AUSTRALIA: Labour Market Test Exemptions for Chinese Nationals

January 27, 2016

Certain Chinese nationals applying for work visas to Australia will no longer require Labour Market Testing (LMT) under the terms of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), which is due to come into effect on 20th December 2015.

Exemptions from Labour Market Testing under ChAFTA

A new Ministerial Determination has been made to honour Australia”s commitments under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

The Determination specifies that Labour Market Testing 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.

Labour market testing is not required where it would be inconsistent with Australia”s international trade obligations (see here). Nationals of China, Japan or Thailand, and nationals and permanent residents of Chile, Korea or New Zealand, among others, are thereby exempt.

Labour Market Testing

457 Visa:

Standard business sponsors for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) are required to provide information with their nomination about their attempts to recruit Australian workers during the last twelve months.

Labour Market Testing for the 457 visa is normally required for nurses and engineers, trade and technical occupations (see the list of non-exempt occupations here).

400 Visa:

For Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400) applications, a letter of job offer or contract must be submitted, which states that the applicant has knowledge and/or experience which cannot be reasonably found in the Australian labour market.

Action Items

  • Check whether Chinese national applicants for Australian work visas qualify for a labour market testing exemption under the new China Australia Free Trade Agreement.

For further information on the China Australia Free Trade Agreement, or Australian immigration, please email us at [email protected]