AUSTRALIA: New Entrepreneur Visa, China, Australia Agreement and Temporary Workers

Visa Reforms to Attract and Retain Innovative Talent

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, has announced that a new Entrepreneur visa will be introduced in the second half of 2016. The Entrepreneur visa is designed to attract foreign innovators with unique skills, ideas and entrepreneurial talent to Australia.

The Minister has also announced that visa reforms are to be implemented to facilitate the retention of highly educated, talented foreign students who are graduating with specialised research Masters and Doctorate qualifications. These changes will benefit high achieving graduates in STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as certain ICT fields, by creating a pathway to permanent residence.

Read the Minister”s media release here.

China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and Labour Market Testing

A new Ministerial Determination has been made to honour Australia”s commitments under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) which is due to come into effect on the 20th December 2015.

The Determination specifies that Labour Market Testing (LMT) is inconsistent with the terms of the ChAFTA and will therefore not need to be conducted for the following individuals:

  • Executives, Senior managers and Managers as Intra-Corporate transferees
  • Specialists as Intra-Corporate transferees
  • Independent Executives
  • Contractual Service Suppliers.

 View the Ministerial Determination here.

Offshore Resources Activity (ORA)

Offshore resources activities include the exploration or exploitation of minerals, greenhouse gas and petroleum resources within Australia”s Exclusive Economic Zone and the waters above the Continental Shelf.

From the 14th December 2015, Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) subclass 400 and Temporary Work (Skilled) subclass 457 visa holders will be permitted to participate in, or support, an offshore resources activity and authorised to enter Australia in a way other than through a port or pre-cleared flight.

This is because such persons frequently travel to the area where they will be participating in or supporting the offshore resources activity (and therefore entering the migration zone) directly by boat without otherwise entering Australia. Their entry will, however, need to be reported in writing to Immigration.  The person may report to the Department of Immigration personally or someone else may do this on their behalf, for example, the vessel”s local shipping agent.

View the full Migration Amendment (Offshore Resources Activity) Regulation 2015 here.

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