Minimum income of $83,000 required for new parent sponsor visa

The federal government says a minimum income will be required for any migrant to sponsor one’s parents for the new visa.

Only those migrants with a taxable income of $83,454.80 will be able to sponsor their parents for the new Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa.

The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman specified the amount in the new legislative instrument.

Mr Coleman had announced last month that applications to sponsor a parent for this new visa would be open from 17 April 2019. 

Once a sponsorship application has been approved, the concerned parent will be able to apply for a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa. Applications for the visa are expected to open from 1 July 2019.

The Sponsored Parent (Temporary) subclass 870 visa provides parents and grandparents with a new pathway to reunite with their children and spend time together for a continuous period of up to five years.

There is also the opportunity to apply for a second visa for another five years after a short period outside Australia, meaning parents and grandparents will be able to spend up to 10 years in Australia.

The income requirement for that subsequent sponsorship, however, was not made clear.

“Now we know one needs to have a minimum income of $83,454.80 to be eligible to sponsor his or her parents for this new visa,” says Brisbane-based migration agent Suman Dua of Sirus Migration.

“Application fee is $5,000 for a three-year visa. The sponsorship fee is A$420. The have told us recently that applicant will have to prove their income of $83,454.80. It can be a joint family income too,” 

This temporary sponsored visa is designed to allow the parents of migrants to spend a longer time in Australia.

However, the income cap and other conditions of the visa have left some migrants fuming.

“This visa is discriminatory,” says Jasvinder Sidhu, a Melbourne-based community leader.

“Many migrants won’t be able to afford the high fees of this visa. The conditions are already harsher in this visa as compare to normal visitor visa. One has to have health insurance for this visa. It is an actively discriminatory visa against migrants,” says Mr Sidhu.

A long-term visa designed to reunite families is a long-standing demand of some migrant communities in Australia. Mr Arvind Duggal of Adelaide has been running a campaign to support this demand. He says the new conditions make this visa unaffordable for many migrants.

“Why visitor visa should have an income test?,” asks Mr Duggal.

“This visa does not help the migrant communities waiting for a visa to bring their parents to the country. This visa has an unfair fee structure. There is an unnecessary income test.”

The migrant must satisfy many requirements to be able to sponsor one’s parents for the new visa, commencing on 17 April. It includes meeting a household income requirement after having lived in Australia for at least four years.

Mr Duggal says many migrants will not be able to pass the income test.

“It will be unaffordable for those also who manage to meet the income criteria. It is a visitor visa and should not be this hard. The government had promised a fair visa. It is not that visa,” Mr Duggal told SBS Hindi adding the fight for a fair parents visa will continue.

Minister Coleman previously defended the cost of the sponsored parent visa, describing it as a “reasonable charge.”

It is important that the government is able to run a sustainable migration system where the cost of running that program, the cost of the processing is not only borne by the taxpayers but also by the people who apply,”

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