Parents of migrant Australians will find it easier and cheaper to get visas if Labor wins the May federal election.
The party is promising to end the current “cruel” system, which forces Australian families to choose which set of parents can get a visa to visit.
“Many elderly parents want to reunite with their families but have to travel to Australia as tourists – proving costly, frustrating, disruptive and exhausting as they ferry between countries,” Labor leader Bill Shorten said on Monday.
“The most heartless, callous and cruel condition of the Liberals’ visa is that they are forcing families to choose between which parents or in-laws they reunite with by limiting the visa to one set of parents per household.”
Labor is planning to introduce Long Stay Parent visas, which will remove the current 15,000-place cap on parent visas, and allow families to bring both sets of parents out.
The cost will also be reduced, from $5000 for a three-year visa to $1250, and from $10,000 for a five-year visa to $2500.
Temporary parent visas cannot currently be renewed from within Australia, but Labor is promising to allow parents of migrants to renew their visas while they’re in the country.
“Labor knows that modern Australia and multicultural Australia are the same thing – which is why we value families being able to spend time together and help each other,” Mr Shorten said.