The Family stream visas are back.

Post date: Sep 25, 2014 6:38:22 PM

In June 2014, the relatively affordable "non-contributory" subclass 103 (Parent), subclass 804 (Aged Parent), subclass 114 and 838 (Aged Dependent Relative), subclass 115 and 835 (Remaining Relative) and subclass 116 and 836 (Carer) ceased to exist.

A DIBP spokesman said that the closure of the Parent (non-contributory) and Other Family visas will help free up places in the Family Stream for the migration of close family members. According to the DIBP, parents will continue to have the option of applying for a permanent Contributory Parent visa, either subclass 143 (Parent) for parents outside Australia or subclass 864 (Aged Parent) for parents in Australia.

Under these visas, applicants are required to pay a higher Visa Application Charge (VAC) and Assurance of Support bond than the non-contributory parent visa. It is possible to stagger the costs by first applying for a temporary Contributory Parent visa and then for the permanent Contributory Parent visa. The temporary Contributory Parent visas include the Contributory Parent (subclass 173) visa for parents outside Australia and the Contributory Aged Parent (subclass 884) visa for parents in Australia.

However, on 25 September 2014, the successful passage of a Greens' disallowance motion has overturned the government's attempts to scrap a range of essential, affordable family and carer visas.

"The Senate has voted to keep families living together and looking after each other in Australia," the Greens' immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"The success of this disallowance motion means that thousands of Australian families will have a chance to reunite with relatives from around the world."

"The Abbott government should never have scrapped these essential visas, which only serve to keep families together," Senator Hanson-Young said. "The Abbott government was trying to make family reunion the exclusive preserve of the rich, but this disallowance stopped that from happening."

This is certainly good news for those who are planning to sponsor parents and relatives.