Following up on an announcement back in September this year, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, on Friday 23 November 2012 launched longer tourist visas for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents in recognition of the valuable role they play in their children and grand children’s lives.
“From tomorrow, 24 November, more generous tourist visas will enable regular extended family visits for those patiently waiting in the queue for a parent visa,” Mr Bowen said.
“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.
Courtesy of Chris Bowen MP
As noted in my comment when this was announced earlier this year, this is excellent news for long suffering parents wishing to join their loved ones where the processing pipe-line even for the fast tracked Contributory Parent visas are taking almost 2 years. This is snappy compared to the 15-18 years processing time for the original Parent visa categories!