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Migrant families may have to wait up to 56 years to be together
Lois Lee | 승인 2019.04.18 15:20

Wait times for some Australian family visas have been brought up at the Senate Estimates, revealing that some families may have to wait up to 56 years to be reunited in Australia. 

According to the Immigration and Visa Services, 75 per cent of partner applications take between 14 to 21 months, and 75 per cent of child applications take between 10 to 12 months. 

The Subclass 143 Contributory Parent Visa, which allows parents of a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia permanently, has a fee of $47,455 and the application process can take up to approximately 45 months. 

However, non-contributory parents may need to wait up to 30 years for their Parent Visa (Subclass 103) and “other family” may need to wait up to 56 years. 

Greens Senator Nick McKim described the 56 year wait time as a “horrific number”. 

"Families are waiting years and in some cases many decades before they can be reunited to live together ... The system is broken,” Senator McKim said.

Acting deputy secretary of Immigration and Citizenship Services Luke Mansfield at the Senate Estimates said the longer wait times were due to the set migration numbers from the government. 

"The government over quite a number of years has prioritised skilled entry and had a higher component of skilled entry relative to family entry under the program," Mr Mansfield said.  

The recent Budget announced that the Australia’s annual migration intake will be reduced from 190,000 to 160,000 in 2019-20. This also reduces visas in the family stream from 60,750 places to 47,732. 

Currently, there are 49,983 non-contributory parent applications and 8,111 "other family" applications still to be processed. 

"This is 13,000 families who will not be reunited this year," Senator McKim said.

"This is massive and unnecessary cut that will impact predominantly migrant families and ultimately act to keep families apart when what government should be doing is reunite as many families as possible".

Lois Lee  edit@hanhodaily.com

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