AUSTRALIA – Longer Stays Possible with Subclass 400 Visa
Effective 23 November 2014, the maximum period of stay for a Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) Visa has increased from three months to six months.
However, stays of over three months will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, backed by a strong business case and evidence that the activities will not adversely affect Australian workers.
The validity of the visa has also been extended, so that applications can be made up to six months before the intended date of travel.
Criteria for Granting an Extended Stay
Applicants for a Subclass 400 visa requesting a stay period of more than three months must demonstrate:
- That employment conditions satisfy Australian workplace standards;
- That the Subclass 457 visa route is not being circumvented.
- The importance of the project to the local community;
- The need for specialist advice or which not available in Australia;
- The number of Australians to be employed on the project;
- The time available to train an Australian to do the work in the long term;
- Any contractual obligations relating to the installation or servicing of equipment;
Other Australia Immigration News
- The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP, formerly DIAC) will no longer be assessing 457 visa applications where the standard business sponsorship (SBS) is about to expire (i.e. within 3 months). It is therefore more important than ever for employers to consider their future visa needs well in advance of any expiry date.
- DIBP is increasingly asking questions of sponsors as to whether a position is ‘genuine’, especially where a proposed annual salary is around AUS$55,000 - $65,000. The ‘genuine’ criterion has been in the Migration Regulations for several years but was not previously actively enforced. The questions are aimed at satisfying the Department that employers have made efforts to source workers from the local labour market.
- There are some delays in visa processing due to a new system of Collective Case Management, in which applications are managed at random DIBP offices rather than at the office closest to the sponsoring employer. This has been introduced due to a recent significant drop in Subclass 45 visa applications and a corresponding reduction in staff numbers in immigration offices.
- Ensure that any Subclass 400 visa applications for longer than a three month stay are supported by sufficient evidence;
- Consider future Subclass 457 visa needs more than three months in advance of standard business sponsorship expiry;
- Expect some delays in visa processing due to Collective Case Management, and plan assignments accordingly.