I’m writing from Fremantle WA where I’m staying here for three months, with my two children and four grandchildren. It’s taken me two years to get here.
My husband and I live in the UK and decided during covid lockdowns we should move to be with our families in WA as we have 100% balance of immediate family there. We visit them every year but with the change in the world, we realised that this may no longer be an option as we get older.
We decided on the Contributory 143 as it looked like the quickest option rather than the aged parent visa. We wanted it to be permanent so we could enjoy the beautiful Australian life and move around the world freely as we choose. We employed an approved agent who assured us the visa would take between three to five years to be approved. On questioning the current situation she said it would probably be closer to the five-year estimate.
Our visa was applied for on 1st September 2021 costing us over £5000 for fees and agent. We knew this would be non refundable. We have an acknowledgement that it has been received.
Recently Travel Matilda, based in Australia, has produced a time chart of estimated times for 143 visa grants. Based on our dates our visa could possibly be granted in 2038 as visa caps have been halved and everything seems to have ground to a halt during covid years.
I’m 71 and my husband is 73 so in 16 years’ time we will be in our late 80s if we are lucky to live that long! Until then our lives are completely uncertain. If we move on a temporary visa we have limited access to health provisions and benefits and are penalised by restrictions if we wish to buy a house.
We are left in limbo, apart from our families, even though we could sell up in the UK and have good pensions to support ourselves in Australia.
The Australian Government has received our money to pay for an application that will not be processed for around 15 years based on the current backlog. This is completely unacceptable and is a situation that needs rectifying immediately and the statistics need to make transparent before more people are persuaded to part with a lot of money. The Australian Government must explain their position in halving caps while cashing in on applicants, some of who are already dying before they are granted this very expensive visa which is around £65 000 at present.
We support any move to further this protest to the Australian Government.