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Orphan

NEW THREAD - 143 Contributory Parent (Migrant) Visa - Tips and Other information

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RonelP

Hi Orphan

So good to hear there are more people like us that must sit in the "waiting room" I am very bad in playing the waiting game. We applied in August 2013 and we were also thinking 12 months or less, but when we received our confirmation letter, my daughter had to phone them for something (cant remember what for) and it was then 14 - 16 months. I went onto the Forum in May 2014 and to was shock to hear that the waiting was now 18 months. I nearly cried. Well we have had our anniversary and the way the time is flying now, it wont be long to wait.

We did exactly what you did and we put our house on the market a month after application. Same story, the market was dead, but through the Grace of God, ours was sold within 4 days. Full asking price. We are also renting at the moment and I call it my "Doll House" Very small, but I must say we are very happy.

Had our police clearance done and are going to do our medicals mid to end September. Are a bit stressed about it. As you say, at our age you dont know what can go wrong.

Seeing you are so well informed, we suddenly cannot remember about Health Care. Can you perhaps inform us. We are going to take out private health care, but I cannot remember if we can claim from the government.

We are going to Perth, we are you off to?

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Orphan

Hello RonelP,

Wonderful to hear from you, and particularly because you are another anxiously waiting parent and kindred spirit!

We have been guided every step of the way by our Lord who has blocked our path whenever necessary, and opened doors when the time has been right. So hang in there with complete confidence, because you share in the assurance of knowing that He ordains the places where you live, and has already gone ahead to prepare it for you!

And just to cheer you up, here is some really good news. You don't need private health care because you become eligible for Medicare as soon as your parent visa is granted. In addition, you qualify for other government entitlements (except pension) after only two years. You will however have to wait ten years before you can get an aged or disability pension. (see Page 6 of the Parent Migration Handbook):

While on the subject of pensions, I also worked out (admittedly some time ago) that the pensions for my wife and I will pay back the full cost of our parent visas in about three-and-a-half years!

And I almost forgot - we are going to Maroochydore, on the Sunshine coast of Queensland, about one hour north by road from Brisbane

Edited by Orphan
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Orphan

Processing Delay Update - as at 04 September 2014

Received the following written notification from the Parent Visa Centre a few minutes ago:

"Contributory parent applications are processed approximately 18 months after lodgement.

We are currently assessing applications lodged late-February 2013"

It appears from this that the delay has now extended beyond 18 months, as by now they should have already been processing March 2013 applications.

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Bronwyn&Co

You'd think they could afford more staff... ?

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Onisa

Hi all,

We have applied CPV for my mother in April 2014 . Havent received an acknowledgement yet? I had sent them an email and a letter asking about my visa application status. Still no reply.

Does it take this long to get an acknowledgement from them? I have read on the forums that usually they send an acknowlegement in 3 months time and by that time our application would have been registered in their system..

Does that mean my application has not been registered in their system yet? Is there anything else that I need to do?

I havent applied through an agent.

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Jordy

Yes you should have received an Acknowledgement of receipt letter, expecially after 5 months. Who did you list as the point of contact? Yourself? if so then make contact with the dept.

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Onisa

Yes myself is the point of contact. Is there a phone number at which I can reach them , coz I have already tried contacting them through email and by post

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Orphan

Hi Onisa,

Our latest communication from the Parent Visa Centre (dated 31 August 2014) states:

"We have a backlog of 5 months for applications waiting for acknowledgement letters, we now have a task force in place so this time will gradually reduce. Currently we are sending out letters for applications lodged on 20 March 2014"

From this, it seems likely that they have yet to get around to acknowledging your application.

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Orphan

More importantly Onisa, your application is considered/queued based on the date you lodged it with the Parent Visa Centre, and NOT the date it is acknowledged.

The authorities specifically state "The delay in registering an application will not affect the processing time for a decision on the application"

Thus, if you couriered your documents to the Centre, the date these were received and signed for by someone there will constitute your official lodgement date.

Edited by Orphan

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Onisa

Thanks a lot for the information Orphan .

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Orphan

I doubt whether they will respond to your request for confirmation of application, Onisa, but if you want to try, the Parent Visa Centre telephone contact number is 1300 652 421 (Monday-Friday 09h00-16h00 EST)

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Orphan

I must confess to being very impressed by the Australian Government!

On the 18th July 2014, I wrote an email to Senator Michaelia Cash, the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection in Australia. In it I raised the issue of the escalating delay in the processing of Contributory Parent visas, and requested a review of the staff compliment allocated to this task at the Parent Visa Centre.

My motive for emailing the Assistant Minister was done more out of a sense of frustration at the slow rate of progress, than with any expectation of a response. Having dealt directly with a number of our South African Ministers over the years, I am well aware that the chance of receiving a reply from any government official is about as rare as....well, hen's teeth, to say the least.

