Major changes to the Temporary Activity Visa Framework
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has announced that on 19 November 2016 major changes to the Temporary Activity Visa Framework will commence. The changes have come about as a result of the Australian government’s review of the skilled migration and temporary activity visa programmes.
The new framework is designed to make applying for a temporary visa easier by reducing unnecessary red tape and impost on Australian businesses, industry and individuals by removing sponsorship and nomination requirements for specific short stay activities.
From 19 November 2016, the following visas will 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.
From 19 November 2016, the following new visa subclasses will come into effect:
- Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
- Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa
- Subclass 407 Training visa
- Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa
What should the new Temporary Activity Visa Framework visas be used for?
Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
No sponsorship will be required for this visa which will be granted for a maximum stay of 3 months stay, with that stay calculated from the holder’s date of arrival in Australia.
- The specialist work stream will be strongly focused on economic activities and the benefit to Australia for short-term, highly specialised non-ongoing work
- A further stream of this visa will be available for competitors and teams entering Australia to compete in short term events
Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa
This visa will be suited to people coming to Australia to undertake temporary activities such as to represent a foreign government, teach foreign language in Australian schools or to work as a diplomatic domestic worker.
- The Seasonal Worker Programme will be incorporated into this subclass and Special Programme Agreements will be moved to the Temporary Activity Subclass 408.
- Applications made in Australia must be made while the applicant holds a substantive visa or within 28 days of their previous visa expiring.
Subclass 407 Training visa
This visa would be for people who want to come to Australia on a temporary basis to undertake occupational training or participate in classroom based professional development activities. Applications for this visa will continue to be a three stage process, requiring sponsorship and nomination. Commonwealth agency sponsors will not be required to nominate applicants.
- Subclass 407 visa applications lodged after 19 November 2016 will not be linked to nominations lodged before 19 November 2016
- The sponsor of occupational trainees must be the training provider
- Applicants will require functional English
- Maximum stay is 24 month
- PhD students, university researchers and academics are moved to the Temporary Activity 408 visa
- Applications made in Australia must be made while the applicant is the holder of a substantive visa or within 28 days of their previous visa expiring.
Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa
This visa will be ‘work-focussed’. Activities endorsed as ‘Significant Events’ eg the Commonwealth Games, work as superyacht crew or to work in the entertainment industry will be provided streamlined application processing. Applicants will need to satisfy genuine temporary entrant criteria and show that they will have adequate means of support during their stay.
- Sponsorship will be required for all onshore Subclass 408 visa applications
- Sponsorship will not be required for stays of less than 3 months and if applying offshore
- Sponsorship will be required for stays longer than 3 months if applying from offshore
- Nominations will not be required for this visa class. The information usually provided in the nomination will be requested in the visa application
- Coaches, sporting club professionals, adjudicators, judges and sports trainees would use this visa
- Those currently accessing the entertainment visa subclass will also use this visa and there will be little change to the standard criteria
- Superyacht crew visas will be incorporated into this subclass and now attract the standard visa application charge
The diagram below shows how the current visas are incorporated into the new temporary activity visa framework.