15 Nov 2016

Journeys Shared: Bringing Parents To Australia

Earlier this year, The Sydney Morning Herald highlighted the struggles migrants face when seeking to bring parents to Australia to be reunited with their family.

Here are the stories of people faced with the choice to either pay $50,000 in government fees for a parent visa or join a low priority queue that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection advises can result in a wait of 30 years.

The stories bring to light the importance of the new temporary visa option that will be made available before 1 July 2017.

Raj Sinai, a chef from Sydney said he cannot afford the costs of approximately $50,000 to bring his mother from India to Australia under the Government’s visa option that could be finalised in two years. As a result, he applied for a lower cost visa with highly limited places, and mentally prepared himself for a wait which could take up to 30 years, knowing it could be too long of a wait for his elderly mother.

Raj was concerned that his widowed mother, 55, had no other living children, or nearby support.

“Sometimes she gets sick and there’s no one there … I feel bad because I can’t go back [to India], I am settled here with my family. It’s a very hard situation,” he said.

Meanwhile, others like Brett and Deborah Hallen had to seek a bank loan to fund the costs for Deborah’s British mother Sue Hubery to be with them in Australia.

Taxi driver Garry Thandi said he and his Australia-based siblings would lodge permanent visa applications for their parents in India, which he said would cost $124,000, including a bond.

Mr Thandi said covering the huge visa fee, which could have gone towards a house deposit instead, was “mental torture … it’s very distressing”.

Labor immigration spokesman Richard Marles said low and middle-income earners were being denied the privilege of reuniting with family. Thankfully on 1 July 2017, a more fair parent visa option will be introduced.

Read our post on the new temporary parent visa here. Those interested in sponsoring parents to come to Australia can get advice on their visa options by emailing

Source: Sydney Morning Herald


Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Visas


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