So you can imagine my surprise this morning when I received a very polite response from Claire Forte, the Director: Parents, Child & Other Family, at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Although her letter does not indicate any immediate plans to increase the current number of staff (which are "frequently reviewed" and "within budgetary constraints"), I think we can all take some comfort from the fact that both she, and Wendy Durston, the Acting Manager at the Parent Visa Centre, are now aware of our plight.

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Orphan

#9. UNRAVELLING THE EMIGRATION PROCESS

For the past two weeks, I have been trying to make sense of the formal emigration process, and the steps we shall need to take prior to us leaving this country.

Much has been written on this topic in the Money Forum and other threads on this website, and I (like many others before me I'm sure), approached this subject with a great deal of confusion. So much so in fact, that I made contact with four emigration professionals who regularly subscribe to this website and offer advice on emigration. But more about them later.....

For those Contributory Parent applicants following this thread, I have some good news concerning emigration proceedings..... it really isn't that complicated! And if you are in the same position as us, with only a small amount of money to take out, no fixed assets to worry about, and only a Living Annuity to your name, the even better news is that YOU DONT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING!

Formal Emigration (also known as Financial Emigration) is really only for those people with Retirement Annuities who want to encash these before retirement age, or perhaps for those with more money than can be moved using their foreign exchange allowances (discretionary and foreign investment).

But for those like us who have already converted their RAs into Living Annuities, this isn't an option, as these must be paid into a local bank account and cannot be transferred in bulk when you leave the country. Thus life can go on pretty much as normal, providing you don't formally emigrate. You don't lose your SA citizenship. You keep your SA bank account, and conduct transactions via online banking. Your pension fund continues to be paid out monthly/quarterly/annually into your local bank account, after which it can be transferred to Australia without having to apply for Reserve Bank approval. You continue to pay taxes on your pension at source, and submit a tax return each year. On the plus side, as an on-going taxpayer, you are then entitled to a Foreign Investment Allowance of R4.0 million per annum which can be used to transfer any funds to your Australian account.

On the other hand, Formal/Financial Emigration results in a change in one's status at the Reserve Bank to that of a "Non-Resident". You are de-registered as a taxpayer with SARS (once all liabilities and credit cards have been settled). Your money is placed in a Blocked Rand Account with an authorised Dealer Bank. And all your assets (insurances, property deeds, shareholding certificates) are blocked and placed under the control of the Dealer bank. From this time on, all capital transfers must go through this dealer bank, who will apply for the necessary foreign exchange approval. You don't lose your SA Citizenship, but should you return to the country at a later date, you will need to reverse this process and apply for residency status and the reactivation of your tax number.

The application process for Formal/Financial Emigration seems quite simple, and basically involves four steps only. First, you need to complete a MP336a Form for submission to the Reserve Bank. You can find this form, and download a copy of the Exchange Control Manual, at www.resbank.co.za . As your bank needs to complete and sign a section of this form, it would be best to use them to help you complete it (most banks advertise this service).

Accompanying your MP336a submission to the Reserve Bank, must be a Tax Clearance Certificate for Emigration Purposes. You can apply for this from SARS, by completing an IT21a Form which you can find at www.sars.gov.za. This will take 21 days to process, so you should start early with this. But note that before SARS will grant it, you will need to have settled your credit card and all other liabilities,

Once your non-residency status is registered at the Reserve Bank, your bank will open a Blocked Account in your name. From this point on, you are obliged to process all financial transactions through this one account.

The final step is to apply to your insurers to pay any retirement annuities into your blocked account. Provided your RA was initiated more than 5 years prior to your date of emigration, you will be allowed to transfer the full amount. If less than 5 years, you will need to make application to the Financial Surveillance Department. Your insurance broker will be able to advise you on this.

Having said all this, I am sure that there are many intricacies relating to emigration that I am not aware of, and which may affect others differently. In which case you may need to seek professional advice and assistance. But from our point of view, it comes as a great relief to me knowing that we can just pack our bags and move without having to jump through bureaucratic hoops, and deal with any more red tape. I rest easy in the knowledge that I am able to manage my bank account without any issues, can use my Australian address for FICA purposes, will continue to receive SMS notifications and one-time passwords, and can transfer my pension abroad without a problem.

But if you intend to emigrate formally, and prefer to outsource this task to a specialist emigration company, what follows next is my experience in dealing with four institutions which I picked up from this website.

Edited by Orphan

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Bronwyn&Co

Thanks again for the detailed post Orphan.

I would love to know the true numbers of SAfricans who have left. The majority of us haven't formally emigrated, for the precise reasons in your post.

There must be several times the official numbers!

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Orphan

Hi Bronwyn

I don't know whether there is such a thing as "the official number", only because I don't believe the SA Government has any idea how many people have actually left this country over the years (or for that matter, the numbers of illegals coming in either!).

