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Election Promises For Cheaper And More Accessible Parent Visas

parent visas
Parent visas, which allow parents to join their permanently resident child or children to join them in Australia are in great demand but they have been subject to long wait times and high costs.  This is now an issue getting attention in Australian politics.  Interstaff set out the current political developments.

Written by Sheila Woods of Interstaff 16 May, 2019


Recent debate in the lead up to the Federal election has highlighted the issue of extremely long wait times and high fees faced by many who apply for Australia’s Parent Visas. There is significant demand to bring parents to Australia, however only 7,371 permanent Parent Visas were issued in 2017-18.

The recently introduced Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa has provided a quicker and cheaper alternative option, however some migrant communities believe the annual cap and Government fees are still too restrictive. Read on to understand how migration policies for the Temporary Parent Visa could change following the election.


Revised annual cap and the ability to bring both sets of parents

The Opposition has promised to revise the Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa’s existing cap, which limits the visa to only 15,000 people per year. It has not provided a set figure but announced that the allowance would either be ‘demand-driven’ or uncapped. The Opposition also plans to lift restrictions to sponsor only one set of parents to Australia.

The changes would make temporary Parent Visas available to significantly more people and provide a more accessible visa alternative to the extremely long wait times or high costs associated with Australia’s permanent Parent Visas. Statistics show 100,000 parents of overseas-born Australians are currently in the queue for a permanent Parent Visas with a wait time of 30 years.

However, demographers and population experts have advised removing the cap would open the program to over 200,000 applicants per year. The Coalition believes this would make it difficult for Australia to maintain its current population policy.


Cheaper Parent Visas

The Opposition has promised to reduce Government fees for the Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa to make the program more accessible. Currently, Government fees are $5,000 for a three-year Parent Visa or $10,000 for five years. The Opposition announced that under their policy changes, cheaper parent visas would be offered. A three-year Parent Visa would cost only $1,250 and a five-year visa would cost $2,500. However, under both the Opposition and Coalition, migrants will still need to meet the existing minimum family household income of AUD $83,454 to become eligible to sponsor their parents. View Interstaff’s fact sheet to compare the current Temporary Parent Visa’s fees against those for Australia’s existing Permanent Residence Parent Visa options.


The ability to renew a Temporary Parent Visa within Australia

The Opposition has promised to make it easier for parents to renew a Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa and access the full maximum term of 10 years. This change would save Temporary Parent Visa applicants the hassle and inconvenience of needing to travel outside of Australia to renew the visa from offshore.


Other election promises relating to Parent Visas

Discussion has also been raised to review the Balance of Family Test, which is required by all Australian permanent Parent Visa options. Currently, those who are unable to meet the Balance of Family test are already able to apply for the Temporary Parent Visa option. Promises are being made by smaller political parties to reduce wait times for permanent Parent Visas down to 12 months, however further details of how this will be managed are yet to be provided.


Interstaff assist people all over the world with the legal and professional process to travel or migrate to Australia for temporary work or permanent residence. Established in 1988, Interstaff has been trusted by migrating individuals and businesses for over 30 years and are the strongest group of experts for visa work in Australia. MARN: 0533879.