Fantastic news hope all goes well.
Fantastic news hope all goes well.
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In your shoes, I wouldn't worry your mother with any of it either.
I heard a couple of days ago that unofficially - completely unofficially - senior DIAC people are saying that any new Cap & Kill legislation is very unlikely to affect anybody who is already living in Australia on Bridging Visas, having applied for onshore migration visas. I think the officials realise that there would be an almighty fuss if they ever tried to use retrospectively-acting legislation in such a way that it would cause an adverse impact to anybody who was already living in Oz at the relevant time. Federal MPs would be forced to step in because too many of their constituents would refuse to vote for them again unless they stepped in and acted etc.
My mother has a Contributory Parent Visa, granted in 2006. I reckon that it is up to me to "give something back" by helping all the prospective Parent visa holders and their children who are following on behind us.
Now I think that the pressure will be on successive governments to do something less inhumane than demanding that people who are not in the first flush of youth should hang about in limbo for around 18 years. I'm thinking about how to co-ordinate and then organise the biggest fuss possible about this, out in Oz. (I'm in the UK but my sister and mother both live in Perth.)
Us too!! Mum got her bridging visa this morning. We're well aware that it's not a guarantee but we'll worry about problems if and when they happen. At least it gives her the means to stay for the foreseeable. :) I'll be keeping track of this thread and others in case anything changes - thanks Gill.
First of all, thank you so much for all the time and hard work that you put in to help people like myself who want to settle in Oz.
Let me first give you some background - I'll try to be brief - which I believe will be of interest to several forum members. I have an only child, a son, who married an Australian girl and has been settled in Oz for around 20 years now. I live on his property in Queensland's fantastic Sunshine Coast. My late husband and I naively thought that when we retired, we would go to Oz to live 'just like that!'. Unfortunately, six months befrore we were due to retire, he died. Nevertheless I decided that I would come on my own. Of course, I soon found out that I would have to go on a waiting list of around ten years and wait in the UK for a permanent resident's visa; I was devastated.
Fortunately, I worked for the Lord Chamberlain at the time and through him, I received a 'phone call advising me that were I to go to Oz for a 'holiday' and while there dedide that I would like to stay, I could apply for residency and wait in the queue there. This is what I ded and now according to the electronic queue data on the web - I assume that everybody knows about this facility - I am now mumber 350 in the queue. Accordingly, I hope to have my permanent residency sometime next year. Hooray!!!
Yes it has been a long wait but to be honest, I have not found a lot of differences in being here waiting for a permanent residency especially using the reciprocal agreement with the UK for medical costs, other than not getting seniors rate for prescriptions. By the way, I waited seven years to apply for a senior citizen's card as I though I would not be eligible but apparenly, although I am not a permanent resident, I am still considered a resident and I now have a card which I find saves me a lot of money.
Sorry to be so long winded but I hope this will give encouragement to others.
Thank you too Gill for writing to the senate committee re the capping of visas. This proposed bill must be a great worry to many people although hopefully not myself as I am so near to the top of the list now.
Thanks very much indeed for the information that you have provided.
With 350 people ahead of you in the Queue, your visa should be granted soon after 1st July 2012, since 300 Aged Parent visas will be available from that date onwards and the Parents Visa Centre tend to get all the visas granted as quickly as possible. (Personally, I think/hope that you might get the visa during 2011 instead. The Queue Calculator is pretty rough and ready and one does get last-minute glitches with some of the applications etc, so with a bit of luck there is some flexibility in the number 350.)
As a matter of interest, when did you apply, please? What year?
You are not being long-winded. On the contrary, I want to pick your brains because hardly any Aged Parent visa applicants ever say very much, so I tend to fall upon someone like you and to find out as much as I can from you!Sorry to be so long winded but I hope this will give encouragement to others.
1. Do you mean that you haven't been able to get cheaper prescriptions because you haven't been eligible for Centrelink's Commonwealth Seniors Health Card? I assume that this is what you do mean but I just want to double-check with you if you wouldn't mind.Yes it has been a long wait but to be honest, I have not found a lot of differences in being here waiting for a permanent residency especially using the reciprocal agreement with the UK for medical costs, other than not getting seniors rate for prescriptions.
2. I'm interested to hear that getting one or more temporary Medicare Cards has not been a problem for you so you have been able to take advantage of the reciprocal health care agreement between Oz and the UK.
