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 We are contemplating entering Australia later this year to be with our children and grandchildren and would like some advice on which visa to apply for .  We pass the balance of family test and age tests .   Is our application means-tested? We would have reciprocal healthcare but would we have to have private medical? Any advice would be welcome. 

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Both those visas have a wait of several years, so I assume you're planning to arrive on a tourist visa, pretending you're coming on holiday, then apply for the visa once you're in Australia?

I strongly suggest you consult a reputable migration agent before you decide to go down that path.   With the long wait times, more and more people are doing what you propose, but it's not something to be undertaken lightly.  Here are a few of the possible downsides depending on which visa you go for - but bear in mind I'm not an expert and you should consult someone to understand exactly how it would affect you:

You'll be on a "bridging visa" while you wait for your parent visa to come through.  That means that although you're physically resident in Australia, you're not legally a resident.  That has several implications.

Firstly, you can't leave Australia.  If you want to leave the country, you have to apply for a separate visa (a BVB) and you must have a good reason (like a funeral, wedding, family illness). You'll get the BVB for a specific period of weeks or months, and the next time you want to travel, you'll have to apply again.  Of course, each time costs another application fee!  

You will have access to Medicare but only for "essential services", not elective surgery.  That may not sound too bad - but consider, if you apply for the 804, you'll be stuck on the bridging visa for up to 30 years.  What if you need a hip replacement?  That's elective surgery.  You can't hop back to the UK to get it done either, because if you're no longer resident in the UK, you'll lose access to the NHS.  

You can get private health insurance.  Depending on your visa, you may be able to get the same private health insurance as Australian residents - but be aware that never covers the full cost of treatment.  If you have elective surgery and you can't get Medicare, that would be expensive even with private insurance. To give you an idea, I had an op on my neck which cost $35,000.  The insurance only paid for $25,000.   

If you're receiving the British aged pension, it will be frozen at whatever rate you're getting now. If you're not receiving it, you will claim it in future - and it will be frozen forever at the same rate.    While you're on the bridging visa, you won't be entitled to any Australian pension, seniors benefits or aged care.

If you want to buy a house, you'll be treated as a "foreign investor". You'll have to apply for permission to buy a place (for a fee of course), and then you'll have to pay extra stamp duty as well.  We had someone post recently who had to pay an extra $45,000 for their home, so it can be a lot of money.   

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Thank you for your response which has strengthened our views on applying for the 864 over the 804.  I suppose given the  forthcoming election these visas may change anyway and so we would have to review then.  The visa companies do not seem to be armed with full information and just quote "we are only visa agents" but luckily being very cautious we had learnt quite a lot of what you have been saying. You have just enforced our thoughts.  Thank you.   We understand that even with an 864 visa you would be a temporary resident for at least 4 years now!!

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By ‘visa companies’ do you mean migration agents/lawyers?

If they are reputable and MARA registered they should be armed with all the information related to visas, it’s their job to know the inner workings of immigration. If it sounds like they don’t know much I’d run a mile, these visas are a lot of money, you need trust in the agent helping you navigate your way through. 

If you haven’t already, look up some of the agents on here- there are a number of highly regarded Mara registered agents who post regularly on these forums. 


Due to escalating bills and budgetary cuts in the NHS, unfortunately, the light at the end of the tunnel has had to be switched off.

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On 06/05/2019 at 19:56, Nanna said:

Thank you for your response which has strengthened our views on applying for the 864 over the 804.  I suppose given the  forthcoming election these visas may change anyway and so we would have to review then.  The visa companies do not seem to be armed with full information and just quote "we are only visa agents" but luckily being very cautious we had learnt quite a lot of what you have been saying. You have just enforced our thoughts.  Thank you.   We understand that even with an 864 visa you would be a temporary resident for at least 4 years now!!

You are very welcome to contact me to discuss - we do lots of parent visa applications (as I'm sure do the other agents who assist on this forum).

I'm in the UK until the end of this week - feel able to send a private message to me if you are interested in a freebie chat.

Best regards.


