More details of the temporary parent visa - announced yesterday and costing up to $20,000 - have emerged

By
Ben Winsor

5 MAY 2017

The government is remaining tight-lipped on the finer details of a new temporary parent visa announced yesterday, which will be officially outlined in Tuesday’s Budget.

But SBS World News understands the new temporary visa - which allows migrant parents to stay in Australia for up to 10 years, and costs up to $20,000 - will sit alongside current visa options, rather than replace them.

There had been concern among applicants and migration agents that the temporary visa would replace the two permanent migration options – the government currently offers a $5,935 visa with a 30-year wait period and another for over $47,000 with a three-year wait period.

But while those options will remain, they could potentially see significant price rises in next week’s Budget, a measure recommended by the Productivity Commission last year.

SBS World News also understands that there will be no English language requirement for the new temporary visa, mainly used by elderly parents.

While visa-holders will not have working rights, there will be limited study options as well as multiple re-entry rights.

SBS World News understands there will be no bond payable for obtaining the visa, an idea floated in a government discussion paper. 

Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke yesterday told SBS World News the government was planning to offer 15,000 temporary parent visas each year.

Healthcare costs for migrant parents will be shouldered by their children under the plan, with sponsors legally required to pay for private health insurance and act as guarantor on any extra healthcare costs.

The visa will cost $5,000 for a three-year visa and $10,000 for a five-year visa, with a single renewal possible for the five-year option - delivering up to $75 million in government revenue annually.

It's prompted criticism of revenue-raising off the back of immigrant families.

In previous years the government has been accused of revenue raising off foreign spouses, with partnership visas seeing significant price hikes in 2014 and 2015.

It is expected that the temporary visa option will decrease waiting lists for permanent visas, with roughly 8,600 permanent visas granted each year.

Assistant Minister Hawke said the program could also lead to reduced pressure on childcare facilities in Australia, with migrant grandparents taking on carer responsibilities.

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