Early in 2009, I swapped e-mails with a guy in Brisbane. His father had recently been widowed and the son in Brisbane was the only child. After his mother's death, he and his wife had got the chap's father out to Oz for a holiday and it was clear that he wanted to stay. So the son asked around locally. DIAC told him that Father could make an onshore application for an Aged Parent visa so that wasn't a problem.
However the son said that he had been to the local Medicare office, who had told him that Father would only be able to take advantage of the OZ./UK Health Care Agreement for a further 3 years. ????? I suggested that the son should contact Medicare's HQ in Canberra and check this out properly because it sounded to me as if the local staff in Brisbane were simply guessing and that they were mistaken. Unfortunately, the son didn't come back to me with an update so I don't know whether he queried it or what he was told.
The fact that you haven't had any problems does suggest that the Medicare person in Brisbane was mistaken about this.
3. I am delighted to hear that the Bridging Visa has not made any material differences to you. My friends in Adelaide said that they had met another couple who were waiting for Aged Parent visas and that this other couple had also reported that which visa they were on did not affect their day-to-day lives in any way.
My friends have been in Adelaide on Bridging Visas for about 10 months now. They are also saying that the actual type of visa has not made the slightest difference to their own lives. They had had two six month visits to Adelaide and two three month visits before they eventually made up their minds to go for it. They reckon that life is treating them no differently from the way it did during their earlier tourist visits except that they no longer feel that the clock is ticking towards a time when they have to get back on a plane.
I take it you mean the Seniors Card?I waited seven years to apply for a senior citizen's card as I thought I would not be eligible but apparenly, although I am not a permanent resident, I am still considered a resident and I now have a card which I find saves me a lot of money.
Welcome to Seniors Card
One of the fathers in Adelaide told me about this card initially, not long before Mum got her CPV in 2006. I asked my sister who asked her Aussie mother in law. It was decided to get one of these cards for Mum as soon as possible. Mum is in Perth and she had PR before we got cracking on the idea of a Seniors Card for her, so I don't know what the Policy is in WA towards people on Bridging Visas.
However I've heard that in SA they give Seniors Cards to applicants for Aged Parent visas. As with your own State (QLD?) apparently the people in SA take the view that the Parent will be living in Oz indefinitely so they don't worry about the visa involved. I've heard that they are fussy in NSW. I don't have any feedback from anyone who has tried any of the other States, though. I reckon that the solution is to ask because the worst that the Card people can do is to say "No."
Like you, my mother says that her Seniors Card has saved her a lot of money and I have not come across a single person who has a Seniors Card and says otherwise, so I'm with you about this. It is well worth getting these cards.
In conclusion, I think that your post is a god-send because it will provide far more encouragement than you might realise. Far more. A LOT of people read the forums avidly and get ideas from them without ever saying anything themselves.
For myself, I'm not worrying as much as I did at the time when I made my Submission to the Senate Committee about Parents. It does seem that DIAC's senior officials have been saying (albeit unofficially) that they would never use any Cap & Kill legislation to try to attack anybody who is already living in Oz. I have this information second-hand, from an extremely able Registered Migration Agent in Oz, who has been talking to the DIAC officials. The RMA would not say this unless he was 100% sure that there is nothing to worry about, so I feel greatly reassured to hear this promising news.
I just want to add a little note with regard to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card which may or may not be useful to other prospective longer term visitors - my mother was granted one of these whilst still on her tourist visa - before she even applied for the 804. My understanding is that the key was residence in Australia - she has been here since April and had a visa which allowed her to stay until January. The form includes detailed questions regarding passport number and visa type, so they had all of her information available to them when they made the decision! To be honest, she sent off the form without expecting a result but it turned up good.
I telephoned centrelink (Seniors Dept) and spoke with a woman. Not sure if it was local or a centre but she looked up the eligiblity for the card and said that the applicant (my mum) had to be a resident. I explained the situation to her and she said that they would need to test her eligibility. She did say that she just sends out the forms from there so I'm guessing she might fall in the category of 'if you don't know make it up' much like the advice regarding the RHA being only 3 years.
Anyway I will fill out the forms and keep you updated. If she can get one of these cards it will be a HUGE bonus to her. At the moment she spends about $130 a month on medication. Not even for anything serious !!!!
Ben/Sharon - I would be interested to make contact with you for advice re this as you are in adelaide. Also if your mum is looking for any company it might be good for them to get together
Hi Karen and Sharon
I am intrigued. These Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards are definitely worthwhile. My mother has had one for a couple of years now because she moved to Oz on her CPV 143 in October 2006 and stayed there for 2 complete years, so as to forestall any RRV problems later.