Managing Director, Go Matilda Visas - www.gomatilda.com

Registered Migration Agent Number 0102534; Registered Tax Agent (Australia)

Chartered Accountant (UK, and Australia)

T - 023 81 66 11 55 (UK) or 03 9935 2929 (Australia)

E - alan.collett@gomatilda.com and acollett@bdhtax.com

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On 06/05/2019 at 19:56, Nanna said:

  I suppose given the  forthcoming election these visas may change anyway and so we would have to review then.  The visa companies do not seem to be armed with full information and just quote "we are only visa agents"

If you mean they don't know what changes may result from the forthcoming elections, then it's not reasonable to expect the visa companies to know.  Neither of the parties has made any clear announcements about their plans, so nobody knows.

Alan is a reputable agent so worth taking advantage of his offer.

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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No. I was just saying that some Visa Agents don't seem to know about temporary residents liabilities (e.g. additional stamp duties) nor Medicare issues - hence my continuing research.  Too big a decision to make the move without all knowledge. 

Edited by Nanna
Typographical

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1 minute ago, Nanna said:

No. I was just saying that some Visa Agents don't seem to know about temporary residents liabilities (e.g. additional stamp duties) nor Medicare issues - hence my continuing research.  Too big a decision to make the move without all knowledge. 

I would be steering well clear of any such visa agents!

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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13 minutes ago, Nanna said:

No. I was just saying that some Visa Agents don't seem to know about temporary residents liabilities (e.g. additional stamp duties) nor Medicare issues - hence my continuing research.  Too big a decision to make the move without all knowledge. 

Respectfully - migration agents know about migration law.

We don't know about every issue relating to an onshore parent visa application, and in any event issues are changeable over the extended timeline for an 804 or 864 visa application.

In the meantime: http://firb.gov.au/resources/guidance/gn02/

Best regards.

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Managing Director, Go Matilda Visas - www.gomatilda.com

Registered Migration Agent Number 0102534; Registered Tax Agent (Australia)

Chartered Accountant (UK, and Australia)

T - 023 81 66 11 55 (UK) or 03 9935 2929 (Australia)

E - alan.collett@gomatilda.com and acollett@bdhtax.com

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34 minutes ago, Alan Collett said:

Respectfully - migration agents know about migration law.

That's a surprise to me.  How can you advise a parent on the pitfalls of a bridging visa if you don't know what the pitfalls are?


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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1 minute ago, Marisawright said:

That's a surprise to me.  How can you advise a parent on the pitfalls of a bridging visa if you don't know what the pitfalls are?

I can't speak for other advisors, but I'm fairly comfortable I know what the issues are.

My concern is that the OP is looking for certainties, when there are always risks, particularly over the timeframe being contemplated.

Best regards.

 

 


Managing Director, Go Matilda Visas - www.gomatilda.com

Registered Migration Agent Number 0102534; Registered Tax Agent (Australia)

Chartered Accountant (UK, and Australia)

T - 023 81 66 11 55 (UK) or 03 9935 2929 (Australia)

E - alan.collett@gomatilda.com and acollett@bdhtax.com

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38 minutes ago, Nanna said:

No. I was just saying that some Visa Agents don't seem to know about temporary residents liabilities (e.g. additional stamp duties) nor Medicare issues - hence my continuing research.  Too big a decision to make the move without all knowledge. 

Out of interest how many agents have you contacted? I’m not sure it is their job to know the above.

As others have mentioned Alan Collett  plus other agents who kindly post on PIO are very well respected,  they have given help and advice for many years, 

Marissa gave you some good advice, but unless you are on a temporary visa here eg 864 it’s difficult to know all the details. There are some posters who are on the 864 and hopefully will be able to help more. The visa is not means tested. The parent visa is expensive, but no applicant has probably paid any tax in Australia and as an older person over the years we will be a cost to Australia.

