Australia to revamp visas for skilled migrants

Australia to revamp migration system for skilled migrants. Image: File

Australian Parent Visa offers a path to reunite families

South Africans have been migrating to Australia over an extended period, and many have elderly parents left in South Africa.

Australia to revamp visas for skilled migrants

Australia to revamp migration system for skilled migrants. Image: File

The children often want to reunite the family and take care of their parents as they get older. Australia offers a number of parent visas that enable children to bring their parents over to live in the country permanently.

There are a number of criteria that have to be met, but according to Sable International’s Australian migration expert, Sam Hopwood:

“The most important criterion of the parent category visa is the ‘balance of family test’– this states that the parent, who is still living in South Africa, must have at least 50% of his/her offspring living in Australia and they must be permanent residents or citizens of Australia; So if you have two children, one of them must be in Australia as a permanent resident for you to apply for the Parent Visa.”

“Once these criteria have been met, you have to consider which visa category you will apply for. Within the parent category there are a number of sub-categories to choose from such as a contributory parent visa or anon-contributory parent visa,” says Hopwood.

 The contributory parent category visa (Subclass 143 or 864)

For a contributory parent visa, you would be required to pay a large sumof money to the Australian government – approximately AUD 44000. In effect, you’re buying your permanent residency. You’d become a permanent resident of Australia and the amount you paid to the government gives you access to healthcare in Australia. It’s a cost benefit analysis whether it’s worthwhile or if you want to fund your own healthcare.

The non-contributory parent category visa (Subclass 804)

This visa looks impossible to obtain because it takes years to process, but according to Hopwood it is a viable option for those that don’t want to  or can’t pay the AUD 44000 for a contributory visa:

“The non-contributory parent category visa takes 30+ years to process, and when anyone reads that the visa takes 30+ years, they immediately put it off the table and say it’s a ridiculous option. However, logistically, the way it works is if the parent comes to Australia as a visitor and then applies onshore for the 804 they will be granted a bridging visa.  

“The bridging visa is granted for an indefinite period of time. So whilethe visa will take 30+ years to process, they can already live in Australia ona bridging visa – potentially for the rest of their life. It’s a solution forthose people who perhaps can’t afford or don’t want to pay the AUD44000 inorder to have access to the healthcare.

“On this option, they’re not going to have access to healthcare, they are going to have to fund their own healthcare. It’s all about weighing up whether or not it’s worthwhile to pay the money, become a permanent resident and get access or do the non-contributory, don’t pay the money, be on a bridging visa for 30 years fund your own healthcare.”     

The costs of applying for this visa are approximately AUD 4,035.

To qualify for any of the parent visas, parents must also obtain an assurance of support from their children living in Australia and meet the Australian government’s health and character requirements. It is important to note that not everybody is allowed to make an application from within Australia, there are restrictions on age and some conditions on visitor’s visas preventing people from applying onshore.

“Whichever visa you choose, it’s a feasible way for parents to reunite with their children, rather than live out the remainder of their lives an ocean apart,” concludes Hopwood.