Plans to Increase Income Requirement for Parent Visas Scrapped
Australians wishing to sponsor their parents from overseas welcomed recent news that an increase to the income threshold for parent visas introduced earlier year was scrapped.
The Social Services Minister was forced to back down on the new rules as a result of heavy lobbying from various community migrant groups. A number of online petitions were circulating from April this year urging the Minister to scrap the increase to the income requirement, including a petition conducted by Change.org which attracted over 12,000 signatures against the changes.
By way of background, Assurance of Support may be required for certain visa subclasses. It was proposed under the new rules to increase the income level from $45,185 to $86,606 for a single sponsor. A couple wishing to sponsor a parent would have been required to demonstrate a combined income of $115,175.
For many Australians and permanent residents wishing to sponsor their parents, these changes meant a loss of hope of being able to do so given the significant increase in the income threshold. The backlash mainly resulted in the sheer increase amount being close to double the increase compared to the original threshold criteria.
After much deliberation, the Government confirmed that any applications lodged between 31 March and 20 May this year would be treated under the old arrangements and retrospective arrangements will apply to those applications.
Moving forward all parent visa applications will now be subject to the old rules meaning that original, lower income threshold criteria will apply to new visa applications.
It is important to consider different parent visa categories available before choosing the most appropriate visa. The different includes price, processing time and eligibility criteria.
The much-anticipated Temporary Sponsored Visa which is due to pass the Senate will add to the mix of options that are available. Under the proposed temporary visa scheme, children will be able to sponsor their parents on a temporary basis including five or ten years. The price of the visa will depend on the duration of stay. Under the new visa scheme there will be 15,000 places available per year. This should result in some reduction in the overall processing timeframes seen across the current parent visa scheme. Specifically, the aged parent visas which are taking 20 years to process.
If you have any questions relating to Australian visas, get in touch with one of our consultants today.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.