Parent Visa? Change is coming!

If you’re thinking of bringing your parents to Australia on one of the current Parent Visa schemes, now is the time to act. The rules are planned to be introduced to take effect on 1 July 2017, and overall, they’re getting tougher on permanent migration. There are still options available, but you need to act fast because the window is possibly closing.

Currently, there are two main types of Parent Visa. The first is known technically as the Non Contributory Parent visa. This is quite cheap, but takes many years to process, which is the Government’s way of restricting entry under this scheme. Seriously: it can take up to 30 years, during which the applicant has to be entirely self-sufficient, with no access to state pensions or Medicare.

The second is called the Contributory Parent visa. This has similar restrictions as the Parent visa, but takes only two years to process. Once granted, it confers its holder the same entitlements as permanent residency, including pension and Medicaid entitlements. The downside is that it costs the thick end of AU$50k per parent. In addition, the child/sponsor is required to endorse the Parent Visa holder’s financial viability by means of an Assurance of Support (AoS).

To put that rather spooky figure in context: it’s slightly more than the minimum pension for a single person per year (not counting various means-tested supplements). Plus, the state will also bear almost all of that person’s health costs, as well as less tangible things such as transport and general infrastructure usage. So while it might be a chunky figure, it actually goes a very long way.

But not for long! The Department of Immigration has decided that it is in fact too much of a good thing. The curtain looks set to  come down on this deal on 1 July, 2017.

Here’s what we know. Parents of eligible sponsors will be able to apply for a temporary visa, which will last up to 5 years (depending on health, sponsor status, self-sufficiency, and other variables). And it has catches including that they’ll need their own private health insurance.

There’s more. The AoS requires a cash bond to pay upfront as a kind of debt security, the amount of which is set on a case by case basis. Overall we expect these to rise significantly. And the application fee? That’s yet to be determined, but it’s also likely to increase.

In terms of logistics, we don’t yet know if lodged applications still awaiting approval at the date of the new rules (1 July) will remain in the system. Historically, that’s usually been the case. But there are no guarantees.

Which all means that if you want to extend your Australian residency to your parents, now is the hour. Get in touch with us now to make sure your Parent visa application is fully optimised with the best chance of success. It could literally save some people hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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