Australian Parent Visa Gets The Axe

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On 2 June 2014 the government stopped taking applicants for the following visas classes:

Parent (non-contributory) visas:

• subclass 103 (Parent)
• subclass 804 (Aged Parent)

Other Family visas:

• subclasses 114 and 838 (Aged Dependent Relative)
• subclasses 115 and 835 (Remaining Relative) and
• subclasses 116 and 836 (Carer)

Why is the Government ceasing new applications for these visas?

The focus of family migration is on the reunion of close family members, who are the partners, children and contributory parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents. Closure of the Parent (non-contributory) and Other Family visas will help free up places in the Family Stream for the migration of close family members.

The visas being repealed have long processing queues. Based on current planning levels, an applicant for a Parent (non-contributory) visa can expect to wait about 13 years before being considered for the grant of a visa after being allocated a queue date. An applicant for an Other Family visa can expect a waiting time of between four years (for a Carer visa) and 16 years (for a Remaining Relative and Aged Dependent Relative visa).

These waiting periods reflect the significant number of visa applications in comparison to the limited number of visa places available each Migration Programme year.

What other options will parents have to migrate to Australia?

Parents will continue to have the option of applying for a permanent Contributory Parent visa, either subclass 143 (Parent) for parents outside Australia or subclass 864 (Aged Parent) for parents in Australia. Under these visas, applicants are required to pay a higher Visa Application Charge (VAC) and Assurance of Support bond than the Non-contributory parent visa. It is possible to stagger the costs by first applying for a temporary Contributory Parent visa and then for the permanent Contributory Parent visa.

The temporary Contributory Parent visas include the Contributory Parent (subclass 173) visa for parents outside Australia and the Contributory Aged Parent (subclass 884) visa for parents in Australia.

Alternatively, parents can apply for a long stay Visitor visa which allows eligible parents to visit their children in Australia for regular periods of up to 12 months at a time over an extended validity period. For many families, temporary stay provides greater flexibility without the need to wait in a queue for years for a permanent visa.

What options do other family relatives have to migrate to Australia once these visas are closed?

Relatives of Australian citizens and permanent residents other than partners, children and contributory parents who wish to migrate to Australia will need to satisfy requirements for entry as a skilled migrant. All intending migrants interested in the points based skilled migration or business investment and innovation visa programs are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) using the SkillSelect online service and receive an invitation in order to lodge a visa application.

I have already applied for a visa. What happens to my application?

If you have already applied for an Other Family or Non-Contributory Parent visa your application will continue to be processed under existing regulations and policy. Please note that the Parent (non-contributory) and Other Family visas are subject to annual planning levels. In 2014-15, 1500 places have been allocated to Parent (non-contributory) and 500 places to Other Family.

Based on 2014-15 planning levels, you can expect to wait up to 13 years for a Parent (non-contributory) visa, four years for an Other Family (Carer) visa and up to 16 years for an Other Family (Aged Dependent Relative) or Other Family (Remaining Relative) visa.

I want to add a dependent family member to my existing application. Am I able to do this?

Eligible dependent family members, such as a partner or dependent children, are able to be added to an application after the date of repeal. You will need to provide evidence of the relationship, including dependency, in submitting this application.

I have an ongoing need for assistance due to a disability and had intended to sponsor my relative to migrate to Australia as a Carer to look after me. What options would I have to bring my relative to Australia if the Carer visa is closed to new applications?

Relatives other than the partners, children and contributory parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents who wish to migrate to Australia will need to satisfy requirements for entry as a skilled migrant.

Alternatively, your relative may be eligible for a longer stay Visitor visa. Eligible applicants are able to stay in Australia for a longer stay period than would otherwise be provided on a Visitor visa, where they can show that the purpose of their visit is to assist with the short-term care needs of a seriously ill relative who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Normal visitor visa requirements apply including the requirement that the applicant genuinely intends only a temporary stay in Australia.

What alternatives are there for me to migrate to Australia as a remaining relative or aged dependant relative if these visas are closed?

Relatives other than the partners, children and parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents who wish to migrate to Australia will need to satisfy the requirements for entry as a skilled migrant.

For more information see: www.immi.gov.au/Live/Pages/certain-family-visas-closure.aspx

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