AUSTRALIA – Government Recommends New Temporary Visa Framework
Subject to final approval from the Governor-General, significant reforms to the temporary activity visa framework will be made on 19 November 2016.
The proposed changes include creating a new single sponsor class to replace the six existing sponsor classes, removing certain sponsorship and nomination requirements for specific short stay activities, and introducing the option to lodge applications online.
New Sponsor Class
The current six sponsor classes (Entertainment, Long Stay Activity, Training and Research, Professional Development, Entertainment, Special Program and Superyacht Crew) will be replaced with the Temporary Activities sponsor class.
Visa Subclasses Closed
The changes will also result in the following visa subclasses being closed to new applications:
- Subclass 401 Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity)
- Subclass 402 Training and Research
- Subclass 416 Special Program
- Subclass 420 Temporary Work (Entertainment)
- Subclass 488 Superyacht Crew.
Applications made for the above visas before 19 November 2016 would be processed under the pre-19 November 2016 legislation.
Restructured Visa Subclasses
From 19 November 2016, the visa subclasses listed above are to be incorporated into the following four restructured or newly created visa subclasses:
- Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist)
- Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations)
- Subclass 407 Training (subclass 407)
- Subclass 408 Temporary Activity.
The subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa would be for people who want to come to Australia on a temporary basis to undertake short-term, highly-specialised, non-ongoing work and, in limited circumstances, participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests.
The subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa would be for people who want to come to Australia on a temporary basis:
- in relation to a bilateral agreement
- to represent a foreign government
- to teach a foreign language in an Australian school
- to undertake full-time domestic work for a diplomat
- as a person with statutory privileges and immunities
- to participate in the Seasonal Worker Programme.
The subclass 407 Training visa would be for people who want to come to Australia to undertake occupational training or participate in classroom based professional development activities on a temporary basis.
The subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa would be for people who want to come to Australia on a temporary basis to:
- work in the entertainment industry
- participate in a non-ongoing cultural or social activities at the invitation of an Australian organization
- observe or participate as an academic in a research project
- undertake full-time religious work
- participate in a special programme to enhance international relations and cultural exchange
- participate in high-level sports (including training)
- work in a skilled position under a staff exchange arrangement
- participate in an Australian government endorsed event
- work as a superyacht crew member
- undertake full-time domestic work in the household of certain senior foreign executives.
From 19 November, if the proposals are approved:
- applicants for temporary activity visas will be able to apply online via ImmAccount;
- applicants for a subclass 408 Temporary Activity Visa will not need a nomination, and will not need to be sponsored if applying from outside Australia and for less than three months;
- applicants for a subclass 407 Training Visa will need a nomination and to be sponsored, regardless of how long they intend to stay.