A CONSOLIDATION of parts of Australia’s temporary skilled migration system will shortly take effect, including a streamlining of numerous visa categories down to just four.

Subject to Governor-General approval, the changes are scheduled to come into effect on 19 November 2016 with some transitional periods applying.

According to the Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP), the new framework is designed to make the process of applying for a temporary visa or sponsoring an applicant simpler for business, industry and individuals.

The changes follow the review of the Skilled Migration and 400 Series Visa Programmes in late 2014, to which AMMA made a detailed submission.

400 visas being streamlined

Most relevant for AMMA members is that the current Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) (subclass 400) Visa will be replaced with the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Visa.

The new visa category would be one of four simplified categories under the new regime:

  • Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Visa
  • Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) Visa
  • Subclass 407 Training Visa
  • Subclass 408 Temporary Activity Visa.

Temporary Skilled 457 visas will not be affected by the restructure.

The new Subclass 400 visa category, as with the current 400 visa, will be for people who want to come to Australia on a temporary basis to:

  • Undertake short-term, highly-specialised, non-ongoing work (as per the current 400 visa); or
  • In limited circumstances, participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests.

Once the changes take effect, employers will need to apply online for approval as a temporary activities sponsor. Paper applications will only be available for the 403 visa category.

A diagram illustrating how the current visa types will move into the new framework is available here.

To help explain the changes, which are expected to be minimal in relation to the 400 temporary skilled visa, the DIBP is holding the following information sessions this week:

Melbourne – 28 September 2016

Brisbane – 29 September 2016

Sydney – 30 September 2016

The forums will provide further detail on the changes as well as opportunities to ask questions. To attend, please email [email protected] for more information the forum in your state.

For further information on the changes, click here.