Temporary Residence Visas

1. General. Australia’s temporary residence program is designed to allow overseas people to come to Australia for specific purposes that benefit Australia. There are many types of visas under this category of visa. Temporary residents are required to pay taxes on income earned in Australia. They do not have access to social welfare benefits or national public health cover. The Temporary Residence program consists of three streams:

  • Economic;
  • Social and cultural; and
  • International relations.

2. The Economic Stream. The common types of visas in this stream are:-

  • Business Entry visas – This visa allows employers to recruit skilled personnel from overseas for a stay of up to four years. The position being filled must meet minimum skill and salary thresholds.
  • Educational Visas – This visa allows education and research institutions or organisations to fill academic, teaching and research positions, unable to be filled from the Australian labour market.
  • Temporary Medical Practitioner Visas – This visa allows employers, or in some cases Government or community bodies to sponsor suitably qualified medical practitioners into positions which satisfy labour market requirements, for a stay of up to four years. Visa grants to medical practitioners have a strong focus on providing service to rural and remote communities.

3. The Social/Cultural Stream. The more common types of visas in this stream are:-

  • Religious Worker Visas. – for religious workers, including ministers, priests and spiritual leaders, to serve the spiritual needs of people of their faiths in Australia.
  • Retirement Visas – to allow for people over 55, who do not wish to work, extended temporary stay in Australia.

4. The International Relations Stream. The more common visas in this stream are:-

  • Working Holiday Visas – for young people from countries with which Australia has working holiday arrangements who want to holiday and travel in Australia, while having the opportunity to work for short periods of time. Australia has reciprocal working holiday arrangements with several countries.

5. Retiree Visa. This visa is generally for older, wealthy people who wish to live in Australia but who do not meet the requirements for any of the other migrant visas. To apply the applicant must meet the following requirements:-

  • Be at least 55 years old, have no dependents other than a married or defacto spouse;
  • The applicant’s partner or defacto partner can be of any age but must not have any dependents;
  • Have no intention of working full time in Australia. However with effect from 01 March 2003 all retiree visa holders may work for a maximum of 20 hours per week;
  • Be of good heath and of good character and be prepared to purchase adequate health insurance when living in Australia.

6. Retirees have no right to Medicare or other social welfare benefits. Once the application is approved, the retirement visa will permit an initial stay of four (4) years with multiple entries and limited work rights up to 20 hours per week. Extensions are normally granted, provided all criteria and conditions for the visa are met.

7. Temporary Work Skilled Subclass 457 Visa. This visa is available for a sponsored employee who is sponsored by an Australian or overseas employer to overcome temporary skilled labour shortages by recruiting personnel from overseas. The successful applicant will be granted a visa to work for his/her employer for two to four years. The employer is required to provide evidence to show that: –

  • An Australian citizen or resident cannot be found to fill the job;
  • Adequate provision for training employees in work relevant to the business has been provided; and
  • The employee will be paid a minimum salary of approximately $53,900 per annum.

8. Australian employers can also recruit overseas workers under Labour Agreements concluded with the Department of Immigration. Such agreements are only worthwhile to conclude if there are 10 or more workers identified by the prospective employer.

9. With effect from 01 November 2002, legislation was introduced to provide for the special business needs of regional Australia. The changes allow for the current skill and salary threshold requirement for the subclass 457 visa to be waived in exceptional circumstances. The regional subclass 457 arrangement are only available to Australian businesses operating in, and seeking to nominate a position located in a regional area or an area of low-population growth. Overseas business sponsors, recruitment agencies, and labour hire firms are excluded from these regional concessions.

10. Conclusion. If an applicant is able to meet all the requirements of any particular category of visa he/she intends to apply for, then he/she is invited to contact James Tan Immigration Consultants by completing the Assessment Form in this website for a proper assessment to determine whether an application should be lodged with the Department of Immigration & Border Protection. This assessment costs only $150.00 and is credited to the applicant’s fees payable if he/she proceeds to instruct us to proceed with an application. In all instances lodgment fees (which can be quite substantial) once paid to the Australian Department of Immigration is non-refundable. Therefore the $150.00 assessment fee paid is money well spent.

11. Please note that the immigration information provided in this website is a guide only. You are advised to contact James Tan Immigration Consultants or the Department of Immigration & Border Protection for specific answers to any question affecting your case. For a prompt reply to any query with regard to your case you are invited to submit your confidential completed Assessment Form to James Tan Immigration Consultants for an accurate assessment of your specific case.

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