Certainly this must run into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of unregistered émigrés; every one of whom takes with them skills, knowledge, ideas, money, entrepreneurship, and the Hope of the Future, all of which South Africa is sorely lacking and needing.

It takes a special breed of person to pack up and leave everything they love and know, to start afresh in a new country. It takes an immense amount of courage and self-belief. These people are the new pioneers, the modern-day Voortrekkers, through whom, and by whose contributions, the beneficiary country is blessed and enriched. No country can afford to lose the cream of its young citizenry in the way that South Africa has; and yet very little effort is being made by this Government to change the environment responsible for such a mass migration.

While South Africa and other parts of the World grow poorer, Australia is all the richer for such people.

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Belindaf

WOW ! Thank you so much for this VERY USEFUL information Orphan. We are in the "waiting room" month 15.

We have just done our police clearance, due to get it back the end of next week. We are in the process of cleaning all tools, camping things etc. We haven't put our home on the market yet, but will do so soon. ( Should sell quickly) lots to sort and clean. Also have a camping trailer to deal with ( Import documents) wonder how long before the time one does this ? ( How how document is valid for, once rec)

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Orphan

Hi Belinda,

I cannot give you an answer about the Camper Trailer, but I am sure your removal company will have all the details.

We sold our trailer, not only to avoid such hassles, but also for financial reasons - we could only just squeeze our stuff into one 40ft Container, and even though one can pack a lot into a trailer, it would have meant hiring more container space at a cost greater than the trailer was worth.

The good news is that Venter Trailers are available in Australia, so we can replace it once we get there if needs be.

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Orphan

#10. USING FINANCIAL EMIGRATION AGENTS

I must confess that I have been in two minds whether to write this section, as it is bound to ruffle some feathers. However, I figure that if Financial Emigration Agents are going to hang out their shingles on a website like this, and actively use references from Forum Members to generate business, then they should be prepared to take the rough with the smooth.

That being said, what follows is a summary of my own experiences, which may be entirely different to yours, and shouldn't influence your decision unduly.

As mentioned above, I approached the whole financial emigration issue with very little understanding of what was required, and under a great cloud of confusion. This was probably aggravated through reading the many blogs about this topic on this website, for the simple reason that one size doesn't fit all. Everybody has a different set of needs, and unless you get the full picture of a person's financial affairs, it is easy to get confused by some of the advice given here, well-meaning as it may be.

With the benefit of hindsight, what I should have done before approaching any of the Financial Emigration Agents was to have read up as much as I could around the subject. I should have visited the Reserve Bank and SARS websites, which provide some useful information on the subject, as well as met with the foreign exchange division of my Bank. Having such prior knowledge would have been advantageous when dealing with the Agents.

My first contact was Hugo van Zyl - a regular contributor to this website, and very knowledgeable in taxation and emigration proceedings. Hugo responded immediately to my email, and we arranged to hold a telecom meeting the following day, for which he charged a fee. The amount quoted was "circa R1200" with a 10% early settlement discount, but when I expressed my unhappiness with an open-ended fee structure, he did amend this to a flat rate. Hugo telephoned me at the pre-arranged time, but on a line which obviously went through his internet. As a result, our connection was not of the best quality, making hearing difficult, and the conversation was repeatedly interrupted by incoming Skype calls.

The call lasted one hour (although I think Hugo had anticipated one half that length); at the end of which I was more confused than ever! The problem was that Hugo threw so many variables at me in that time, that it was impossible for me to keep up. My notes of that conversation are a mass of half-completed sentences and obscure references such as "183/60 day SA rule?????".

Although this was a very unsatisfactory meeting, I cannot lay the blame at Hugo's door. He knew his stuff, while I had very little idea about the options available to me, or what route to follow. Consequently, I didn't know what questions to ask, and such a telephone call is not the best way to learn the ABC of Emigration. But where Hugo has failed me, is in completing the transaction. As part of his fee, he was supposed to have provided me a written report of our conversation and his recommendations. Its been 12 days, and I have neither received that report, nor his invoice, nor his formal quote for conducting the Financial Emigration process on my behalf (although he did mention a figure of circa R7,500).

My next approach was to Cashkows - who many contributors to this Forum have made use of and reportedly enjoyed good experiences. I cannot say, because by the time they finally made contact, I had already given up on them.

My initial contact was made through their website, where I completed their contact request form and specified the time I wanted the telephone call to take place. I waited to hear from them at 09h00 the following day...and the day after...and the next...and the next....and the next, before finally giving up. Eventually, late in the afternoon on the sixth day I received a call from Pieter who explained that the reason he had not made contact earlier was because he was "very busy, and working 18 to 20 hours a day" Not really something I needed to hear. I figured, being so busy, it was unlikely my little account would get much attention!

