Bid to re-open family visas rejected

An appeal to re-open eight family visa subclasses closed by the Department of Immigration last month has been rejected in parliament.

The motion to disallow the Migration Amendment (Repeal of Certain Visa Classes) Regulation 2014 was defeated in the House of Representatives on 15 July.

According to Minister Morrison, the decision to remove the eight visa subclasses was made due to the length of the waiting lists, which was as high as 13 years in some categories.

Last year only 540 offshore Non-Contributory Parent visas, and 726 offshore Carer visas, were granted by the Department.

Migration Solutions Managing Director Mark Glazbrook says the Department’s decision to close the subclasses was ‘disappointing,’ suggesting that other alternatives should have been considered.

‘The Department have been very blunt in their approach to completely shut down these visa subclasses due to escalating processing times,’ he said.

‘In my opinion, increasing the number of Parent visa places made available would have been a much better way to clear the backlog.’

Mr Glazbrook also described the government’s lack of alternative solutions for victims of the swift closures as frustrating.

‘The Department also hasn’t shown any sign yet of introducing a range of temporary visas to compensate for the closures as has been suggested, leaving many applicants high and dry.’

Minister Morrison stated that once the backlog has been cleared, the government will consider recommencing the Carer visa program.

However based on the current visa allocations, Mr Glazbrook warns it could take up to 15-20 years before any such action is taken.

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