The Federal Government has announced it will open applications for the much-awaited temporary sponsored visa for parents in the first half of the next year after the Federal Parliament finally passed the legislation tied to the visa.
Federal Senate, on Wednesday, passed the Migration Amendments (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 with Government’s amendments and it was subsequently passed by the lower house the same day, paving the way for rolling out the visa that the migrant communities have been demanding for many years.
“This new visa will help families reunite and spend time together,” Immigration Minister David Coleman said in a statement.
“It will provide a new pathway for parents and grandparents to visit their families in Australia, which will deliver great social benefits to the Australian community,” he added.
However, Mr Coleman took aim at the Labor party that opposed the Government’s amendments to the legislation after it initially voted in favour of it.
“It is astounding that the Labor Party voted against this important legislation. Bill Shorten needs to explain to communities why he instructed his Senators to stand in the way of this reform,” the Immigration Minister said.
New parental visa a “blackmail and deceit”, says the visa campaigner
The high cost of the new parental visa has left those who campaigned for it disappointed.
Labor sources, however, maintain the party was only opposed to the amendments to the legislation regarding debt recovery powers that the party was concerned about.
Shadow Immigration Minister Shayne Neumann said the Government should deliver the visa that it promised before the 2016 Federal election and not the “revised version” that includes serval conditions that were not part of the promised visa when announced, including limiting the visa to one set of parents per household.
“Conditions like this would force families to choose which parents or in-laws they reunite with. Labor had previously written to the new Immigration Minister David Coleman expressing these concerns and their impacts,” Mr Neumann said.