The Government has announced today that it will be introducing a new temporary sponsored parent visa, which will be valid for up to five years. The Government has released a discussion paper on the sponsored visa program and will undertake a series of community consultations. You can read the discussion paper here.
The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) welcomes the Government’s announcement of the new temporary sponsored parent visa in Australia, however hold concerns about some aspects of the proposal.
Family migration allows migrants to maintain family ties and connections. Family reunion is integral for successful settlement, promoting social wellbeing and cohesion. It is also related to core human rights principles around the rights of Australians to live with their family members.
FECCA Deputy Chair Peter Doukas said, “We are pleased that the Government recognises the importance of families as ‘fundamental building blocks’ of society, and has considered how important family reunion is for migrant communities.”
“While we welcome today’s announcement, we believe that families must still have a more permanent pathway to reunite with their family members from overseas. Flexible temporary parent visas must not replace the existing options for people to migrate to Australia, and join their families on non-contributory and contributory parent visas”, said Mr Doukas.
FECCA is concerned that a shift away from permanent parent visas to flexible temporary parent visas will leave many individuals without a social safety net and no access to crucial services. This will put pressure on Australian families and individuals who hold temporary parent visas. It could also create a class of migrants who are not supported to settle in Australia, affecting social cohesion.
The stay period may be granted for up to five years, and the visa holder may apply to renew their visa for further periods of up to five years at a time. The length of the visa will be determined by a number of factors including:
- The needs of the applicant or their sponsoring child
- The capacity of the applicant and/or their sponsoring child to support their stay in Australia
- The health and age of the visa applicant
- Their previous immigration history
There will also be a number of key requirements for temporary parent visas including:
- The parent must obtain adequate private health insurance from an Australian provider
- Individuals sponsoring their parents on these visa must have been living in, and contributing to Australia for a number of years
- Sponsors will be required to show that they can support their parents, if necessary, including income and asset assessments
- Sponsors will need to provide either a financial bond as debt security, or an equivalent legally binding commitment, to assist in recouping costs where sponsorship obligations have not been honoured
FECCA looks forward to engaging with the Government throughout the consultation process in relation to these visas.
Media Comments: FECCA Office – (02) 6282 5755, firstname.lastname@example.org.