Australia introduces five-year temporary visa immigrant parents
Alex Hawke, Australian Assistant Immigration Minister, announced on 23 September that the federal government will begin discussions with the public for introducing a five-year visa for elderly parents of its immigrants.
Hawke was quoted by the SBS Media as saying that they were announcing a temporary visa of five years as reuniting three generations of families would profit society at large.
Their government would consult with the communities nationwide so that the positioning for this visa allows the most number of options.
To be effective from 1 July 2017, Hawke accepted the fact that the existing visa program was not efficient as it made people wait at times for up to 30 years.
Currently, there are two paths of visa for parents of both citizens of Australia and permanent residents. The ‘non-contributor’ visa, which costs A$7,000, has a processing time of 18-30 years, while the contributor visa costing A$50,000 takes two years to process.
The announcement follows a report released by the Productivity Commission which was of the view that supporting immigrants’ parents could cost the country as high as between A$2.6 billion to A$3.2 billion over their lifespan.
The report is said to have stated that costs were too high for a relatively small segment. Following the report, the commission suggested having a relook at the visa scheme.
The election campaign during June saw the Coalition promise an uninterrupted five-year visa for parents of Australian residents and citizens. This visa, as of now, is offered to applicants on a case-to-case basis for people who have applied for a concurrent permanent parental visa.
Presently, visiting parents of citizens and permanent residents of Australia are permitted to stay continuously for up to one year.