Promptly in October 2008, my sister applied for and obtained a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card for Mum. The price of filling her prescriptions has plummeted and since she takes several different pills each day for several different minor but chronic ailments, this saving has been immensely valuable to Mum.
I was under the impression that one has to have a visa confirming Permanent Residence before it is possible to get anything from Centrelink. However, there is a Tribunal via which it is possible to appeal against adverse decisions by Centrelink's staff and it is also possible to apply to the Courts for Judicial Review if one thinks that Centrelink's staff have made an error of Law. I don't know which Appeals Tribunal one would go to or which Courts one would apply to for Judicial Review.
It is 100% possible that I've been running with the purely Policy impression that the Aussie Government has wanted me to have. I have no idea what the actual Law about this question might be and no idea how to find out.
I agree with Karen. I think one has to be very wary of officials who guess and simply invent whatever answer seems reasonable to the official at the time. I reckon that the person who said that the RHCA is only available for 3 years was definitely only guessing and was almost certainly wrong.
It could well be that the wording of the Statute that underpins the arrangements for /entitlement to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is woolly, obscure and unclear. Much of Australia's Parliamentary draughtsmanship is of shockingly poor quality so yet another example of poor Parliamentary drafting, leading to a decision by the Court somewhere, would not surprise me in the least.
So it could be that the Centrelink staff dealing with Sharon's Mum's case simply made a mistake but it is equally possible that there is a decision of the Court kicking around somewhere, and that the people dealing with Sharon's Mum's application know about the Court's decision, I reckon.
If both of you are in Adelaide, I would be immensely grateful if you could please get together and if you would also be very kind and involve me as well? If we can definitely advise the applicants for Aged Parent sc 804 visas that they should apply for - and should be able to get - Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards then this is definitely an idea that they ought to pursue.
I will see what I can find out from some Aussie solicitors who might be able to show me where to look, to see whether we can discover the relevant Law. I will let both of you know if I find anything out.
In the meantime, I don't know whether the link below will be helpful or not but 3 heads are definitely better than one in trying to work all this out.
Social Security and Family Assistance Legislation and Policy Guides
The Guides are very good. Much better than the legislation itself, often.
I'm not sure whether the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card comes under Social Security or Family Assistance but with a bit of luck, we might be able to work the whole thing out.
Sharon - thank you very much indeed for raising this very valuable question.
I am so pleased that you think that my post will be helpful to others.
I arrived in Oz at the beginning of 2000- what a great way to start the new millennium - and put in my application for permanent residency in August 2003. I can't remember why I waited so long to apply as that had been my intention from the start, I am seventy now and my memory is not what it was!! I had even moved all my furniture over here in 2000 and although I was only supposed to be here on holiday, there were no questions asked. Of course with hindsight, I now wish that I had put in my application sooner as I would then have been a resident by now.
I was granted a Medicare card more or less as soon as I arrived here, we were living in NSW at the time. The card is slightly different to an Australian resident's Medicare card in that it has 'visitor' in the upper right hand corner. I have been led to understand that this card does not cover the reduced senior's cost of prescription medicine although it seems to cover everything else, hospital treatment, visits to the GP, specialists etc.etc. I have epilepsy, controlled by medication, and my drugs cost me around $200 per month but if this is the only drawback to not being a permanent resident, I can't really complain although my only income is my UK state pension. I was slightly concerned about the epilepsy re the health check included with the application but had no problems at all with it. I did at one time enquire about a senior's health care card and was told that I would not be entitled to one until I had permanent residency. I am assuming that a senior's card and a senior's health care card are two different things. A couple of times when I have had to renew the Medicare card, staff have told me that I have not been entitled to it. Upon assuring them that I have had a Medicare card for several years now, they have said they would 'look into it ' and a few days later I have received one in the post. This is now Queensland I'm talking about. Maybe I have been given the wrong information about a healthcare card as Sharon seems to think.
It would be wonderful to find that I could get my prescriptions at senior's rates but also a bit galling as I must have spent a fortune on drugs in the last ten years!
I have made three trips back to the UK since I have been here, I have a sister and a 98 year old mother there but I absolutely love living in Oz, the only two things I miss are family and Marks and Spencers!!!
It would be nice to think that I may get my residency next year but even if I have to wait till 2011; as I have said before, my lifestyle is not really very different at this time
Again Gill, your many posts are very informative and give reassurance to all of us - thank you