“The waiting time for this visa was supposed to be 18-24 months but we were misled. It’s been more than five years of restlessness now.”
Premdeep Singh Dandiwal (second from left) with his family, including his parents (seated in the front row).
Over in Melbourne, a similar story is unfolding in Iranian immigrant Roya Salamati’s life.
“Now, my husband, my brother and my mother are the only family I have – I can’t live without my mum. It’s a lot of pressure for me everyday.”
A widespread issue
Roya Salamati (right) with her mother. Roya’s father passed away while waiting for his Australian parents visa to be granted.
“By then, many elderly parents of Australian citizens who live overseas and are desperate to relocate to Australia may not even be alive or in sound health to relocate,” Ms Giordana told SBS News.
“New applications lodged that meet the criteria to be queued are likely to take at least 30 years for final processing,” according to DHA’s website.
Data provided by #ClearParentVisaBacklog and verified by the DHA shows that over the past nine years, a far higher number of parent visa applications are being lodged each year than are being processed.
For instance, in 2013-2014, DHA received more than 26,000 parent visa applications, but only about 9,000 were granted.
In 2020-21, more than 14,000 parent visa applications were received, but only about 5,000 granted.
So what’s the cause of the backlog?
“All other migrant settler countries have also started to tighten up parent migration policy, but I don’t think any of them have reached our stage of tightening,” he says.
The Department of Homes Affairs maintains that the federal government sets planning levels each year “following consultations with state and territory governments, business and community groups and the wider public.”
What does the campaign hope to achieve?
“I tried to reach the minister of immigration through emails but didn’t receive any message back. I also tried to contact liberal MPs, [who] told me to just wait until after the election,” Ms Giordana said.
“We are really hoping to have a real discussion with the Labor government regarding that matter, and how we can solve that issue,” she said.