We live in Australia on a different temporary visa, and applied for the 864 visa March 2017 on the understanding it would take 1 year to be issued, In fact the issuing of the 864 has moved only 3 months  from September 2016 to December 2016. It will be interesting if or when it reaches our date, but we are not on a bridging visa, and have since changed our visa application.There is talk it will slow down to be as long as the 143? I can’t help with Medicare as we aren’t eligible, but there is a reciprocal agreement with UK, but I think you have limited access. I suggest you contact Medibank and other health funds directly to see what cover is appropriate, if on a bridging visa not many are all that knowledgeable, though. Even though we live here long term we can’t have local cover, and it’s very expensive, but we aren’t on a bridging visa. All our income comes from UK, so as long as we are temporary we only pay UK tax. There have been changes made to I think the amount a non resident pays in stamp duty, making buying a house a lot more expensive. As mentioned your UK state pension is frozen from the day you leave UK, but should you go back for a holiday it is increased to what it would be had you not left, then on your return to Oz it reverts back to the lower amount!!! 

If you apply for an onshore visa, at least you are here with your family while you wait, but I think it will be years before it’s issued and you might feel a bit vulnerable while you wait.

Hope some of that helps.

 

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We've only contacted two agents.  One in Australia and one in the UK and I do understand that Visa Agents deal with visas primarily but hoped experience with clients would have increased their knowledge over the years.  Maybe these blogs will help them.  

On the financial front I suppose the devil in me would argue that we could always downsize or release equity in the home to assist finances, if it was necessary.

It's very interesting to hear other's perspective tho and I thank you all for engaging with me.

 

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5 hours ago, Nanna said:

We've only contacted two agents.  One in Australia and one in the UK and I do understand that Visa Agents deal with visas primarily but hoped experience with clients would have increased their knowledge over the years.  Maybe these blogs will help them.  

On the financial front I suppose the devil in me would argue that we could always downsize or release equity in the home to assist finances, if it was necessary.

It's very interesting to hear other's perspective tho and I thank you all for engaging with me.

 

I guess that its a case of migration agents being experts in their own field, and so likewise if you need to ask about the financial side of things you go to an expert in that field. For detailed Medicare info you would go to Medicare, etc. An agent may have some idea but wouldn't necessarily be up to date on finance, medical care etc as its isn't really their job. 

Having said that, Alan Collett who posted above is an excellent agent and also has detailed financial knowledge about Australia and the UK. He genuinely does wear two hats!

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15 hours ago, Alan Collett said:

I can't speak for other advisors, but I'm fairly comfortable I know what the issues are.

My concern is that the OP is looking for certainties, when there are always risks, particularly over the timeframe being contemplated.

I didn't think she was looking for certainties, I thought she was talking about what they would and wouldn't be entitled to while living in Ausralia on a bridging visa.  


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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We are just wanting to find out what we would or wouldn't be entitled to to seriously consider this mammoth decision.

 It would be awful if we regretted the move for financial reasons.  

We have just heard of a friends doctor in Perth who recently died from cancer as even he couldnt pay for the very expensive but necessary medication.  

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I am not sure what medication he was trying to get but my partner was treated for cancer and everything was covered by Medicare.  Yes, you do have to pay for medication, but after two years here as a permanent resident you can apply for a Commonwealth Seniors Card which gives you access to prescriptions for around $6.   You wouldn't get this though if you were on a bridging visa.

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The following is taken from the Australian Human Resources web site. It confirms you do in fact receive prescriptions on PBS while on a bridging visa. 

If you’re from any of the other agreement countries

It covers:

  • medically necessary care out of hospital
  • medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital
  • prescription medicines at a lower price - this is the general rate for drugs in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

This is for visitors from:

  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • the Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • the UK

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41 minutes ago, nicola75 said:

The following is taken from the Australian Human Resources web site. It confirms you do in fact receive prescriptions on PBS while on a bridging visa. 

If you’re from any of the other agreement countries

It covers:

  • medically necessary care out of hospital
  • medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital
  • prescription medicines at a lower price - this is the general rate for drugs in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

This is for visitors from:

  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • the Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • the UK

I don't know if the UK prescriptions in the UK are still x amount per item.  Probably worth pointing out for the OP that all prescription charges are different even under PBS   e.g. you may pay $20 for one medication and $18 for another.  Some medications are not covered by PBS and can be quite costly.


