New short stay activity visa introduced to Australia

Red tape is being cut for applicants for business and visitor visas for Australia with a simplified framework being introduced in the coming weeks. Visitor visas will be simplified and a new short stay activity visa will be rolled out as part of a plan to cut the total number of visa subclasses by 50% by 2015. The number of visitor visas will be cut from nine to four subclasses and a number of requirements have been standardised.

‘The government is determined to cut red tape and make it easier for visitors to understand which visa they need for a short stay visit or work visa,’ said Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. ‘There will be no change to current visa eligibility for tourism, business visitor activities, sponsored family visits, and medical treatment, and care has been taken to ensure there is no impact on programme integrity settings,’ he added.

The new short stay activity visa enables people to come to Australia to carry out short term, non-ongoing, highly specialised work, where the skills required are not otherwise readily available. The visa will also allow for the entry of people who are invited from overseas to participate in events.

‘This new visa is for people who need to come to Australia for highly specialised non-ongoing work on a short term basis. It is not related to the 457 programme for temporary skilled visas and the government remains committed to strengthening the safeguards to ensure the 457 programme is not being exploited by unscrupulous employers to the disadvantage of local workers,’ explained O’Connor.

The visitor visa initiative follows the successful implementation of the simplified skilled and business migration visa group and the simplified temporary work visa group, both of which more than halved the number of subclasses used by the programmes. ‘The finalised settings took into account stakeholder and public responses to the 2011 Making Visitor Visas Simpler discussion paper which outlined the proposed visitor visa framework,’ explained David Bradbury, Assistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting on Deregulation.


Posted On : 30 March,2013