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The Turnbull government dealt a jolt to migrants last month when they lifted the earning threshold in the Assurance of Support Scheme, which meant migrant families would have to earn significantly more if they wanted to sponsor their relatives’ visa applications.
The changes, announced last month, required a couple in Australia who wants to financially support their parents to migrate, to earn a combined $115,475 a year while a single person to earn $86,606 per annum.
However, the government has backflipped and will scrap these controversial changes to parent visa sponsorship rules, SBS News reports.
SBS News has obtained a letter by Social Services Minister Dan Tehan to Greens Senator Nick McKim, confirming the government will undo the regulation rather than face defeat in the Parliament.
The backflip comes close on the heels after Indian and Chinese community members joined hands to protest against these changes.
Members of the Indian community have welcomed the news.
Arvind Duggal, one of the founders of the Parent Long Stay Visa Committee (PLSVC), told SBS Hindi the news comes as a ‘big relief’.
“It’s a big relief for all of us. It's a great victory for migrant communities in Australia and we are thankful to the Chinese community members, who worked really hard,” he said.
Co-founder, Jasvinder Sidhu, said the news has been welcomed by the community.
“I was approached by many families who were being affected and mostly those who had already applied for parents PR. The number of families who would have been impacted was in thousands.
“The whole Indian community has welcomed this decision by the Federal government,” Mr Sidhu said.
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But the group has warned that if Australia wants to project itself as ‘an equal and multicultural society’ then the government needs to stop ‘actively discriminating against new and emerging communities.’
“The proposed changes were discriminatory and I have no hesitation to call them racist. It was a stunt to polarise votes.
“Migrants are equal and make significant contributions to Australia. If Australia wants to project itself as an equal and multicultural society then laws such as these, need to be avoided as they actively discriminate against new and emerging communities,” Jasvinder Sidhu said.
The government will revert to the previous rules and says it will “reassess” any migrants who applied since the April change.
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