The Department of Home Affairs is making it tougher for
migrant families to sponsor certain relatives who want to come and take up
residency here, by increasing the earning threshold.
In 1982 the Australian Government introduced an 'Assurance of
Support', which was a legal commitment by an Australian permanent resident or
citizen to be a guarantor and to help a family member to obtain a visa to live
What is an 'Assurance of Support'?
It’s effectively a bond which can be recovered by government
ministers if the visa holder incurs certain health and welfare costs during their initial stay in Australia.
It is mandatory to have a guarantor for some visa categories
including parent, aged dependant, contributory parent and remaining relative.
It can also be applied in other categories.
The idea behind the scheme was that an individual wouldn’t
end up being a burden on the state, and relying on social welfare handouts.
Why is the Government lifting the
The changes were introduced without any announcement on
March 26th and became active on April 1st. They didn’t require legislative approval.
Those who submitted applications ahead of that date are unaffected by the rise
in income threshold.
Prior to April 1st, a couple in Australia wanting
to financially support their parents to migrate would have to be earning $45,185 but now the combined income has risen to $115,475 a year – nearly double. If
they were offering financial support as a single person, the amount would be $86,606.
It’s seen as a cost cutting measure by the Australian
Government who are keen to limit social security payments and ensure that
migrants can support themselves.
What will it mean?
Lifting the income threshold means that there will be less
families who can be reunited with their parent. There are only certain people who are in professions which
command higher salaries.
The move has been criticised by migration groups who claim
there should have been a consultation process and that the new higher income
levels are not within easy reach of many.
It’s commonly acknowledged that uniting families together promotes
a cohesive unit and a swifter settlement. A petition has now been set up by campaigners voicing their concerns.
If you’d like to find out how this may affect you, speak to
one of our team here at Visa Solutions Australia. We have three offices based throughout Perth. We can help you with all your corporate and individual needs. Migration can be complicated so it’s wise to
seek expert advice.