Visiting parents to be allowed longer stay in Australia

Parents who travel to Australia to visit their children who are citizens or permanent residents are to be allowed to stay longer and more often under new visa guidelines announced recently by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen. The new guidelines state that a visiting parent can stay for up to 12 months at a time. Mr Bowen said that they new guidelines were intended to recognise the important role that parents play in the lives of their children and grandchildren who have made the move to Australia. Applicants will still need to meet health and character requirements, as well as prove they have sufficient funds to cover any healthcare costs. According to Mr Bowen, ‘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. ‘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.’

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