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Subject to final approval from the Governor-General, the Australian Government is recommending reforms to the Temporary Activity Visa framework. It is expected to come into effect on November 19, 2016.

The new framework aims to simplify the application process for sponsors or visa applicants. It involves restructuring the sponsor classes, removing the sponsorship and nomination requirements for specific short-stay activities and the introduction of an online application option.

The proposed changes are described as follows:

  1. To restructure the sponsor classes:
    1. Five visa subclasses will be closed

      • 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

    2. Two visa subclasses will be introduced

      • Subclass 407 – Training visa

      • Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa

      The six existing sponsorship classes (Long Stay Activity, Training and Research, Professional Development, Entertainment, Special Program and Superyacht Crew) will be replaced by new temporary activity sponsor classes.

    3. Two visa subclasses will be restructured

      • Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa

      • Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relocations)

      Under the new proposal, four visa subclasses will be introduced from November 19, 2016:

      • Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa

      • Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa

      • Subclass 407 – Training visa

      • Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa

      The details showing the changes for the visa classes are illustrated in the diagram on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Australian Government’s website.

  2. Sponsorship, nomination and availability of online application:

Sponsorship

  • Sponsorship applications for subclass 407 or 408, submitted before November 19, 2016, would be assessed under the pre-November 19, 2016 legislation and valid for new visa applications until May 18, 2017
  • From May 19, 2017, an application for a Temporary Activity visa under subclass 407 or 408 should be submitted online

Nomination

  • Nomination applications that are submitted before November 19, 2016 would be assessed and finalized under the pre-November 19, 2016 legislation. Nominated applicants must submit their applications before Nov. 19, otherwise the nomination is invalid and cannot be used

  • From November 19, 2016, all visa applications are required to be submitted online via ImmiAccount. Paper lodgment is only available for subclass 403 visas

  • For subclass 408 visa applicants, neither nomination or sponsorship are required if the application is lodged from outside Australia and the intended stay in Australia is greater than three months

  • For subclass 407 visa applicants, both the nomination and the sponsorship are required to stay in Australia regardless of the duration intent, unless the sponsor is a Commonwealth agency

The new policy is subject to approval and some areas are yet to be defined. Crown will advise clients of any new developments.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Australian Government.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC: dbeynon@crownww.com.

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