In June 2014, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection swiftly removed certain family visas from the application process and closed access to future applicants. These visas were primarily non-contributory family-based visas such as the Parent Visa, Remaining Relative Visa and Care Visa.
This decision paved way for all applications lodged under the family stream to be re-routed to what is known as contributory visas – a quicker application process, but one that requires a large payment in addition to government charges, in order for the visa to be successful.
The contributory visa options have always existed however other pathways were available until earlier this year.
Some politicians have felt that the way in the non-contributory visa classes were ceased and removed without little warning was inappropriate and, as such, on the 25th September 2014 a disallowance motion was lodged with the view of enabling such visas to be re-introduced so that unfinished applications can be lodged. This motion was finalised on the same day and the Department has allowed a six (6) month period in which applications for non-contributory visas should be lodged.
Although this is great news for applicants of non-contributory family visas, the Department has advised that it can take upwards of twenty-five (25) years for a non-contributory parent visa to be granted and approximately fifty-six (56) years for a remaining relative visa to be decided. Whether or not such processing times will be decreased in the future is yet to be advised.