What we know and don’t know about the new temporary Parent visa
The Australian government announced a discussion paper in September 2016, with details to be finalised on the implementation of a new temporary sponsored Parent visa to commence on 1 July 2017.
Parents can apply for general Visitor visas, at a cost of $135 (offshore) or $340 (onshore), which permit short stays of between three to twelve months. But for those seeking a longer stay, the two current migration options for parents of Australians are limited. The first option is the $5,935 Non-Contributory Parent visas ( Subclass 103 for offshore applicants or Subclass 804 for Parents aged 55 years and older) with a 30 year waiting period. Alternatively, there’s the $47,295 Contributory Parent visas ( Subclass 143 for offshore applicants and Subclass 864 for Parents aged 55 years and older).
Here’s what we know about the new visa:
- The new visa arrangement will commence on 1 July 2017
- Applicants are to be sponsored by their Australian child
The sponsor must have been living in and contributing to Australia for a number of years. A longer period of contribution in Australia would provide a higher priority in eligibility.
Additionally, the sponsorship assessment will include income and asset assessments, criminal history check, and sponsors must agree to a range of enforceable obligations.
- There is to be a bond arrangement, based on the Assurance of Support scheme
Sponsors will be required to provide either a financial bond as a debt security, or an equivalent legally binding commitment. This can assist in recouping costs where sponsorship obligations have not been met.
- It will permit a stay period of up to five years
The length of stay granted may be one, three or five years, and will be determined by a number of factors including:
- The needs of the applicant and / or their sponsoring child;
- The capacity of the applicant and / or their sponsoring child to support their stay in Australia;
- The health and age of the visa applicant;
- Their previous migration history
- A visa holder can apply to renew their visa for further periods of up to five years at a time
- Applicants will be required to undertake medical examinations and meet the health requirement
- Applicants will need to take out adequate health insurance for their entire period of stay
- Visa holders will not be eligible for healthcare or welfare
- Applicants will not be required to apply for a permanent Parent visa in order to apply for the new visa. However, they can lodge a permanent visa if they wish.
There are still many details about the new temporary Parent visa that are yet to be decided.
This is what we don’t know about the visa:
- Visa application Charge ( VAC )
The visa application charges to be paid by the main applicant and any secondary applicants (their spouse or de facto partner) are yet to be determined, though it will be ‘more affordable’ compared with current Parent visa options.
- Balance of Family Test ( BOFT )
There is no mention of whether or not the BOFT will need to be met by applicants, which would make the new visa a favourable option for those parents that were previously restricted with the current visa options for this reason.
The BOFT applies to all current Parent visas, whereby parents must have at least half their children (including step children) living in Australia as Australian Citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand Citizens.
- Demonstrate English ability
It is yet to be decided whether applicants will be required to demonstrate a certain level of English proficiency.
- Work rights
It is not yet decided what, if any, work rights will be included in the new Parent visa.
- Age limits
Whether age limits will apply is yet to be decided.
The introduction of a new Parent visa mid next year will be a welcomed alternative for parents who have found they don’t meet the requirements of the current visa options. We’ll keep you updated on any new developments regarding this visa as it becomes available.