Right! This is my third go at replying! Something is wrong with my Broadband. If I answer the phone, my PC shuts down and restarts with some callers but not others. I don't know why the fault isn't consistent. However the phone line is BT and my ISP is Tiscali, so they just blame each other whenever I try to ask them to work out what is wrong and fix it. Let us now hope for some peace & quiet until I get this done!
With most APV 804 applicants, they are only applying for APVs because they can't afford to buy CAPVs instead. With little money, there is no great need to worry about Tax. With your own mother, there might be a need to consider the taxation angles for her because she could afford to buy a CPV instead, so there is clearly some money, if not a massive amount. I know nothing about Tax. It is the one thing I have not tried to discuss in this thread.
For tax advice, if the person is British then I recommend Alan Collett of Go Matilda in Melbourne every time. He is a Registered Migration Agent but much more relevantly, he is also a Chartered Accountant. He has the bean counter qualifications for England & Wales and separately, he is a qualified bean counter in Australia as well. I believe that Alan specialises in the tax planning and affairs of Britons who want to move out to Oz. If your Mum is not British I reckon that Alan would be able to refer her to somebody suitable.
I do know that when Britons live in Australia, the Australian Taxation Office treats them differently according to whether they are Permanent Residents of Australia or Temporary Residents of Australia. The holder of a Bridging Visa is not a PR but s/he is not necessarily a TR instead. The ATO & HMRC might have a third tax category for people who are "in limbo," as it were. I'm not convinced that an APV applicant who holds a Bridging Visa has necessarily "emigrated" from the UK because they definitely haven't "immigrated" to Australia instead, so I don't how how the British State Pension should be treated in this situation, for instance. Personally, I trust Alan Collett 100% to be able to answer this sort of question accurately. My own problem is that so far, I haven't been able to persuade Mum that we should get some competent advice from Alan.
I agree with you that medical expenses do seem to be the main cost with an APV but I do think that depends on whether the applicant's tax-angle might be relevant as well.
I'm less unsure about the position with medical expenses (and I'm not scared about those in the way that I am scared about Tax.)
The legislation for Bridging Visas specifically excludes entitlement to Medicare if the Bridging Visa holder has applied for an Aged Parent or Contributory Aged Parent visa. Form 1024i confirms this. Howver, if the Bridging Visa holder comes from a country that has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia then the person might be entitled to limited "visitor Medicare" only. It depends on the relevant RHCA, if there is one, which in turn makes the applicant's country of origin crucially important to the question.
Is your Mum British? If she is then there is an RHCA between Oz and the UK but it only entitles the visitor to Medicare for *necessary* medical treatment in Oz. I interpret this to mean that Medicare will pay to deal with the visitor's blood pressure but it won't necessarily pay for his/her bunions as well. A patient can't feel her blood pressure (I speak from personal experience!) However I'd know about a sore foot and my foot would affect my mobility, even though it might not threaten my life.
A British APV applicant will be dependent on visitor Medicare for a minimum of 8 years and it could be as many as 16 years. That depends on the number of APVs available each year. Even 8 years is a long time to put up with restricted mobility caused by bunions.
Sure, private medical insurance would be available and I recommend that to anyone who is going to be on a Bridging Visa for a long time. However, an APV applicant is bound to be at least 65, added to which s/he is not a Permanent Resident, so the premiums will be exceedingly high. More than twice as much as someone of your own age and immigration status would pay.
Which is why I don't think an APV 804 is actually as cheap as it looks.
For the rest, please slog through this thread from the very beginning. All the info you want is there, together with the relevant links.