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Your Parents' Tourist Visa For a Longer Period

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Posted by Madhu Warnakulasuriya on : Monday, February 18, 2013

Since 24 November 2012, parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents have been able to apply for Tourist (Subclass 676) visas to visit Australia for longer.  These changes allow parents who meet the criteria for a Tourist visa to have regular extended visits with their family in Australia without needing to apply for a new visa on each visit and also recognise the length of the Parent visa queue.

After your parents are granted this visa, if they stay in Australia for 12 months continually, they must then spend 6 months outside Australia before returning.

Maximum validity periods of up to:

  • five years for parents outside Australia and in the Parent (subclass103) visa queue
  • three years for parents outside Australia who have
    • had a previous Australian visa and complied with the conditions; and
    • have not applied for a Parent visa; or
    • have applied for a Parent visa (subclass 103) but are not yet in the Parent visa queue
  • 18 months for parents who have
  • not previously travelled to Australia; and
  • have not applied for a Parent visa; or
  • have applied for a Parent (subclass 103) visa but are not yet in the Parent visa queue.

These longer stay and validity visas are not available to people who apply in Australia.

In addition to meeting all other Tourist visa requirements, your parents will need to:

  • hold health insurance to cover any healthcare costs during their stay
  • not stay in Australia for more than 12 months in any 18 month period. (Like all tourists, parents granted Tourist visas are expected to maintain extended periods of absence between visits to Australia).

Eligibility

  • To be eligible for this visa your parents must have a genuine intention to visit Australia as a tourist, for recreation or to visit their family and friends.
  • If they lodge your application while in Australia, you must also be in Australia at the time a decision is to be made on their application.
  • If they lodge their application while outside Australia, you must also be outside at the time a decision is to be made on their application.
  • They must also meet the following eligibility requirements.

Health requirements

Your parents must meet certain health requirements.

Health/Travel Insurance

It is recommended that your parents take out health and/or travel insurance for themselves for the duration of their stay in Australia. They may be asked to provide evidence that they have health/travel insurance or adequate funds to pay for emergency medical treatment while in Australia to satisfy the financial requirements for this visa.

Character requirements

Your parents must meet certain character requirements.

Financial requirements

Your parents must have access to sufficient funds to cover all costs for the duration of their stay in Australia, including health/travel insurance if required. They may be asked to provide evidence of their funds.

Obligations

They must comply with their visa validity and conditions while in Australia on a Tourist visa. A breach of these conditions may result in their visa being cancelled and they may have to leave Australia.

Visa validity

They must leave Australia on or before the date that their visa expires. If they remain in Australia beyond the stay period allowed by their visa, their visa will automatically cease.

Visa conditions

They must comply with the following visa conditions:

  • they must not work while in Australia
    Note: Voluntary work may be permitted.
    they must not study for more than three months while in Australia.

In addition, their visa may be granted with the following conditions:

  • 'No further stay' – this means that they cannot apply for any other visa (except for a Protection visa) while thay remain in Australia. This condition may be waived in exceptional circumstances.
  • 'Maximum 12 month stay in 18 months' – this means that they must not remain in Australia for more than 12 months in any 18 month period. Their visa will automatically cease if they stay in Australia for more than 12 months continually. Their visa may be cancelled if they return to Australia and stay for a period which would result in them spending more than 12 months in Australia in any 18 month period.
  • Maintain health insurance – this means that they must have adequate health insurance while they are in Australia. Their visa may be cancelled if they do not maintain adequate health insurance cover. Reciprocal health arrangements are not adequate to meet this requirement. If they apply for another visa in the future, they may be asked to provide evidence that they held health insurance while they were in Australia. If they cannot provide evidence, they may not be eligible to be granted another Tourist visa.

Applicants who are not eligible

Longer Tourist visas will not be available to other family members like partners or children who have existing permanent visa options with shorter queues.

It is unlikely that parents who have previously been refused a Tourist visa will now meet the requirements, unless their circumstances have changed.

Tourist visas are not intended for maintaining ongoing residence in Australia.  Accordingly, longer Tourist visas will not be considered for parents who:

  • are already in Australia; or
  • have already spent 12 months in Australia in the last 18 months.

If your parents have recently stayed in Australia for an extended period, they will generally not be considered for a longer Tourist visa until they have spent a minimum of 6 months outside Australia in the last 18 months at the time you apply for a new Tourist visa. For example, if your parents have spent the last 12 months in Australia, they should wait for 6 months before applying for a new visa if they wish to be considered under these arrangements.

Source : Department of Immigration and Citizenship Australia

 

MADHU WARNAKULASURIYA LL.B

ATTORNEY AT LAW SRI LANKA

SOLICITOR AND BARRISTER AUSTRALIA

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