Permanent Residence options for Overseas Business Sponsors

Previously departmental policy dictated that an overseas business may be approved as a standard business sponsor for the purposes of the 457 visa program (temporary residence), however, as such businesses were not “actively and lawfully operating in Australia” they could not be approved as nominators under the Employer Nomination Scheme (permanent residence).

In an interesting policy change, we are pleased to advise that recent changes surrounding the “two-year requirement” under the Temporary Residence Stream (TRTS) has created a minor avenue for overseas business sponsors.

Briefly, if the nominator under the TRTS was an overseas business sponsor who subsequently established an Australian entity which becomes a standard business sponsor during the 2-year period, the nominee can still be considered to have remained with the “same employer” for the entire period for the purposes of eligibility under that rule.

If you fall within this category, you can expect to be contacted by us shortly, however, feel free to reach out to your consultant if you would like to discuss this change.

Temporary Activity Visa Changes – 19 November 2016

From 19 November 2016, there will be a new Temporary Activity Visa framework which will come into effect. Essentially, the following visa subclasses will be replaced by a single Temporary Activities sponsor class – Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa:

  1. Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) (subclass 401) visa;
  2. Training and Research (subclass 402) visa;
  3. Special Program (subclass 416);
  4. Temporary Work (Entertainment) (subclass 420) visa;
  5. Superyacht Crew (subclass 488) visa.

There will also be an introduction of a Training (subclass 407) visa.

The following existing visa subclasses will be restructured:

  1. Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) (subclass 400) visa;
  2. Temporary Work (International Relations) (subclass 403) visa.

Transitional arrangements are in place for applications lodged before 19 November 2016 until 18 May 2017 allowing approved sponsorships and nominations under the previous framework to be used during this timeframe.

From 19 November 2016, the temporary activity related visa applications would need to be lodged online with exception of the Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa.

This is a significant change for many sponsors who utilise temporary visas for everything outside of the standard subclass 457 visa. In reality, it appears to be a streamlining of processes and aligning of nomination requirements. That said, the preliminary guidance has been sparse and we will be in touch when further information and policy guidelines have been released.

Reduced Departmental Charges for Working Holiday Maker visa

The Government announced on 27 September 2016, that the Visa Application Charge for the Working Holiday Maker Visa applications will be reduced from A$420.00 to A$390.00 as 1 January 2017.