A new temporary visa for migrant parents is being planned by the Australian Government. Under this new scheme parents could stay in Australia for up to 10 years but would never be allowed to settle. Additionally, this new temporary visa would require children to pay for their parents’ private health cover.
The sponsors will legally be required to pay private health insurance for their migrant parents and to act as financial guarantor on any extra healthcare costs their parents may incur in Australia. This requisite is of importance to the government as many countries around the world struggle with the immense healthcare fees for elderly people.
Eligible sponsors will be Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens. The visa will not permit holders to work. The government hopes these people will take on family and child care duties and thus, reduce the pressure on childcare facilities in Australia. The elderly parent visa holders will not be allowed to remain in Australia beyond the 10 years and they will have no pathway to permanent residency.
This new temporary parent visa will involve significant costs. Applicants will have to pay $5,000 for a three-year visa and $10,000 for a five-year visa with a single renewal option at the same price. As many as 15,000 people could take advantage of this new visa category. If legislated, this visa would significantly impact the government budget – Treasury could make up to $150 million in fees alone.
The costs of the visa have already been criticized as too high for a temporary visa and people have been alarmed by the fact that temporary migrants will be liable for public health cover. On top of that, the private health insurance premium would most likely be reasonably high. The extreme limitations to healthcare access for elderly migrants follows last year’s productivity commission report that found the average lifetime cost of a single parent visa holder to be between $335,000 and $410,000.
The introduction of this new visa category follows calls from migrant communities, who have been pressuring the government to reform parent visas, known to be complex and lengthy to obtain. Currently, parent visas are split across multiple visa streams, including the Aged Parent visa and the Contributory Parent Temporary or Permanent Visa.
The Government is planning to announce further details along with the Budget next week and to implement the new visa in November if it passes parliament.
Article sourced from Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS)