Australia – Proposed Temporary Activity Visa Framework Changes

The Australian Government has reformed some of its subclasses, replacing of sponsor classes, and removing certain sponsorship and nomination requirements for specific short stay activities, subject to the approval of the Governor-General, to make applying for a temporary visa easier.

Beginning November 19, 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.

Applications that are received before November 19, 2016 will be processed under the pre – temporary activity visa framework and will be approved until May 18, 2017, or until the pre-November 19, 2016 sponsorship ceases, whichever is earlier.

The new visa subclasses that will be introduced in November are:

  • Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
    • Foreign nationals may use this option for short term-highly specialized, non-ongoing work and in some cases, may participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests.
  • Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa
    • Foreign nationals that have a bilateral agreement, represent a foreign government, teach a foreign language in an Australian school, diplomatic work, or to participate in the Seasonal Worker Programme.
    • Nomination and sponsorship is required
  • Subclass 407 Training visa
    • This subclass visa is for people intending to train or participate in a classroom based professional activity; and
    • Nomination and sponsorship is required, regardless of the duration of stay.
  • Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa.
    • Foreign nationals may use this option for work in the entertainment industry,
    • Nomination is not required;
    • Sponsorship is not required if applied outside of Australia and the intended stay is for less than 3 months;
    • Sponsorship is required if applied outside of Australia and the intended stay is for more than 3 months or applied within Australia, regardless of the length of intended stay.

Paper applications will no longer be accepted for sponsorship of temporary activities after November 19, 2016.  Sponsorships will have to be applied for online at ImmiAccount for approval.

A single sponsorship, the temporary activities sponsor, will soon replace the current sponsorship types: long stay activity, training and research, professional development, entertainment, special programme, and superyacht crew.