Australia to Amend Migration Laws
All amendments to commence on 19 November 2016
Visa Condition 8107
As one of the few mandatory conditions imposed on the 457 visa, condition 8107 currently stipulates that a 457 visa holder cannot cease employment for more than 90 consecutive days. The amendment will reduce this 90 day time period to 60 days.
The practical effect of the change is that if a 457 visa holder does not find a new sponsor within 60 days of ceasing employment with their current sponsor, they will be in breach of their visa condition and their visa may be liable to cancellation.
Definition of 'Member of the Family Unit'
The 'member of the family unit' definition prescribes which family members a visa applicant is eligible to include in a visa application.
The changes will limit the definition to include the direct family members, that is, the spouse or de facto partner and the dependent children and step-children of the primary applicant or their spouse/de facto partner. It will also provide an age limit for eligible children of 23 years, or any age if that child is incapacitated to work, to be regarded as 'dependent' applicants.
Prior to these amendments, the definition operated to permit extended family members who were regarded as dependents of the primary applicant to be included on the application. For example, a widowed parent who was financially dependent on the primary visa applicant would have been regarded as a dependent member of the family unit and thereby included on the application. The restrictions brought on by the new definition will mean that these family members will have to seek alternative routes to migrate to Australia.
Tourist Visa - The Frequent Traveller Stream
The Government is trialling the introduction of a 10-year validity visitor visa for Chinese nationals.
The current Subclass 600 (Visitor) visa offers the following streams:
- Business Visitor
- Tourist Stream
- Sponsored Family
The 'Frequent Traveller Stream' will be introduced to this subclass and will permit visa holders to undertake both business visitor and tourism activities. The stream will facilitate the grant of a visa with up to 10 years validity, with multiple entries. The visa will allow a maximum three-month stay period after each entry, with no more than 12 months cumulative stay permitted in a 24 month period.
Applications lodged under this stream attract an application fee of AUD1,000 and is intended for high value frequent travellers from the People's Republic of China.
Commencement of the new Temporary Activity Visa Framework
Four visa subclasses will be available from 19 November:
- Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
- Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa
- Subclass 407 Training visa
- Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa
While requirements for the subclass 400 visa remain largely unchanged on a practical level, the existing Training and Research (Subclass 402) visa will be repealed and replaced by the Subclass 407 Training visa (applicants wishing to undertake occupational training) and Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa (applicants wishing to undertake research).
A uniform Visa Application Cost of $275 will be applicable to these visa subclasses.