On 1 November 2012, Chris Bowen, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, and David Bradbury, the Assistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation, made a media release announcing the simplification of the specialist temporary work visa framework. New rules simplify the application process by halving the the number of visa subclasses to 8 from 17 by merging several subclasses into more general ones or getting rid of highly redundant ones.
Major changes are:
- The subclass 457 (Business (Long Stay) will be renamed to subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)).
- The subclasses 427 (Domestic Worker (Executive)) and 422 (Medical Practitioner) will be eliminated due to redundancy to the subclass 457.
- The subclass 402 (Training and Research) will replace the current visa subclasses419 (Visiting Academic), 442 (Occupational Trainee), and 470 (Professional Development) and will include them as streams of Professional Development, Occupational Trainee, and Research.
- The subclass 401 (Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity)) will replace the current visa subclasses 411 (Exchange), 421 (Sport), and 428 (Religious Work) and will include the streams of Exchange, Sport, and Religious Worker.
- Subclass 403 (Temporary Work (International Relations)) will replace the current visa subclasses 406 (Government Agreement), 415 (Foreign Government Agency), and 426 (Domestic Worker - Diplomatic or Consular), and eligibility rules defined by the subclasses 456 (Business (Short Stay)) and 457 (Business (Long Stay)) and will include three applicant streams.
- The subclass 423 (Media and Film Staff) will be replaced by either the subclass 420 (Temporary Work (Entertainment)) for overseas film crews or 456 (Business (Short Stay)) and 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled) for journalists, correspondents and reporters with foreign news organisations
It is expected that such changes will make migration easier by reducing the complexity of the visa application process and reducing the costs incurred.
The new rules will take effect on 24 November 2012.