.

Priority will be given to those who apply under the Contributory Parent (subclass 143) category, with no allocation of Parent (subclass 103) Pathway places for grant in at least the first four years of the program. Waiting times for Parent (subclass 103) visas are significantly longer than those for Contributory Parent (subclass 143) visas.

For further information see Global visa and citizenship processing times.

What criteria do I have to meet to apply for the Pathway

You will be subject to most of the existing requirements for a parent visa. This includes meeting the standard health, character and identity criteria.

However, in recognition of Retirees as long-term residents, you will not need to meet the sponsorship, Australian family or Assurance of Support requirements

My retirement visa is about to expire. Do I need to apply for another one while I remain in Australia to wait for the result of my Pathway application

No. If you lodge a Pathway application, you will be granted a Bridging visa which will allow you to stay in Australia lawfully while your application is being processed.

What is a Bridging visa

A Bridging visa is a temporary visa, which allows you to remain in Australia lawfully while you are sorting out your immigration status, for example if you have a pending visa application.

A Bridging visa can only be granted while you are in Australia and it generally ceases after your immigration status has been finally determined.

For further information see Bridging visas.

Do I still need to maintain adequate health cover while I wait for the result of my Pathway application in Australia

Yes. Under the Health Insurance Act 1973, temporary visa holders who have a pending Pathway application are not eligible for Medicare.

If you have lodged a Pathway application and are awaiting a decision, you will be required to maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance in Australia, consistent with the conditions on your previous or current retirement visa. You will be in breach of your visa conditions if you fail to maintain adequate arrangements health cover while your Pathway application is being processed.

Will I be treated as a permanent visa holder for the purposes of taxation, purchasing a property and claiming a pension or other benefits after I have lodged my Pathway application

No. Your visa status will remain temporary until you are granted a permanent visa. For further information regarding taxation, purchasing properties and access to government benefits and services, you may wish to check the following websites:

I was granted my first Investor Retirement (subclass 405) visa after 8 May 2018. Am I eligible for the Pathway

No, you are not eligible for the Pathway as it is only intended to provide a pathway to permanent residence for Retirees who held, or whose last substantive visa held was a retirement visa on 8 May 2018, and have not held any other kind of substantive visa since then.

I applied for an Investor Retirement (subclass 405) visa but it has not yet been decided and therefore I am not eligible for the Pathway. Can I get a refund of my application fee

Refunds of visa application charges are only available in limited circumstances. See Form 1424 - Refund Request Form (375KB PDF).

I lodged a Parent visa application before the introduction of the Pathway, but it has not yet been decided. Do the new rules apply to me

No. If you lodged a Parent (subclass 103) or Contributory Parent (subclass 143) visa application before the introduction of the Pathway, you will be assessed under the criteria which were in place at the time of your application. These include meeting the usual sponsorship, Australian family and Assurance of Support requirements for a Parent or Contributory Parent visa.

If you wish to be assessed for a parent visa under the Pathway, you must withdraw your existing Parent visa application and lodge a new Pathway application.

Can I still apply for an Investor Retirement (subclass 405) or Retirement (subclass 410) visa

The subclass 405 and subclass 410 visas are now both closed to new applicants, except for Partners of an existing or former holder of a subclass 410 visa who have never held a Retirement visa. These Partners will remain eligible to apply for a subclass 410 visa until the Pathway is introduced.

Other applicants will remain eligible for a furthersubclass 405 or subclass 410 visa if they currently hold, or their last substantive visa was a Investor Retirement (subclass 405) or Retirement visa (subclass 410).

How will the Pathway affect other Parent and Contributory Parent visa applicants

The Department will implement the Pathway in a way that minimises the impact on the Parent and Contributory Parent visa programs. Pathway places will be gradually allocated over a number of years starting in 2018-19 and will not affect the overall number of Parent and Contributory Parent places in the annual migration program. As the number of potential Pathway applicants is small, this is not expected to have a noticeable impact on existing Parent and Contributory Parent visa applicants.

What happens if my Pathway application is refused

The Department will notify you if your Pathway application has been refused and you will be provided with information about your rights to apply for review of the refusal decision. Refusal of a Pathway application will not affect your eligibility to apply for a further subclass 405 or 410 visa, provided you have not been granted another substantive visa.

Where can I go for further information about the Pathway and Parent and Contributory Parent visas

Do not lodge the application before 17 November 2018. If you lodge it before 17 November 2018, it will be invalid.

For further Information about Parent and Contributory Parent visas, including the application form see: