Australia to cut visa red tape

The government of Australia will make it simpler for people to apply for a specialist temporary work visa, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Deregulation, David Bradbury MP, have announced.

“The government is delivering on a pledge to simplify the application process by halving the number of specialist temporary work visa subclasses from 17 to eight,” Mr. Bowen said. “On 24 November, we will roll out a simplified specialist temporary work visa framework as part of the Government's Better Regulation Ministerial Partnership: Simpler Visas. This initiative seeks to make it easier for people to understand and engage with Australia's visa requirements.”

Mr. Bradbury said the visa reform was part of the government's broader deregulation agenda.

“This visa reform is aimed at reducing the costs imposed on business and the not-for-profit sector by unnecessary or poorly designed regulation,” Mr. Bradbury said. “Criteria across these visas have been standardised to provide a more consistent approach to requirements to reduce unnecessary complexity for applicants and decision makers. Employers and businesses who rely on specialist temporary work visa holders will be the key beneficiaries of the simplification of the visa system.”

People eligible for entry under current arrangements will remain so under the simplified specialist temporary work visa framework.

Specialist temporary work visas include religious workers, diplomats, visiting academics and entertainers.

The 457 visa program will be unaffected by the changes.

The Skilled and Business Migration program has been simplified under skilled migration visa reforms, including the introduction of SkillSelect, a consolidated skilled occupations list, and a reduction from 28 to 11 visa subclasses.

The government also plans to halve the total number of visa subclasses by 2015, having already reduced the number of work and skilled visa subclasses by 58 per cent this year.

We believe in compassionate and tolerant America – Obama

Changes to Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 now effective