Parent and Relative Visas - New Options Available

Parent and Relative Visas – Making the obvious impossible, but there is an alternative

Applications for mature entry, Parent and Relative visas continue to be tightly controlled. Recently, the Department of Home Affairs released figures for the current financial year, with particular emphasis on mature visa applicants, confirming that the maximum number of various classes of parent visas granted between the period 1st July 2017 – 30th June 2018 would be limited to:

  • Parent Visas – 1500
  • Contributory Parent Visas – 7175
  • Other family visas including Remaining Relative and Aged Dependent Relative – 500

For Contributory Parent Visas, the Department’s website suggests a current processing timeframe of 41 months, a swift time indeed when compared with some Parent Visas (e.g. subclasses 103, 804 etc.) where the processing time is nominated as “up to 30 years”, and other relative visa applications which extend as long as 50 years.

Given that, at the time of application and throughout processing, Aged Parent Visas require applicants to meet a series of criteria which includes;

  • Age requirement – must be equivalent to Australian retirement age (currently 67)
  • Health and character requirement

A processing time of 30 – 50 years really does establish a script for “Mission Impossible”.

A reasonable alternative is on the horizon

On May 5th 2017, the Australian Government announced the introduction of a brand new temporary sponsored parent visa.

This visa is currently subject to the passage of legislation but it’s designed to allow the parents of Australian citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and eligible New Zealand citizens to spend longer periods of time with their children in Australia, without placing additional burdens on Australia’s health system.

Under this Visa, how long could parents stay in Australia?

The new visa will not replace other Parent category visas, which will still remain as options. It will however, allow sponsored parents to stay in Australia for up to five years at a time, providing an important cultural link for children of Australian migrants to connect with their grandparents.

It applies to both biological and adoptive parents and represents a viable alternative to other existing, substantially delayed, options.

When will it become available?

Currently before the Senate, as part of the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and other Measures) Bill 2016 (The Bill) it is hoped that it will be accepted and passed “within weeks”.

When enacted, the application charge for a five-year visa will be $AUD10, 000 and for a three-year visa, $AUD5, 000.

Keeping a finger on the pulse

Clearly the decisions facing parents and relatives, seeking to reunite with their children and families in Australia, are neither easy nor are they straightforward. Sometimes, what initially appears as an obvious choice so easily turns into a road of extended delays, distress and disillusionment?

And who knows what easier path might be on the immediate horizon?

Professional advice and assistance avoids unnecessary distress

In the complex and rapidly changing world of immigration law, nothing is constant and nothing is simple. It really does pay dividends therefore, to obtain professional assistance, skilled practitioners who are specialised in the field, comprehensively trained to recognise the traps and the trends; achieving the finest possible outcomes in the shortest possible time, whilst avoiding so much unnecessary expense.

For more information on this or on any relating issues, contact the migration experts – Sellanes Clark and Associates – specialising in all immigration matters.

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