So I never did get to hear how much Cashkows would charge for conducting my financial emigration, which seems dependent on an individual's portfolio. But at least their consultation is free. Also, their website does contain a lot of useful information which is worth reading.

My third port of call was to Tara at Exchange4Free - another prolific contributor to this forum. She immediately responded to my email, but only to say that she had passed my enquiry on to someone else. It turns out that her role is that of Online Marketer, which presumably means she drums up business on websites such as this.

Nevertheless, someone from that organisation did make contact the following day, as promised. I never did get her name, but she did sound new to the job. Instead of asking about my own situation and needs, she immediately launched into her sales pitch which included phrases like "Emigration is a very complicated process" and "It takes many months to complete the process". This monologue did start to unravel when I had to cut her off in the middle of her explanation about transferring RAs (which don't apply in my case), and correct her assumption that I had already left the country. But at least this consultation was free, and we did eventually agree that formal emigration wasn't really that complicated after all! Importantly, Exchange4Free will conduct the entire emigration process on your behalf for R9,500.

My final contact was to Tanya at FX Capital. And all I can say is that I wish I had spoken to her first! I took up Tanya's offer made on this website for free information on emigration, and received a long informative email about all the various aspects involved in the process. It was here for the very first time, that I learnt that I did not personally need to go down the path of formal emigration! This was such a revelation that I immediately phoned her, and had a most informative 30 minute conversation which answered all my questions, plus some, and for which I am not being charged.

FXCapital quoted fee for formal emigration is R7,750 per family unit. Although this does not apply to me anymore, I have, as a result of my interaction with Tanya, decided to conduct all future Forex transfers through her organisation, due to their low fee structure as compared to my Bank.

Hopefully I haven't upset any of these Emigration Agents with my comments, which is not my intention, but rather that my experience will be of assistance to others in the same situation.

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Orphan

I have a question for Contributory Parent Visa applicants who have successfully gone before us.

When requested to do so by our Case Officer, are we required to submit our ORIGINAL Police Clearance Certificates, or do the authorities accept emailed copies?

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Jordy

The police clearance is one exception to the rule where they do not accept certified copies. You must courier the original. So I would advise you making a certified copies for your own records in case someone else requires it at a later stage (For example: if you apply for a Working with children card for church or something after you arrive)

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Orphan

Many thanks for this information Jordy. It will help eliminate any unnecessary delays

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Orphan

PROCESSING UPDATE - as at 22 September 2014

Not good news!

The WA Parent Visa Centre has advised today that its current processing date for both sub-classes (143 & 173) of Contributory Parent visas is now 28 February 2013

This means that there has been very little progress since my last update on 04 September, and points to the official processing delay having moved out beyond 19 months. Based on this pattern, it is now taking almost two months to process one month's worth of applications.

Should this slow rate of processing be due to numbers of applications on file, rather than other causes such as staff shortages due to illness, those of us in the waiting room can anticipate even more delays, possibly moving out to 21 months. On the other hand, if February 2013 was a particularly unusual month for the volume of applications, we may yet come back on track.

Heads up, and stay positive

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Orphan

NEWS FLASH!

The validity of the legislative Instrument by which 103 Non-Contributory Parent visas and 804 Aged Parent visas were closed to new applicants on 02 June 2014, is being challenged in the Senate of the Australian Federal Parliament by Senator Hanson-Young of the Green Party.

This is scheduled to be debated on Wednesday 24th of September, and there is some possibility that this "Disallowance Motion" will be successful. If so, the Instrument preventing the lodgement of applications under subclasses 103 and 804 will be void, and the door opened for new applications under these two visa subclasses, although possibly for a limited period only, and until such time as the Government finds another way of closing it down.

For those Parents who would ordinarily qualify for 103 and 804 visas, but are now having to consider going the Contributory Parent visa route, this could mean a final opportunity to apply under these two sub-classes, as well as a huge potential savings! You should therefore watch these developments closely, and if the Motion is successful, IMMEDIATELY lodge your visa application.

For the rest of us in the 143/173 Contributory Parent Visa queue, a successful Motion will unfortunately put even more strain on the already stretched resources at the Parent Visa Centre, and may result in processing times being delayed even further.

Edited by Orphan
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21yearsoutofrsa

She may be able to get the instrument repealed but she can't change the waiting times. Extending the waiting time to 20 years has the same effect as closing it down.

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Orphan

In case you missed it, TeeTMI has just posted elsewhere on this website:

"Further Update: Senator Hanson-Young's disallowance motion against the Migration Amendment which ceased a range of visas including the non-contributory parent, aged dependent, carer and last remaining relative was successful.

Therefore, these visas can now be lodged again. There will likely be further information on this later today or tomorrow."

All being well, there should now be a 6-month window in which to file new applications under the previously closed Parent Visa classes listed above.

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