This GMS Flash Alert reports on Australia’s proposed changes to the Temporary Activity visa framework, which are due to come into effect from 19 November subject to final approval by the Governor-General.
Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has proposed changes to the Temporary Activity visa framework.1 The changes are scheduled to come into effect from 19 November subject to final approval by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. These proposed changes follow on from the Skilled Migration and Temporary Activity review by DIBP which commenced back in December 2014.
The new framework is a simplification of the current temporary visa framework with the proposed changes including the collapse of six existing sponsor classes into one sponsor category, removing some sponsorship and nomination requirements for specific ‘short stay’ activities and introducing the ability to lodge applications online.
The new framework will permit online lodgements of all Subclass 400 visa applications. Passport holders from certain countries which are currently restricted from online lodgement (e.g., India and the People’s Republic of China) will have the ability to lodge their applications online, receive faster processing times, and dispense with any need to apply via a third-party provider (e.g., VFS).
Employers seeking to sponsor individuals for the new Subclass 408 visa will not be required to lodge a nomination first. Furthermore, sponsorship would not even be required if the visa is applied for from outside Australia and the intended stay does not exceed three months. This will significantly reduce processing times for short stay requirements.
Individuals entering on the new Subclass 407 visa for either professional development or occupational training purposes will still need to be sponsored and nominated regardless of their intended duration of stay unless their sponsor is a Commonwealth Government agency, in which case a nomination will not be required.
Employers seeking to become approved as a Temporary Activities sponsor to sponsor individuals on either the Subclass 408 or Subclass 407 visa can only do so online via the DIBP electronic lodgement system.
The proposed changes to the new visa framework will see temporary activities fall into four main visa subclasses, notably:
By virtue of these changes, the Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) (Subclass 401), the Training and Research (Subclass 402), the Special Program (Subclass 416), the Temporary Work (Entertainment) (Subclass 420), and the Superyacht Crew (Subclass 488) visas will be repealed.
Importantly, a single Temporary Activities sponsorship will replace the six currently existing sponsor classes (i.e., long stay activity, training and research, professional development, entertainment, special programme, and superyacht crew).
The processing of sponsorship, nomination, and visa applications lodged before and during the transitional period will vary. Different arrangements will apply under the respective subclasses for applications lodged between 19 November 2016 and 18 May 2017 (the end date for transitional arrangements).
If you believe – or are uncertain whether -- you have Australia-inbound foreign employees who may be affected by these policies, it is recommended that you consult with your qualified immigration adviser.
1 Further information can be found on the DIBP website.
This article is excerpted from “Proposed Changes to the Temporary Activity Visa Framework,” in Migration Newsflash (26 September 2016), a publication of the KPMG International member firm in Australia.
For additional information or assistance, please contact your local GMS or People Services professional* or one of the following immigration professionals with the KPMG International member firm in Australia:
Tel. +61 2 9335 8625
Tel. +61 8 9263 7181
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not offer immigration services.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Australia.
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