AUSTRALIA | Overhaul of Temporary Activity Visa Immigration Scheme Simplifies Structure and Process

Effective November 19, Australia will overhaul its Temporary Activity Visa scheme which provides the immigration route for short-term work assignments in Australia. The changes will consolidate several visa categories, amend sponsorship requirements, and, in many cases, simplify and liberalize application requirements and procedures. In almost all cases, application submission and processing will be completed online.

Temporary Activity Visas in Australia’s Immigration Scheme

As the primary route for employers to sponsor foreign nationals on long-term assignments to Australia, the Subclass 457 visa program often receives the most attention in Australia’s employment-based immigration system. However, the Temporary Activity Visa scheme (which includes the popular Subclass 400 visa) brings as many or more foreign workers to Australia each year and provides the immigration route for many Australian and international companies to bring in highly-skilled foreign talent on a short-term basis.

Temporary Activity Visas fill the gap between business visit visas, where the foreign national is limited to strictly business activities, and the Subclass 457 visa, which is applicable to long-term work activity. Available in various subclasses, these Temporary Activity Visas enable foreign nationals to engage in traditional work activity in Australia for projects lasting up to six months. With no in-country work authorization process and relaxed sponsorship requirements, Subclass 400 Temporary Work visas can typically be processed within two weeks, compared to the several months required to obtain the longer-term Subclass 457 visa.