Canberra, 17 June: It is fantastic news for those who want to bring their parents to Australia to be with them and to have parents living with their young children for longer periods up to five years at a time. Immigration minister David Coleman and Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced this in March and have now delivered on this and applications to sponsor a parent for a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa (870) finally opened today. You must lodge the application to prove your eligibility as a sponsor of your parent(s) and wait for the approval from the department. The applications are to be made online. The sponsorship application fee is $420.

Once a sponsorship application has been approved, the parent will be able to apply for a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa. Applications for the visa are intended to open from 1 July 2019

The visa provides parents with a new pathway to temporarily reunite with their children and grandchildren in Australia, while ensuring that taxpayers are not required to cover additional costs. The visa responds to community concerns about the limited number of Parent places in the migration program and associated lengthy waiting periods.

To be eligible for the visa, a parent must be the biological, adoptive, or step-parent of the sponsor, who must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.

There is no balance of family test or Assurance of Support requirements with this visa.

But to be sponsored as a parent, you must:

  1. have an approved Parent Sponsor to apply for this visa;
  1. have met and complied with any previous visa obligations, (previous visa breaches);
  1. meet health requirements (check Health Insurance requirements); and
    Check special health cover deals for various visa types here.
  2. meet character requirements.

With this visa you can have your parent(s) in Australia

  • can visit Australia for up to 3 or 5 years
  • can visit up to a maximum period in Australia of 10 years
  • cannot work in Australia

The fee for the Sponsored Parent visa is as below:

  • A$ 5,000/- For application for Visa for up to 3 years AUD5,000/-
  • A$ 10,000/- for application for Visa for up to 5 years AUD10,000/-

Sponsorship applications opened on 17 April 2019. Once a sponsor has been approved, the visa applicant will then be able to lodge their visa application. Visa applications must be lodged within six months of sponsorship approval and cannot be lodged until a sponsor has been approved.

Only genuine temporary entrants, please

As an applicant for a long term sponsored parent visa, you must intend to:

  • stay only temporarily in Australia
  • do only the things the visa allows you to do.

If you have already lodged a permanent parent visa application, you may visit Australia, but not remain in Australia permanently while the application is being decided. This is a temporary visa only.

No debt to the Australian government

If you owe the Australian Government money or you have a public health debt from previous visits for hospitals or other services and have not paid it and it is still owing, you will have to make arrangements to have it paid back in full or put arrangements in place to pay it back in full. The arrangements put in place must be to the satisfaction of the authorities that the previous debt will be fully taken care of before your application can be decided.

Benefits of the new Visa 870

The visa allows parents to remain in Australia for a longer period of time, up to five years at a time without departing. It provides an alternative option to Visitor visas which only allow shorter periods of stay. Parents are still eligible to apply for Visitor visas and/or permanent Parent visas.

While the Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa allows for a significantly longer stay period than a visitor visa, it is still only a temporary visa and does not allow for permanent residence in Australia like a permanent Parent visa.

Limited Number of places available

Up to 15,000 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visas may be granted each program year (from 1 July to 30 June).

The 15,000 cap has been set by the Government in recognition of the challenges of an ageing population, as well as the overall budget impact of older migrants. The limit also reflects the Government’s priority of providing visa pathways for children and partners of Australians, as well as the need to target young skilled migrants to maximise the economic benefits of migration.

If the cap is reached in a program year, no further visas will be granted until the next program year commences on 1 July.

Further the government has emphasized no existing visas are affected by the introduction of the Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa. Standard Visitor visa arrangements remain unchanged. Parents will continue to be able to apply for a longer stay and longer validity Visitor visa.

Only 2 parents per household

Only two parents per household can be sponsored for this visa at a time. The limit allows more households to sponsor a parent and reflects the potential costs a sponsor will be required to meet.

What it means for the sponsor

For someone to be a sponsor for their parent, in addition to other normal requirements mentioned herein, he or she must be able to meet:

  • a minimum household income threshold (based on the income of the sponsor, or the combined income of the sponsor and their spouse/partner and/or another child of the parent)
  • provide police clearances for any country they have spent more than 12 months cumulatively in during the past 10 years
  • authorise information to be shared with the visa applicant.

And in case the sponsored parent racks up a debt and cannot pay, under the sponsor’s obligations, he or she must:

  • providing financial support and accommodation for their parent in Australia
  • keeping records and providing them to the Department if asked. For example evidence of income.
  • advising the Department when certain events occur. For example if they are charged with a crime.
  • paying outstanding public health debts incurred by their parent in Australia.

The obligation ceases if the relevant health authority advises the debt has been repaid, or acceptable repayment arrangements have been made. However, this obligation will continue if there are outstanding health debts, even after the parent who incurred them has departed Australia.

If the parent incurs public health debts in Australia and these are not paid, the party owed the debt will be able to pursue the sponsor, through the Courts if necessary, to have the debt repaid.                     

 -K. Dev

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