Migrant communities have stepped up their campaign to loosen Australia’s newly established ‘temporary’ elderly parental visas, which from this month will allow up to 15,000 elderly parents of migrants to live in Australia for a continuous period of three, five or 10 years.
Several migrant communities have labelled these “absolutely unfair” because of the circa $2,000 a year application fee, the need to have private health insurance, as well as the minimum family income threshold of $83,454.80. From SBS News:
Melbourne couple Inderdeep and Harpreet Sandhu were looking forward to Australia’s new temporary parent visa, so their parents in India could spend more time with their three children.
Now, they say, they have been left wanting.
“It is absolutely unfair because what the initial terms and conditions promised were … they have not been stuck to,” Mr Sandhu told SBS News.
…families can only sponsor one set of parents and will be able to renew the visa only once, meaning parents are permitted to stay in Australia for a total of 10 years…
“For us, this visa means a lot, our culture is such that we have always been used to having joint families and to having our elders around us.”
So if you “have always been used to having joint families and to having our elders around us”, why did you choose to migrate to Australia and leave your family behind? Nobody should migrate to another country for economic reasons and then expect to bring their elderly parents along for the ride.
Back to SBS News:
Mr Duggal says migrant communities in Australia deserve fairer terms than the new three and five-year parent visas offer.
“They are trying to make money from the grandparents visiting their kids, which is un-Australian and unethical”…
The new visa starts from $5,000, up to $20,000 depending on the length of stay.
Nobody is “trying to make money from the grandparents”. Elderly parent visas cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money. For example, the Productivity Commission’s (PC) 2016 Migrant Intake into Australia Report estimated that permanent parental visas cost “between $335 000 and $410 000 per adult, which ultimately must be met by the Australian community”. The PC also warned that “every dollar spent on one social program must require either additional taxes or forgone government expenditure in other areas”.
While these temporary parental visas are a little less generous than their permanent counterparts, the costs to taxpayers will still be enormous.
Back to SBS News:
“$80,000 income for a single person like me is quite hard, so we won’t be eligible for this visa at all,” Mr Sandhu says…
Married Sydney couple, Aaron Ji and Olivia Zhu arrived in Australia in 2017 and are permanent residents…
They say the fees for the new temporary visa will mean they are going to be priced out.
“We are children from low-income families and so we don’t have high salaries, if we apply for the three-year visa, we need to pay $5,000, for us it is quite a bit of pressure,” says Mr Ji…
A spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs told SBS News the new visa was designed after extensive public consultation and the income threshold is to ensure sponsors have sufficient resources to support their parents.
Complaints that migrants cannot meet the $83,454.80 family income threshold highlights that Australia is not running a ‘skilled’ migration program at all, but rather a defacto low-skilled program. The average full-time salary in Australia is above the threshold at $86,600, which includes both skilled and unskilled workers. If migrant families cannot meet this threshold, then it is unlikely they will be able to financially support their elderly parents, further raising costs for Australian taxpayers (e.g. health and aged care).
Back to SBS News:
In November last year, the Coalition passed laws which made changes to the temporary sponsored visas for parents, without Labor’s support.
Labor argued the legislation had terms the party did not agree with, such as limiting the visa to one set of parents per household.
In recent weeks, the Labor party has been critical of the Coalition’s policy on this visa and have taken the Chinese ‘super app’ WeChat to attack it, calling it “a joke”.
Labor has indicated it will announce its policy on the temporary parent visa during the election campaign.
Unbelievably, the open borders nutters at the Labor Party want to increase the number of elderly parental visas per migrant household – because having four elderly people draining Australian taxpayers, crushing infrastructure, and exacerbating the ageing of the population is somehow preferable to two.
Rather than trying to ‘fix’ the structural Budget deficit by cutting back spending on welfare and other important community programs, politicians should first tackle wasteful and illogical programs like elderly parent visas.