The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has recently announced amendments to the subclass 400 series of visas which include temporary work visas. The changes are aimed at simplifying the temporary work visa system and reducing the number of subclasses of these visas. The changes came into effect on 24 November 2012.
Following 24 November 2012, new applicants will no longer be able to apply for the following subclasses of visas:
- Government Agreement (Subclass 406) visa;
- Exchange (Subclass 411) visa;
- Foreign Government Agency (Subclass 415) visa;
- Visiting Academic (Subclass 419) visa;
- Sport (Subclass 421) visa;
- Medical Practitioner (Subclass 422) visa;
- Media and Film Staff (Subclass 423) visa;
- Domestic Worker (Temporary) – Diplomatic or Consular (Subclass 426) visa;
- Domestic Worker (Temporary) – Executive (Subclass 427) visa;
- Religious Worker (Subclass 428) visa;
- Occupational Trainee (Subclass 442) visa; and
- Professional Development (Subclass 470) visa.
The amendments introduced by DIAC on 24 November 2012, include the creation of the following temporary work visas:
- Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) (Subclass 401) visa- which includes the Exchange stream, Sport stream and Religious worker stream. This visa will enable applicants to come to Australia on a temporary basis to participate in a staff exchange arrangement, or to undertake sporting activities or religious work.
- Training and Research (Subclass 402) visa- which includes the Occupational Training stream, Research stream and Professional Development stream. This visa will enable applicants to come to Australia on a temporary basis to undertake occupational training, conduct or observe research as a visiting academic or undertake a professional development program.
- Temporary Work (International Relations) (Subclass 403) visa- which includes the Government Agency stream, Foreign Government Agency stream, Domestic Worker – Diplomatic or Consular stream and Privileges and Immunities stream. This visa will enable applicants to come to Australia on a temporary basis to represent a foreign government (where the applicant does not have official status), undertake work or an activity in accordance with the terms and conditions of an agreement between a Commonwealth or state/territory government and a government of another country, or undertake domestic work for the holder of a Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (Subclass 995).
Applicants for a temporary work visa, may also be eligible to apply for the following visa subclasses:
- Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa. Amendments on 24 November 2012 to this visa are minimal. The name of the Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) visa has changed to Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa. Nonetheless, employers are still able to sponsor approved skilled workers to be employed in Australia on a temporary basis for up to four years. Employers are able to nominate a number of positions within their business for different occupations in exactly the same way as the Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) visa.
- Temporary Work (Entertainment) (Subclass 420) visa. The Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa will still enable applicants to enter Australia on a temporary basis to work in film, television (including documentaries and commercials) or live productions in either a performance or behind the scene role, for example directors, producers or other production personnel.
As a result of the repeal of the subclass 423 Media and Film Staff visa, television or film crew, including actors, production and support staff and still-photographers, who are involved in the production of documentary programs or commercials exclusively for use outside Australia will now need to apply to work in Australia under the Temporary Work (Entertainment) (Subclass 420) visa.
Please note that journalists, correspondents or reporters representing overseas news organisations will instead need to apply for the subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa in order to work in Australia. Although the above changes came into effect on 24 November 2012, transitional arrangements are in place that enable current sponsors to continue to sponsor workers holding the now repealed temporary work visas. Also, for holders of repealed temporary work visas, these visas will remain valid until the visa expiry date.
The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.