The Australian government proposes to introduce a new temporary parent visa in July 2017.

This visa will be available to parents of Australian citizens, permanent residents and eligible NZ citizens. The aim of this visa is to offer a new possibility for parents to visit their children without burdening the Australian community. The main features of the visa have already been defined and they are presented in this article. However there is still some ongoing discussions about policy’s features until 31st October 2016.

 

Key requirements

The Government announced on the 21st June 2016 that the key requirements for the new temporary parent would be the following ones:

- Limiting the burden on health care:

  • entry and stay is not to burden Australia’s health care system, and adequate private health insurance from an Australian provider must be obtained by the parent.

- Sponsorship:

  • applicants are to be sponsored by their Australian child

  • there is to be a bond arrangement, based on the AoS scheme.

- The visa application:

  • a concurrent migration application is not necessary

  • a stay period of up to five years will be provided

  • a visa holder can apply to renew their visa for further periods of up to five years at a time.’

 

Health care access

Applicants for the new parent visa will have to undertake medical examinations and meet health requirements. The health requirement has three key objectives to:

• protecting the Australian citizens from health threats,

• containing public expenditure on health care and community services

• safeguard access of Australians to health care and community services that are in short supply.

In addition, parents will need to subscribe to a private insurance through an Australian insurance provider.

 

Sponsorship

Parents who decide to apply for this temporary visa will need to be sponsored by their Australian children.

In addition to an assessment of their relationship, the sponsor will be required to have been living and contributing to Australia for a number of years to ensure he had enough time to integrate into the Australian community and to contribute financially. The sponsor will also have to show through an assessment of income and assets that he is able to support the parents if necessary. The sponsor will have to agree a criminal history check and a range of enforceable obligations.

The sponsorship assessment will be a different process which will need to be completed before submitting the visa application

 

Bond arrangement, similar to the AoS scheme

The announcement of the government included a bond arrangement based on the AoS scheme. Under a bond scheme, sponsors are required to provide either a financial bond as a debt security, or an equivalent legally binding commitment. A bond arrangement can assist in recouping costs where sponsorship obligations have not been honoured. Any bond amount may need to be significant in order to cover a parent’s potential health costs over a five year period. However, conditions concerning the bond arrangement are not yet specified.

 

The visa application

The new parent visa may be granted with a period of time of 1, 3 or 5 years. The length of the visa would be determined by several of factors, such as:

• the needs of the applicant 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 immigration history

In order to apply for the new visa, it will not be necessary for the parent to have also applied for a permanent parent visa. They can however continue to lodge a permanent visa application if they wish. Moreover, the current requirement in the visitor visa arrangements isthat parents spend at least six months outside Australia in any 18 month period, will not apply to this new parent visa.

The new visa will require a VAC to be paid, it’s level has not been set yet. The aim of this tax is to balance the impact of people who arrive in Australia at the end of their working life without having contributed to the development and maintenance of infrastructure and services.

For applicants with a limited level of English, there may also be benefit in requiring these visa holders to demonstrate some improvement in English capability over time. A number of positives would arise out of ensuring potential visa holders can speak functional English.

The fee for this visa have not been revealed, but Minister Hawke said it would be ‘more affordable than current arrangements’.

Some modifications and specification should but released in the next coming weeks, we will of course keep you updated once they have been announced.


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