Australia – New Ten-Year Visitor Visa and Other Changes

Effective November 19, a new Frequent Traveler stream of the Subclass 600 visitor visa will allow multiple entries for business or tourism for up to three months at a time, during a validity period of ten years.

Other changes this week relate to the introduction of the previously announced new Temporary Activity visa framework, and to a new requirement for certain visa applicants to submit a polio vaccination certificate.

For the new Frequent Traveler Stream of the Subclass 600 visa, the visitor must not stay for more than 12 months in any 24-month period, and may not undertake paid work. The visa is valid for multiple entries during ten years. The visa application charge (VAC) will be AUD 1000.

Note that a subclass 600 visa will be canceled if the holder obtains a temporary work visa such as a subclass 400 visa or subclass 457 visa.  The new visa stream is initially available only to Chinese nationals, with a view to progressively allowing nationals of other countries to apply in the future.

Also Effective November 19, 2016, the new Temporary Activity visa framework will replace several visa subclasses with new ones.

As a result, the ImmiAccount online application forms for the current Temporary Work (Short Stay) visa (subclass 400) and Superyacht Crew visa (subclass 488) will cease to operate at 7pm AEDT on November 18, 2016.  Any subclass 400 or 488 applications that have not been submitted by that time cannot be lodged, and applicants will then need to complete a new application on a new form.

Moreover, new declaration questions are to be added to online visa application forms.  Any application that has a status of “Ready to submit” on Friday November 18 will have its status changed to “Incomplete”, to ensure that the application is reviewed and that any new questions added to the form are answered before submission.

Visa applicants, applying from outside Australia, who have spent 28 days or longer in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia or Syria, or in any combination of these countries, on or after May 5, 2014 should provide a vaccination certificate as evidence that they have been vaccinated against polio. Failure to provide the certificate may result in delays processing your application.  This measure is in response to the World Health Organization‘s declaration of wild poliovirus transmission as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.