Minister u-turns on parent visa change

The Turnbull government has scrapped a controversial new rule that forced poorer migrant families to earn more if they wished to financially support visa applications for relatives.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan, in early April made the change to the assurance of support income threshold from $45,185 to $86,606 for single people or a combined $115,475 a year for a couple.

The move sparked a fierce backlash from migrant communities.

Greens senator Nick McKim was intending to move a motion against the changes in the upper house on Wednesday and had the support of Labor and Senate crossbenchers Derryn Hinch, Tim Storer, Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick.

AAP has obtained a letter Mr Tehan sent Senator McKim on Wednesday confirming the backdown.

There will be a return to arrangements that were in place before April 1 and it would be retrospective to cover any applications submitted after March 31.

The letter acknowledged that had Senator McKim’s motion succeeded it would have resulted in the processing of visas ceasing.

“I am sure you would agree that this outcome should be avoided, if possible,” Mr Tehan wrote.

“This is an important win for multicultural Australia, and for families who just want to be together,” Senator McKim said in a statement.

Courtesy of The Australian