A new parent visa is coming on 1 July 2017 – but what will the specific requirements be?
The Turnbull Coalition Government announced in 2016 that it will implement its election commitment to introduce a new temporary sponsored parent visa. The temporary sponsored parent visa will allow Australians to sponsor their parents to stay in Australia for up to five years.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has held a series of consultations and called for public submissions to assist the Government with the final design of the new temporary visa and the legislative changes required to implement it.
“The Turnbull Government recognises that many Australian migrant communities face particular pressures through the separation of children from parents and grandchildren from grandparents,” Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Mr Hawke said in a media release.
“We want to help families reunite and spend time together, while ensuring that we do so in a way that does not burden Australia’s health care system.” Mr Hawke said.
“Improving arrangements for parents of Australians to spend time with their family in Australia, whilst mitigating costs to the Australian taxpayer, was a key objective of both major parties at the recent election. It is now important we get this balance right in the design of the temporary sponsored parent visa.”
The introduction of such a visa is a significant shift from current visa options for parents. Currently there are limited places available under the Permanent Migration Programme for parents. Up to 8,675 will be made available for parents in 2016–17. The balance of places available under the Family stream (57,400 places) are provided to partners and children of Australians.
As demand for some permanent Parent visas is far greater than the available places and annual limit (referred to as a ‘cap’), the new temporary parent visa will be welcome for Australians looking to reunite with their parents.
What we know so far
The Government’s stated objectives of a temporary parent visa would be as follows:
- Health screenings will be required to ensure entry and stay is not to burden Australia’s health care system. Adequate private health insurance from an Australian provider must be obtained by the parent.
- Applicants are to be sponsored by their Australian child. The sponsor must be living in and contributing to Australia. The sponsor will be required to show they can support their parents, by way of income and asset assessments. Sponsors will need to undergo a criminal history check.
- There is to be a bond arrangement, based on the Assurance of Support scheme. This is to cover any medical costs of the parent while in Australia
- The visa would allow a stay period of up to five years, that is it could be granted for periods of one, three or five years. A visa holder could apply to renew their visa for further periods of up to five years at a time. Most likely, a new application would need to be made offshore.
It is envisaged this new visa will be implemented from 1 July 2017, but further details of the visa are yet to be announced.
We will continue to monitor developments. For more information about parent visas please contact our migration team on firstname.lastname@example.org.