On 1 March 2019, the Government announced the introduction of a new visa for parents of Australian permanent residents and citizens.
With a cap of 15,000 visas per year and a cost of $10,000, the new Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa will be open for applications later this year.
From 17 April 2019, this visa will allow migrants to lodge a sponsorship application to bring their parents to Australia. Once approved, the sponsored parent will be able to apply for the temporary Sponsored Parent visa from approximately 1 July 2019.
The Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa aims to provide parents with a temporary option to join their children and grandchildren in Australia, for a period of up to 5 years without departing.
It also gives parents an opportunity to apply for a second visa for a further five years, with the requirement of a short period outside Australia to bridge the visas.
To ensure that no financial burden is placed on Australian tax payers, there are certain obligations placed on sponsors, including the requirement to act as financial guarantor and cover any outstanding public health costs that may be incurred by the visa holder during their stay in Australia. This guaranteed backing, in addition to the ceiling on the number of visas approved, aims to manage the ageing population in Australia and associated issues such as overburdening the Australian health care system.
While the new visa is for an older population, the Government’s priority remains visa pathways for children and partners of Australians, as well as young skilled migrants – aligned with the main goal of maximising the economic benefits of migration.
Parents who are eligible for the visa must be biological, adoptive, or step-parents of the sponsor. The sponsor is required to be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. Unlike permanent Parent visas, there is no Balance of Family Test requirement for this visa, meaning a visa applicant is not required to have more than half of their children residing in Australia.
The Sponsored Parent visa is a temporary visa, albeit longer than a visitor visa, and does not provide a pathway for permanent residence.
After holding this visa for the maximum 10 year period, parents must either depart Australia or apply for another visa that will allow them to remain in Australia, for example the permanent Parent visa.
Cost: the sponsorship applications costs $420, the Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa costs $10,000 for up to five years’ duration and $5,000 for up to three years’ duration.
Length of stay: parent visa holders are able to stay in Australia temporarily for up to 5 years.
Option to apply for a further visa: A parent visa holder can apply for a further visa, however they must be outside Australia for at least 90 days before re-applying.
Work rights: this type of visa generally attracts a ‘no work’ condition.