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Temporary Activity Visa Framework Changes

Written By John Unger
Tue, Oct 11, 2016
John Unger

The Australian Government will introduce changes to Australia’s temporary activity visa framework commencing 19 November 2016 (subject to approval by the Governor-General).

The proposed changes will include the creation of a new consolidated sponsor visa class, the removal of some of the sponsorship and nomination application requirements, the repeal and consolidation of a number of other visa subclasses, and the ability to lodge applications online where this option does not currently exist.

From 19 November 2016, the following visas would be closed to new applications:
• Subclass 401 Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa
• Subclass 402 Training and Research visa
• Subclass 416 Special Program visa  
• Subclass 420 Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa
• Subclass 488 Superyacht Crew visa.

Applications lodged before 19 November 2016 would be processed under pre-19 November 2016 legislation. These visas would be incorporated within the proposed new temporary activity visa framework.

There would be four new or restructured visa subclasses introduced from 19 November 2016:

•  Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa – for individuals seeking to enter Australia to undertake highly specialised, non on-going work or in limited circumstances, participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interest.
•  Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa - for individuals entering Australia under a bilateral agreement, to represent a foreign government or teach a foreign language in an Australian school, to undertake full-time domestic work for a diplomat, enter as a person with statutory privileges and immunities, or participate in the Seasonal Worker Programme.
•  Subclass 407 Training visa - for individuals to enter Australia to undertake occupational training or participate in classroom-based professional development activities.
•  Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa - for individuals to enter Australia for a range of intended purposes, including the following:
    •  work in the entertainment industry
    •  participate in a non-ongoing cultural or social activities at the invitation of an Australian organisation
    •  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.

The changes are shown diagrammatically in a graphic below.

What does this mean?
After May 18, 2017, sponsors that were previously approved under the current Entertainment, Long-Stay Activity, Superyacht, Special Programme, Professional Development and Training and Research classes will need to apply for approval as a ‘Temporary Activities Sponsor’.

The new framework is designed to make applying for a temporary visa easier. It is meant to reduce red tape for business, industry and individuals by removing sponsorship and nomination requirements for specific short stay activities.

Additional information can be found on the Department’s website

Contact TSS Immigration for further information or assistance.

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