Government abruptly closes Family visas

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection didn’t make many friends amongst Registered Migration Agents or visa applicants last week, after shutting down a number of Family visa types with scarcely 12 hours’ notice.

Among those axed were the Non-Contributory Parent visa, Aged Parent visa, Aged Dependent Relative visa, Remaining Relative visa and Carer visa, which were terminated less than a month after their closure was announced in the Federal Budget.

Notice of the closure, which was communicated to migration agents via the Migration Institute of Australia on Friday May 30, stated that applications were required to be lodged by the close of business that day.

“While it was flagged in the Federal Budget that these changes were imminent, in many situations this still left many genuine applicants with insufficient time to apply,” said Migration Solutions Managing Director, Mark Glazbrook.

“Of these changes, the remaining relative and carer visa come as the biggest shock.  I still can’t come to terms with the removal of the carer visa program, this is a very bad decision.

“Due to our collaboration with the Cancer Council through our pro-bono program we see many situations where a permanent carer visa is absolutely warranted and the most appropriate outcome.”

Mr Glazbrook also says the closures are not only unfair, but are sending contradictory messages to young skilled migrants about Australia’s willingness to accept them.

“For parents of Australian migrant families I believe this categorically sends the wrong message of: ‘Australia wants skilled migrants, but we don’t want your parents,” he said.

“The Federal Government must act now to replace these permanent visas with long term temporary visas, similar to those available in Canada.”

As a result of the sudden cessation of the visa types, the Perth Parent Processing Centre (PPC) has reportedly been inundated with applications.

Delays to processing times are expected for applications received from 11 May onwards.

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