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Changes to Visitor visas – Effective from 23 March 2013

The following legislative amendments have been implemented with respect to Visitor visas:

  • streamline four Visitor visas (Tourist, Sponsored Family, Business, and Sponsored Business) into one simplified Visitor visa, new Subclass 600 (Visitor) visa;
  • streamline three Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visas (covering tourists and business visitors) into one simplified ETA visa, new Subclass 601 (ETA) visa;
  • streamline two Medical Treatment visas (Short Stay and Long Stay) into one simplified Medical Treatment visa, new Subclass 602 (Medical Treatment) visa;
  • clarify that business visitors are intended to be precluded from working in Australia unless conducting a “business visitor activity”, for instance, negotiating and entering into contracts. The purpose is to facilitate legitimate business activity while excluding visitors from entering the labour market or undertaking work which might otherwise be undertaken by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or by the holder of a temporary work visa;
  • introduce a new Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa permitting entry to Australia to undertake highly specialised work (for instance, the installation of imported equipment) to conduct work in compelling circumstances relating to Australia’s interests (for instance, in the event of a natural disaster such as a flood or bushfire), or to attend an event upon invitation by the organisers such as at a conference or cultural event. The visa allows stays of up to three months;
  • enable domestic workers of relevant executives to be granted a Temporary work (Long Stay Activity) visa. This ensures that these applicants continue to have access to a visa following the repeal of the Subclass 427 (Domestic Worker (Temporary) – Executive) visa as part of the deregulation initiative;
  • make amendments consequential to the temporary work visa reform introduced on 24 November 2012 and the Government’s simplification and deregulation agenda; and
  • correct minor typographical errors.


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