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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14 hours ago, ali said:

I don't know if the UK prescriptions in the UK are still x amount per item.  Probably worth pointing out for the OP that all prescription charges are different even under PBS   e.g. you may pay $20 for one medication and $18 for another.  Some medications are not covered by PBS and can be quite costly.

Currently £9.00 per item in the UK, but there are various concessons for low incolme, pensioners, etc plus pre-payment schemes which reduce the cost. 

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On 09/05/2019 at 19:07, Nanna said:

We are just wanting to find out what we would or wouldn't be entitled to to seriously consider this mammoth decision.

 It would be awful if we regretted the move for financial reasons.  

We have just heard of a friends doctor in Perth who recently died from cancer as even he couldnt pay for the very expensive but necessary medication.  

I'm not an expert but hopefully my parents experience of applying for an 864 may be helpful. They are from the UK and both over 65

They applied for an 864 in Australia in June 2017 and once their 3 month tourist visa expired they moved onto a bridging visa. Medicare gave them a blue interim medicare card which enables them to get top level medical insurance at similar prices to an Aussie PR. There is generally a 12 month waiting period for most treatments, but after that had passed my mum was able to have a double knee replacement in a private hospital with private rehab afterwards and only a small amount of out of pocket expenses. She was really pleased with the quality of the care. As medicare holders they are also entitled to go to a bulk bill doctor. They are not able to get a seniors card yet as they are not PR which means they pay full fare on public transport. They haven't bought a home over here and have no intention to do so as they prefer renting. The UK pension being fixed at the rate they came over is annoying, but they have a private pension too which does increase each year. It does fluctuate with exchange rates though.

My parents have been very glad they have come over now rather than waiting for an offshore visa back in the UK. As with any visa there is always a risk that the visa won't be granted, but this way they have at least enjoyed 2+ years living in Australia with their family. 

Whatever decision you make I suggest you make it soon as with the way things are at the moment with processing times waiting a few months can seem to equate to a year added to visa grant which increases the risk of visas not being granted. 

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On 08/05/2019 at 20:33, Nanna said:

No. I was just saying that some Visa Agents don't seem to know about temporary residents liabilities (e.g. additional stamp duties) nor Medicare issues - hence my continuing research.  Too big a decision to make the move without all knowledge. 

Migration agents specialise in immigration regulations, policies and processes.  While they may have some understanding of tax rules, government benefits, education entitlement, etc. I certainly wouldn't expect them to keep up to date on in these areas with any great level of knowledge, that's not their area. 

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 Thank you so much for that information and also for your advice.  

 My husband has asked would it be possible to give us an indication of what your parents lifestyle and cost of living is like per year excluding their rent and which state are they in? 

I believe private medical is about 4 to $5,000 per annum per couple.  Does that sound about right? 

Do you know if they are taxed in the UK and Australia on their pensions? 

Edited by Nanna
Additional question

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8 hours ago, Nanna said:

 I believe private medical is about 4 to $5,000 per annum per couple.  Does that sound about right? 

Private medical insurance is very complex in Australia.  There are a multitude of funds offering a multitude of options and variables - including your state of residence.   To get some idea of what you might pay you could do a "dummy run"  to compare policies on   the government guide to private health insurance:  https://www.privatehealth.gov.au/dynamic/search/star

I think that figure quoted above is quite high.  FWIW I am retired with a single policy (hospital and ancillary cover) which costs about $1750 pa.

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Don’t forget that once you reach the stage for visa processing you will both have to have Medicals. As we age we get more problems too! 

Should one of you fail the medical then both fail unfortunately. It could be because you’re too ill or it could be that the cost of treating you over the years would be too expensive  

Just something else to think about as if you do fail you would have to leave  and may not have anything in UK to return to - house etc? Also you would have to wait again I believe to be eligible for NHS. 


143 lodged 21 June 2017

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