Coming Up Mon 9:00 PM  AEST
Coming Up Live in 
Live
Punjabi radio
SBS PUNJABI

‘What matters most’: Scott Morrison addresses community concerns over parent visa

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a Gurdwara Siri Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple on Day 34 of the 2022 federal election campaign, in Pakenham in Melbourne. Source: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

As many migrants await any sign of change to parent visa arrangements, the Prime Minister says the current policies have been "carefully calibrated" to allow for family reunions.

"We recognise the importance of families in Indian communities, and we brought in a very important temporary parent visa to ensure we have some reunification of families without having to trigger all the other more permanent visa arrangements,” the Prime Minister told SBS Punjabi. 


Highlights

  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks about the parent visa concerns
  • Many Australian Indians say high fees, long waits, capped places and complex tests make family reunions a distant dream
  • The PM says the current options take into account potential costs to the Australian community, health system and social services

With many Indian Australians expressing that the current parent visa options are too costly, SBS Punjabi asked Mr Morrison if there had been any discussion regarding policy that would meet the needs of migrant families seeking family reunification.

"What matters most is getting families together, and the sponsored parent temporary visa allows parents to come to Australia for up to 10 years," he replied, adding that "4,400 visas have been granted since April 2019."

Mr Morrison further added that contributory visa options for parent's permanent residence have been "carefully calibrated", and it reflects the balance that is important to maintaining strong family support.

Last year, Dandenong-based Indian grocery store owner Manpreet Singh's mother passed away in India. Due to the restrictions of the pandemic, he could not see her.

Speaking to SBS Punjabi, Manpreet said he feels guilt at not having been with his mum as she took her last breath. 

parent visa options
Manpreet Singh with his family and his late mother (R) during happy times.
Supplied by Manpreet Singh.
"If there had been fairer parent visa options, my mother would have been staying with me, and maybe I could have saved her." 

"It's unfair to be charged hefty amounts for family reunions," he said.

Not all citizens can pass the family balance test or 'buy' the visa due to their financial position

"If our parents cannot join us permanently, even in their last years, I think that will have a huge effect on how we decide who to vote for," he said.

Manpreet's brother is also an Australian resident, and their father is now the only family member left behind in India.

"The foremost policy that matters to us is a permanent parent visa policy," he said.

The subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa that was announced during the last election costs $5,000 and $10,000 for a three-year and five-year visa, respectively, and is subjected to an annual cap of 15,000. Also, only one partner can sponsor a single set of parents per household and must pass a family balance test to obtain this visa.

Many Indian Australian families told SBS Punjabi that their vote hinges on ‘more affordable’ and a 'fairer' permanent parent visa options but feel the major parties have largely ignored the topic during this election campaign.

Election promise on parent visas
AAP
Melbourne-based migration agent Navjot Singh Kailey has campaigned on parent visa issues for over a decade. He said that an increasing population of elderly migrants stuck on temporary visas is not favourable for migrant integration.

“Government policies currently require migrants seeking to bring parents to Australia to pay a high fee - favouring the wealthy - or join a low-priority queue that can last 30 to 50 years, depending on the type of visa.”

“Decades of waiting lists, expensive fees, financial and balance tests keep many people apart from their families,” said Mr Kailey.

SBS Punjabi has contacted the Labor party for a statement on this matter and is awaiting a reply.

Click on the audio player to listen to this conversation.

‘What matters most’: Scott Morrison addresses community concerns over parent visa
00:00 00:00

Listen to SBS Punjabi Monday to Friday at 9 pm. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Coming up next

# TITLE RELEASED TIME MORE
‘What matters most’: Scott Morrison addresses community concerns over parent visa 20/05/2022 31:08 ...
SBS Punjabi Australia News: Friday 1 July 2022 01/07/2022 10:50 ...
Here's how major visa and immigration changes will impact skilled migrants, international students from 1 July 01/07/2022 11:04 ...
Census reflects the shifting shape of multicultural Australia 01/07/2022 04:50 ...
SBS Punjabi Australia News: Thursday 30 June 2022 30/06/2022 11:45 ...
Punjabi actress Mandy Takhar shares what kept her connected to her roots 30/06/2022 06:59 ...
‘Don't let online fame compromise your ethics', says this Punjabi vlogger 30/06/2022 14:36 ...
SBS Punjabi Australia News: Wednesday 29 June 2022 30/06/2022 10:00 ...
Australia's becoming more diverse: Census 2021 29/06/2022 06:30 ...
Crossbench anger as government trims parliamentary staffers 29/06/2022 05:52 ...
View More