FAR Northerners have just one more week to make submissions on the Coalition Government’s election commitment to introduce a new temporary sponsored parent visa, which will allow Australians to sponsor their parents to stay in Australia for up to five years.
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch has welcomed the initiative, saying it is essential to ensuring the government’s policy settings meet the growing demand for flexible visa options for parents of Australian citizens.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of people in our region who will be interested in these changes as we have a fairly significant number of migrant communities from all over the world,” Mr Entsch said.
“There are lots of great things about starting a new life in Australia but there’s no denying that one of the major difficulties can be the separation of people from their parents and grandchildren from grandparents.”
The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Alex Hawke, has released a Discussion Paper inviting comment on ways to improve the existing visa arrangements to enable sponsored parents to visit their family in Australia for a continuous period of up to five years.
Currently, there are only a small number of permanent visa places for parents made available in the migration programme and waiting times are up to 30 years.
“I’m inviting all interested communities in the Far North to make a submission to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and to put forward their ideas on how we can make a temporary parent visa work best for families,” Mr Entsch said.
“Visiting parents should have the opportunity to spend time with children and grandchildren who live in Australia, and we want to help these families reunite and spend time together.
“At the same time though, we have to make sure we aren’t putting an additional burden on Australia’s health care system.”
The Government’s intention is that any new temporary parent visa arrangement should help offset long waiting times and medical expense issues, while allowing Australia to benefit socially through having united families and cohesive communities.
The Turnbull Government will implement this important election commitment for migrant families in 2017.
Public submissions must be made by midnight, Monday 31 October 2016; to make a submission, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Discussion Paper will reflect the Government’s election commitment announcement of 21 June 2016, with the key requirements of a temporary parent visa including:
1. Limiting the burden on health care:
a. 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.
a. applicants are to be sponsored by their Australian citizen child; and
b. will include a bond arrangement, based on the Assurance of Stay scheme.
3. The visa application:
a. a concurrent migration application is not necessary;
b. a stay period of up to five years will be provided; and
c. a visa holder can apply to renew their visa for further periods of up to five years at a time.