As we reported back in September, the Australian Imigration department was planning to grant longer term tourist visas for parents of Australian migrants.
Last Saturday (24th November) the changes went live. Chris Bowden, minister for Australian Immigration and citizenship said:
The ‘more generous tourist visas will enable regular extended family visits for those patiently waiting in the queue for a parent visa,’
‘Tourist visas will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will enable parents to spend more time in Australia with their families without needing to apply for a new visa each time they visit.
‘I know many Australians are looking forward to spending a longer period of time with their parents and I am pleased the government has been able to facilitate this.’
To be granted a tourist visa, applicants must meet Australia’s health and character requirements, have access to adequate funds, have health insurance to cover any healthcare costs during their stay and intend a genuine visit to Australia.
‘My department will consider granting five-year tourist visas with a 12-month stay on each entry to parents who are in the parent visa queue outside Australia,’ Mr Bowen said.
‘The department will also consider granting tourist visas of up to three years with a 12-month stay on each entry for parents not currently in the parent visa queue and who have complied with a previous Australian visa.’
Eligible parents will be able to stay in Australia for a maximum of 12 months in any 18-month period.