Processing time for family visa applications: 50 years
Here’s a true life story of an Indian migrant Puneet Mittal who has been an Australian citizen and has always wanted his parents to live with his family in Australia. This is a typical scenario for migrants who have been establishing themselves well in foreign soil and their next phase of life would be to help their parents to become citizens too. So without much delay, he applied for a permanent visa under the Non-Contributory Parent visa for his parents this year. However, the result he got is utterly surprising if not shocking, it won’t be before 2048 that a decision on their visa applications is made. Imagine the disappointment felt thereafter.
Based on reliable background check, Mr Mittal’s father is in his late sixties and mother is in early sixties. In actual fact, they have been given bridging visas and can stay in Australia. However, there’s a grave disadvantage that could possibly cause more financial burden to be piled on the shoulders of the applicants — they can’t access Medicare benefit until their applications are decided. It may seem like an unfathomable issue which has little impact on well to do individuals or families, but it is a very crucial aspect that could break a person’s financial ground on unimaginable scale.
Consequently, such result is deemed to be “comical” for Mr Mittal as the fact of needing to experience three-decade waiting period is totally hard to digest. Imagine the age of his parents when the waiting period is over. By the time the application is granted, they will not be in good health compared to now, not to mention the possibility of death even before they received their application grant. Moreover, the aging parents may not be considered medically fit for the visa grant as well. He is almost certain too that his parents are not going to get a permanent residency, he just applied for the visa for the sake of saving the hassle of reapplying for the visa repeatedly.
The Department of Home Affairs has recently published the current processing timeframe for some family visas. While applications for parent visas are likely to take approximately 30 years, the timeframe for processing Aged Dependent Relative and Remaining Relative visa applications is “up to 50 years”, according to the Department’s website. These applications are assessed in order of lodgement and are placed in a queue accordingly. Once the cap for a particular year has been met, the remaining assessed applications are queued for processing in the subsequent year. According to the information released by the Department of Home Affairs on migration planning levels, it will grant a maximum of 1500 parent visas, 7,175 contributory parent visas and 500 other family visas including Remaining Relative and Aged Dependent Relative visas. The cap of 500 on other family visas is down from last year’s 900.
Due to the rules of the migration policy that only allows a small number of visas under the parent category while the demand is increasing concurrently, a huge queue has now built up which will take decades to clear. Parent visas are widely being sought after as applicants who are mostly parents, can stay with their children in Australia while on a bridging visa. Therefore it is wise to start a good planning for the future if you wish to be an Australian citizen and bring your family with you to stay as permanent residents as well. Never take this issue lightly, it could be a thorn in your side.