Pathway to permanency plan

Moore MHR Ian Goodenough recently spoke in Parliament about the 410 visa sub-class, and calls for visa holders to have a path to permanent residency and citizenship in Australia.

The visa was introduced in the 1980s for self-funded retirees over 55 and withdrawn in 2005, although existing visa holders can continue to renew it every 10 years.

Mr Goodenough said there were a couple of petitions calling for permanent residency options for the visa holders, with the principal petitioner for one, Mindarie resident Monica Parker.

He said the British Expat Retirees in Australia (BERIA) organisation had been circulating a similar petition.

On February 25, Mr Goodenough presented the first petition to Parliament on behalf of long-term retirees living in Australia on the temporary visas.

�They have resided in Australia continuously for at least 10 years, are home owners, are self-funded retirees with overseas sourced pensions,� he said.

�(They) are law abiding, contribute significantly and voluntarily to the community, have private health insurance, have injected millions of dollars into the Australian economy and would, as permanent residents, pay income tax in Australia on overseas income.�

Mr Goodenough said a report on the possible pathway to permanent residency by the Australian Government Actuary was based on 2010 statistics and circumstances had changed since then.

�It included seven alternative scenarios with slightly different assumptions in relation to health costs, inflation and mortality rates,� he said.

�The cost projections of health care, aged care and income support under these scenarios ranged from $815 million to $1.42 billion.

�As at June 30, 2013, there were an estimated 5572 individuals on category 410 visas, of these, only 3323 were resident onshore. By comparison, the 2010 report was based on 7215 cases.�

Mr Goodenough said there was a case for the government to commission a fresh review into the �costs and benefits of granting permanent residency� based on the lower numbers and factors omitted from the original report.

�There is a compelling case for the Australian Government to grant this group of retirees permanent residency if it can be demonstrated to be revenue neutral,� he said.

The MP said he was working on a private member�s Bill, which he planned to present in Parliament in May, to prompt a review of the visa sub-class.

For more information, visit www.retirementvisa410.com.