Longer visas to be granted for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents



Parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents are to be eligible for longer tourist visas in recognition of the valuable role they play in their children and grandchildren’s lives, it has been announced.

‘From this week more generous tourist visas will enable regular extended family visits for those patiently waiting in the queue for a parent visa,’ said Chris Bowen, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

Tourist visas will be considered on a case by case basis.

‘This will enable parents to spend more time in Australia with their families without needing to apply for a new visa each time they visit. I know many Australians are looking forward to spending a longer period of time with their parents and I am pleased the government has been able to facilitate this,’ explained Bowen.

To be granted a tourist visa, applicants must meet Australia’s health and character requirements, have access to adequate funds, have health insurance to cover any healthcare costs during their stay and intend a genuine visit to Australia.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will consider granting five year tourist visas with a 12 month stay on each entry to parents who are in the parent visa queue outside Australia.

DIAC will also consider granting tourist visas of up to three years with a 12 month stay on each entry for parents not currently in the parent visa queue and who have complied with a previous Australian visa.

Bowen added that eligible parents will be able to stay in Australia for a maximum of 12 months in any 18 month period.

Meanwhile, the DIAC is reminding people that the Australian Government does not require a person holding a valid Australian visa to have a label in their passport to travel to, enter or remain in Australia.

The department started reducing the reliance on visa labels over 15 years ago, when the label free Electronic Travel Authority system was introduced for visitors.

‘We continue to lead the move towards online services. For a long time now we have issued electronic visas linked to passports, making travel to Australia hassle free. International commercial airlines and cruise ships verify that passengers have a valid visa before they travel to Australia, generally at the time of issuing a boarding pass,’ explained a spokeswoman.

Visa holders are still given the option of requesting a visa label if other countries require it for transit or exit purposes. From 24 November 2012, a charge for a visa label of AUD$70 was introduced for this non-compulsory service. A visa applicant will only be able to request and pay for a visa label after their visa is granted. Certain exemptions will apply.

Once granted a visa, clients can check their visa details and entitlements online, anytime, anywhere, using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online service, known as VEVO. It is a free service that lets visa holders and organisations, with the visa holder’s permission, see details of current visas.

‘No matter what visa you have, if your employer or education provider wants to see proof that you are eligible to work and study in Australia, you can encourage them to register for access to VEVO to see your current visa details and work or study entitlements,’ added the spokeswoman.

Source: http://www.australiaforum.com/information/immigration/longer-visas-to-be-granted-for-parents-of-australian-citizens-and-permanent-residents.html

Posted On : 28 November,2012