Australian Opposition's parents' visas to benefit Chinese community: migration council

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-24 14:53:40|Editor: ZX
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CANBERRA, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The Opposition Australian Labor Party's plan to uncap visas for the parents of migrants will be beneficial for Chinese-Australians, according to a leading migration group.

Carla Wilshire, chief executive officer of the Migration Council Australia (MCA), told News Corp Australia on Wednesday that the ALP's proposed parents' visas, which would not limit the number of parents who could be sponsored per migrant couple, would be "very popular" in the Chinese community.

According to The Australian, the policy was revealed by the ALP as an alternative to that put forward by the governing Liberal-National Party coalition (LNP), which will cap the number of long-stay parents' visas at 15,000 and allow families to sponsor only two parents from July 1.

"If you take couples that both have Chinese nationality, where the one-child policy has been in play, and so both sets of parents ­effectively only have one child - that's an example of a community where having to choose would be quite difficult," Wilshire said.

"Obviously the role of grandparents becomes particularly important in some communities, as well as familial care arrangements rather than institutionalized care."

Under the current system, migrants can apply for permanent parents' visas but face a backlog of 97,000 applicants.

A contributory parents' visa costs 47,000 Australian dollars (33,351 U.S. dollars) per applicant and takes approximately for years to be processed while a non-contributory parents' visa costs 6,000 AUD (4,257 USD) but has a waiting list of 50,000 that will take 30 years to be processed.

Both major parties have announced policies to address the issue in the lead-up to May's general election.

"There is a huge backlog," Wilshire said.

"In a sense both policies are an example of the way in which previous migration programs are starting to shape migration policy in terms of responding to demand."