Melbourne, June 21: A re-elected Turnbull Government will enhance existing visitor visas to enable sponsored parents to visit their family in Australia for a continuous period of up to five years.

Currently, parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents who have lodged a permanent parental visa application may be issued with a visitor visa of up to five years duration, on a case-by case basis.

In an attempt to woo new migrants, this Coalition announcement comes on the heels of Labor’s proposal of 3 years continuous stay.

The Coalition, if returned to Office will remove the requirement for these parents to have lodged a concurrent permanent parental visa application.

“The Coalition recognises that many Australians, including our growing South Asian and Chinese communities, face particular pressures through the separation of children from parents and grandchildren from grandparents,” Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton said.

“We want to help families reunite and spend time together, while ensuring that we do so in a way that does not burden Australia’s health care system,” he said.

Echoing similar safeguarding measures of Labor, Coalition’s plan will also warrant visitors applying for the enhanced parental visitor visa to demonstrate that they hold adequate private health insurance from an Australian provider.

They or their sponsoring family will also be required to pay a bond based on the existing Assurance of Support Scheme.

These measures build on the Coalition’s earlier visa reforms specifically targeted for the Indian and Chinese markets, “to enhance our national economic and social prosperity” including:

  • Three-year multiple entry tourist visas for Indian, Chinese and other nationals.
  • Premium processing in key markets, including India.
  • A 10-year visitor visa and on-line Chinese language application for approved Chinese nationals.

According to the Scanlon Foundation, confidence in Australia’s migration programme has grown under the Coalition, following decrease in boat arrivals which is perceived as restoration of border control measures.

Nidhi Mehta

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