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September 5, 2012

Australian Govt extends tourist visas for parents of migrants

     New Delhi: Australia will extend tourist visas for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents to enable them to visit their family in Australia for longer. The changes in rules are expected to be in place by the end of the year and will apply across the world. “Each year our immigration office in New Delhi receives visitor visa applications from more than 35,000 Indian parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents. Parents have told us that they would like to spend longer periods of time with their families in Australia and this office has tried, where it can, to facilitate these requests within the existing policy guidelines. The Australian Government has listened to these requests and responded. These new arrangements, once in place, will provide Indian parents wishing to visit their children settled in Australia with greater options,” said Australia's High Commissioner to India Peter Varghese said. While making the announcement on 4 September, the Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, said, “I know that many people are patiently waiting in the queue for a parent visa so we want to provide more generous tourist visas to enable regular extended family visits. The government will grant five-year tourist visas with a 12-month stay on each entry to suitable applicants who have applied for a parent visa outside Australia . The government will also consider tourist visas of up to three years with a 12-month stay on each entry for people not currently in the parent visa queue.” 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. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Tourist visa holders will be subject to a visa condition limiting applications for further visas while they are in Australia. As with all tourist visa holders, they will be expected to spend some time outside Australia between visits to their families. For more information visit the Australian Department of Immigration & Citizenship's website: www.immigration.gov.au See: What's New for Tourist and Visitor Visas.
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