The Australian 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 Australian 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 7,200 contributory parents, the report said.
A further 1,500 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.
In light of the report's findings, Alisdair Putt suggests that parents (or their children in Australia) who are considering a possible contributory parent visa application should contact us for information about the process sooner rather than later.
Apart from the potential increase to the visa application charge, our experience has shown that delay can sometimes result in applicants developing health issues that ultimately affect the prospects of a successful visa grant.
Source of information as to the Productivity Commission report: SBS News