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This order extends Medicare Eligibility to holders of Contributory Parent Visas (Subclasses 143, 173, 864 or 884).
Administered by: Health
Registered 25 Jun 2018

Health ref.  no. 802     

 

 

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT

HEALTH INSURANCE ACT 1973

Health Insurance (Eligible persons and holders of a Contributory Parent visa) Order 2017

 

 

 

I, GREG HUNT, Minister for Health, pursuant to subsection 6(1) of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) hereby DECLARE that:

 

(a)                Every person included in the specified class of persons and holds one of the following visas under the Migration Regulations:

 

(i)            a current 2-year temporary visa, subclass 173; or

(ii)          a 2-year temporary visa subclass 173, at the time of application for a permanent visa subclass 143 and the temporary visa subclass 173 subsequently expires and is replaced by another temporary visa before the granting of the permanent visa subclass 143; or

(iii)        a current 2-year temporary visa, subclass 884; or

(iv)        a 2-year temporary visa subclass 884, at the time of application for a permanent visa subclass 864, and the temporary visa subclass 884 subsequently expires and is replaced by another temporary visa before the granting of the permanent visa subclass 864,

 

being a person who, but for this Order, would not be an eligible person for the purposes of the Act shall, during any period in which the person is lawfully present in Australia, be treated as being an eligible person for the purposes of the Act.

 

(b)               This order shall have effect from the date of signature.

 

 

 

Dated this       26th     day of October 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

GREG HUNT

MINISTER FOR HEALTH

 


 

ATTACHMENT – STATEMENT OF REASONS

 

Health Insurance Act 1973

Class order under subsection 6(1)

 

 

ORDER NO:                                     802

 

DATE OF ORDER:                         2017

 

RELATED ORDERS:                     492, 690, 767, 788

 

NAME OF PERSON/GROUP:   Holders of Contributory Parent Visas

                                                         (Subclasses 143, 173, 864 or 884)

 

REASON FOR APPROVAL:

 

In April 2001, the Government agreed to a contingency reserve of 4,000 places for parent migration subject to:

 

·         support from the community;

·         support from Opposition parties;

·         agreement with the Minister for Finance, Health and Ageing, Family and Community Services, and the Prime Minister; and

·         budget neutrality over the Forward Estimates period.

 

In April 2002 the Government agreed that the contingency remain open subject to the agreed conditions. In June 2002, the then Minister for Immigration, Multicultural, and Indigenous Affairs wrote to the then Minister for Health and Ageing, informing her of his progress and the development of a proposal, which would meet all criteria. The letter also sought the in-principle support for a legislative pathway that would allow Medicare eligibility for categories of temporary residents under the proposed program. On 19 August 2002, the then Minister for Health and Ageing informed the Minister for Immigration of her support for the proposal and that temporary residents under this proposal could be made eligible for Medicare through a 6(1) order under the Health Insurance Act 1973

 

Legislation commenced on 27 June 2003 for eligible parents to migrate to Australia. A total of 7,000 parent visa places were subsequently allocated in 2003-04, of which 5,500 places were for the new contributory parent visa category. The measures were designed to reduce queues for parent visas. The title of the new contributory parent visa category reflects the requirement of each applicant to pay a higher Visa Application Charge and Assurance of Support bond as a financial contribution towards their future health, welfare and other costs in Australia, including coverage under Medicare. These visas are currently being granted within 12 to 24 months of application.

 

All applicants must provide a $10,000 Assurance of Support bond (plus $4,000 for each dependent aged 18 or over) which is held for 10 years. The bond is refunded after 10 years minus any social security payments claimed. The Government has since responded to a growing demand for places in this category and the allocation for 2017-18 is 7,175, an increase of 500 places (or 7%) on 2013-14 planning levels. This compares to only 1,500 places for the Non-Contributory Parent visa category.

 

Offshore Contributory Parent (Permanent subclass 143, temporary subclass 173)

 

Parents of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who are outside Australia can apply for a permanent Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143) or a temporary Contributory Parent visa (subclass 173). As at 27 April 2017, there were two visa pathways for migration under the Offshore Contributory Parent stream – a one-stage Permanent Contributory Parent visa 143 or a two-stage temporary-to-permanent option – an initial grant of the temporary Contributory Parent visa 173 for two years and then the grant of the permanent Contributory Parent visa 143. Both pathways bear a significant cost. The total cost of the temporary-to-permanent pathway is slightly higher but enables the applicant to spread payments across two years, during which time they have work rights and access to Medicare.

 

Parents who are granted a permanent Contributory Parent (subclass 143) have full access to Medicare.

 

Onshore Contributory Aged Parent (Permanent subclass 864, temporary subclass 884)

 

Currently, only ‘aged’ parents of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen can apply for the onshore permanent Contributory Aged Parent 864 visa or temporary Contributory Aged Parent 884 visa if they are in Australia. As at 27 July 2017, there were two visa pathways for migration under the Contributory Aged Parent stream – a one-stage permanent Contributory Aged Parent visa 864 or a two-stage temporary-to-permanent option – an initial grant of the temporary Contributory Aged Parent visa 884 for two years and then the grant of the permanent Contributory Aged Parent Visa 864. Both pathways bear a significant cost. The total cost of the temporary-to-permanent pathway is slightly higher but enables the applicant to spread payments across two years, during which time they have work rights and access to Medicare.

 

Parents who are granted a permanent Contributory Aged Parent visa (subclass 864) have full access to Medicare.

 

Note: If an applicant validly applies for a permanent contributory parent visa (including while holding a temporary contributory parent visa), they are usually granted a bridging visa “A” (BVA). A person should continue to remain eligible for Medicare while their application for a permanent contributory parent visa application is being processed under such circumstances. This is even though the temporary contributory parent visa may expire during this stage. Individuals on BVAs who previously held a valid 173 or 884 visa remain eligible until the Department of Immigration and Border Protection grant a permanent 143 or 864 visa. The 173 and 884 visa subclasses apply to parents of any age. 

 

Existing Non-Contributory Parent Visas

 

Parents seeking permanent residence in Australia continue to have the option to apply under the non-contributory parent visa category, comprising the onshore Aged Parent visa (subclass 804) and the offshore Parent visa (subclass 103). Like other permanent visa applicants they are not eligible for Medicare until a permanent visa has been granted.

Note: The name of this instrument was amended on registration as the instrument as lodged did not have a unique name (see subsection 10(2), Legislation Rule 2016).