AUSTRALIA: New 10 Year Visitor Visa and Other Changes

A new Frequent Traveller stream of the Subclass 600 visitor visa, allowing multiple entries for business or tourism for up to three months at a time, came into place on 19th November. 

Other changes this week relate to the introduction of the previously announced new Temporary Activity visa framework, and to a new requirement for certain visa applicants to submit a polio vaccination certificate.

Frequent Traveller Stream

For this new stream of the Subclass 600 visa, the visitor must not stay for more than 12 months in any 24-month period, and may not undertake paid work. The visa is valid for multiple entries during 10 years. The visa application charge (VAC) will be AUD 1000.

Note that a subclass 600 visa will be cancelled if the holder obtains a temporary work visa such as a subclass 400 visa or subclass 457 visa

The new visa stream is initially available only to Chinese nationals, with a view to progressively allowing nationals of other countries to apply in the future.

Other Changes:

Temporary Activity Visas

From 19th November 2016, the new Temporary Activity visa framework replaced several visa subclasses with new ones.

As a result, the ImmiAccount online application forms for the current Temporary Work (Short Stay) visa (subclass 400) and Superyacht Crew visa (subclass 488) stopped operating on 18th November 2016 at 7pm.

Any 400 or 488 applications that had not been submitted after this date wouldn”t be lodged and applicants will now need to complete a new application on a new form.

New Questions on Application Forms

Moreover, new declaration questions are to be added to online visa application forms.

Any application that has a status of “Ready to submit” on Friday 18th November will have its status changed to “Incomplete”, to ensure that the application is reviewed and that any new questions added to the form are answered before submission.

Evidence of Polio Vaccination

Visa applicants, applying from outside Australia, who have spent 28 days or longer in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia or Syria, or in any combination of these countries, on or after 5th May 2014 should provide a vaccination certificate as evidence that they have been vaccinated against polio. Failure to provide the certificate may result in delays processing your application.

This measure is in response to the World Health Organization’s declaration of wild poliovirus transmission as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. For further information, please see here.

Our advice

Online visa applications should have been lodged before 18th November 2016 to avoid having to complete additional questions.

Online applications for subclass 400 and 488 visa applications should have been submitted before 7pm on 18th November 2016 to avoid having to complete a new application on a new form.

Visa applicants, who have spent 28 days or longer in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia or Syria, or in any combination of these countries, on or after 5th May 2014 should provide a vaccination certificate as evidence that they have been vaccinated against polio.

Chinese nationals who are frequent travellers to Australia should consider obtaining a new premium 10 year visitor visa to reduce the number of applications they need to submit.

If you require any additional information regarding the above, please contact a member of our team at enquiries@newlandchase.com.

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