Australia will introduce a new temporary sponsored parent visa to allow Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand residents to sponsor their parents to stay in Australia for up to five years.

This was confirmed Friday by Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke in a media release.

“The (Malcolm) Turnbull Government recognises that many Australian migrant communities face particular pressures through the separation of children from parents and grandchildren from grandparents,” Hawke said.

“We want to help families reunite and spend time together, while ensuring that we do so in a way that does not burden Australia’s health care system.” he said.

“Improving arrangements for parents of Australians to spend time with their family in Australia, whilst mitigating costs to the Australian taxpayer, was a key objective of both major parties at the recent election. It is now important we get this balance right in the design of the temporary sponsored parent visa.”

The government now is seeking community submissions on a series of issues which will affect the final design of the temporary sponsored parent visa. A discussion paper containing the design issues under consideration was also released Friday.

“I encourage migrant communities to get involved in the consultation process and provide feedback to assist in the design of this visa,” Hawke said.

It is expected that this new visa type will be introduced in 2017.

The proposed changes would provide an option for parents that sits between a temporary visitor visa and permanent parent visa.

Currently, demand for places in the permanent parent stream far exceeds the number of places available, resulting in a queue of approximately 30 years for non-contributory parent visas and two years for contributory parent.

There are two visa categories available to parents of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen wishing to migrate to Australia: the non-contributory parent category and the contributory parent category.

The contributory parent category has more visa places available each Migration Program year. By applying for a visa in the contributory parent visa, parents have to make a substantially higher contribution to their future health and welfare costs.