In April 2019, a new visa was introduced which allows parents of migrants in Australia to visit on a temporary basis for a period of up to 10 years.However, what are the pros and cons? What does the visa entail, what are the requirements for sponsorships, and what does all of this mean for you? In this article, we will be addressing the above and taking a closer look at the income requirements for sponsorship as well as the true price of this ‘cost-effective’ visa.
This new temporary visa will allow parents of Australian permanent residents or those who have gained Australian citizenship to join their family and live in Australia for a period of up to five years. After this initial five-year period, there will be an opportunity to renew the visa and stay for another five years. Once both of these visas have been used, the parents will have to leave Australia.
The visa will be processed in two stages. Firstly, the person looking to sponsor their parents must be approved before an application can be submitted. There is a minimum household income required to become a sponsor, and you will need to prove that you hold sufficient funds to support your parents during their stay.
Places will be capped at 15,000 successful applicants every year. It is anticipated that these slots will fill up very quickly. Theoretically, more people should be eligible for the temporary parent visa than other types of visa, as the parents will not be required to meet the ‘balance of family test’.
The cost per person for this new parent visa is AUD$10,000 for the five-year visa and an additional AUD$10,000 for the five-year extension. The visa has been criticised for being unfair to the migrant communities in Australia as the substantial fees are considered impossible to achieve for lower income households.
Melbourne-based migration agent Kirk Yan, who conducted an informal survey on the issue, said:
“Around 70 to 80 percent who are interested in applying for this visa say they may not be eligible to apply due to the sponsor requirements.”
However, a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said that the income threshold is in place to ensure that sponsors have sufficient resources to support their parents. In any case, the visa works out to be more cost effective and easier to obtain than the permanent contributory parent visa, which costs AUD$47,120 per person, with an average wait time of 45 months. It also offers a faster option than the ‘non-contributory’ parent visa, which has a huge waiting period of more than 30 years and a cost of around AUD$6,000.
Sponsors looking to bring their parents over must be Australian citizens or permanent residents. They are required to act as a financial guarantor for the duration of their parents’ stay in Australia. The parents will also be required to hold private health insurance with an Australian insurance provider, so as not to be a burden on the healthcare system.
Other requirements for eligibility include a minimum taxable household income of AUD$83,454.80 from the children sponsoring their parents, and for the parents to meet character and health requirements. Such requirements focus on not having a criminal record, not suffering from any serious health conditions (particularly ones that could pose a public threat) and not owing a debt to the Australian government.
If you’ve not previously been able to apply for parental visitation visas, this could be a good fit for you. However, it does largely depend on your income and whether you meet the requirements. Plus, due to the cap, it is anticipated that spaces will fill up quickly. Another downside is that a family can only sponsor one set of parents to come over.
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