The federal government has been urged to impose a more substantial visa fee on migrant families wanting to bring their elderly parents to Australia so that it reflects the subsequent drain on resources.
The Productivity Commission, in its final report on migration intake released on Monday, said aged parents were unlikely to pay taxes or work but made considerable demands on the nation's health, aged care and social security system.
The report called on the federal government to increase substantially the charge for contributory parent visas.
It also recommended narrowing eligibility for non-contributory parent visas to cases where there were strong compassionate grounds to do so.
The $50,000 contribution charge met only a fraction of the costs for the annual intake of about 7200 contributory parents, the report said.
A further 1500 parents make a minimal contribution.
The commission estimated the cumulative lifetime costs of a parent visa holder in 2015-16 was between $335,000 and $410,000.
The net liability to the Australian community resulting from the assistance required by the 8700 parents over their lifetime, ranged between $2.6 and $3.2 billion, the commission estimated.
"The case for retaining parent visas in their current form is weak," the report said.
Alisdair Putt notes that parents considering a possible contributory parent visa application may wish to contact us for further information sooner rather than later. Apart from the expense, experience has showed that delay sometimes results in applicants developing health issues that ultimately affect the prospects of a successful visa application
Source: SBS News
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