AUSTRALIA: What Happened to the Temporary Parent Visa?

October 10, 2018

The early 2017 announcement of a longer stay, temporary visa for parents of Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents was met with great anticipation. Parents no longer needed to meet the balance of family” test by having at least half of their children in Australia, and the fees were not as prohibitive as those for the Contributory Parent visas. 

Details on the requirements were published by the Australian Department of Home Affairs following a statement by the then Assistant Minister on 5 May 2017, and plans were made in the 2017-18 federal budget for the visa to be opened to applicants in November 2017. Now almost a year past the intended start date… the visa is nowhere in sight. 

What happened? 

It all lies with the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 which is still before parliament. The Bill is designed to establish a sponsorship framework for the sponsored family visa program, which – amongst other things – would introduce a separate sponsorship assessment from the visa application process for family sponsored visas and require the approval of persons as family sponsors before any relevant visa applications are made. 

This is not popular with onshore Partner and Parent visa applicants – prevented from lodging a visa application and nervously watching the expiry date of their visa stay while the sponsorship application is in process. 

A number of amendments to the Bill have been suggested – including allowing only Australian Citizens to sponsor and requiring a formal report into the changes. However, nothing has been agreed to, and the Bill languishes between parliamentary sittings and the unfortunate rotation of Prime Ministers. At this point, it doesn’t look like new 10-year visa stay for parents will come into effect any time soon. 

What Can We Do? 

So the next best option is the longer stay Visitor visa. Immigration is willing to assess parents for Subclass 600 Visitor visas. These visas are valid for the following stays, for the following instances:

  • Five (5) years – for parents outside Australia who are in the Parent (Migrant) visa (Subclass 103)queue;
  • Three (3) years – for parents outside Australia who have had a previous Australian visa and have complied with the visa conditions, and have either:
    • not applied for a Parent visa (Subclass 103), or
    • applied for a Parent visa (Subclass 103) but are not yet in the Parent visa queue; or
  • Eighteen (18) months – for parents who have not previously travelled to Australia and have either:
    • not applied for a Parent visa (Subclass 103), or
    • applied for a Parent visa (Subclass 103) but are not yet in the Parent visa queue.

However, parents are only able to stay for a maximum of 12 months in any 18-month period, must hold fully comprehensive health insurance while in Australia (reciprocal health arrangements are not sufficient), and will be subject to a mandatory “no further stay” condition, preventing them from applying for further visas in Australia.

Questions… Concerns? 

Newland Chase is keeping a close eye on the Migration Bill in Parliament and the potential new Temporary Parent Visa. We’ll hopefully be posting updates soon… or at least as soon as there is any to report. In the meantime, readers are encouraged to sign-up for our weekly newsletter to keep abreast of the latest changes in immigration in Australia and around the world. You’ll get the latest of our alerts and blogs conveniently delivered to your inbox once each week. For more immediate or case-specific concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to any one of our four Australia offices – located in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane. (See contact information here.) Or email us at [email protected].