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Important Changes - November 2016
From 18 November 2016, a number of significant changes will take place to Australia's immigration and citizenship legislation, as well as upgrade to our systems.
More comprehensive information can be found at www.border.gov.au, but a summary of these changes follows:
On 19 November 2016, reforms will be made to the temporary visa framework. This means that, from 19 November 2016, the following visas will be closed to new applications:
• Subclass 401 Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa
• Subclass 402 Training and Research visa
• Subclass 416 Special Program visa
• Subclass 420 Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa
• Subclass 488 Superyacht Crew visa.
These visas will be incorporated within the following temporary activity visa framework:
• Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
• Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa
• Subclass 407 Training visa
• Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa.
The new framework is designed to make applying for a temporary visa easier. Further information on these changes can be found in a fact sheet, by clicking here, or on our department’s website, at: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/temporary-activity-visa-changes
What will change from 18 November 2016?
Sponsors of Partner and Prospective Marriage visa applications who lodge a visa application on or after 18 November 2016 will be required to:
• Provide Australian and/or foreign police checks to the department when requested; and
• Consent to the department disclosing their convictions for relevant offences to the visa applicant(s).
Further information is available on our department's website at www.border.gov.au/Trav/Brin/sponsor-requirements
Change to Immigration Contact Number
From 03 October, the local access number in Serbia and Russia will no longer work and it will not be possible to contact the Europe Service Centre with those numbers. You will need to make an international call to the UK number.
The decision to cease local access numbers for certain countries has been made following a review of the Department’s current service offer.
In reaching this decision, the following factors were considered:
- International rates to the UK are competitive;
- Most pre-lodgement and some post-lodgement information is available on our website and we encourage clients to maximise the use of these resources before calling;
- We expect that by removing local access numbers from some countries, call volume will drop. This will lead to reduced waiting times and therefore potentially lower call costs.
For more information, click here.
Change to Student Visa Framework
Australia has simplified its student visa framework. It has been designed to make the process of applying for a student visa simpler to navigate for students.
From 1 July 2016:
- international students will apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500), regardless of their chosen course of study
- student guardians will apply for the new Student Guardian visa (subclass 590)
- all students and student guardians will generally be required to lodge their visa application online by creating an account in ImmiAccount.
For more information, please click here.
Change to Panel Physician List
As of 01 July 2016, Tashkent International Clinic will no longer be conducting medical examinations on behalf of the Australian government. The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection is currently reviewing alternative options. From 01 July 2016, clients can locate a panel clinic convenient to them via www.border.gov.au
The closest panel clinic to Tashkent is located at the Office of the International Organization for Migration in Almaty, Kazakhstan (6A Zverev Street, Almaty 050060 Kazakhstan (+7 727 2345 0044, +7 727 2582 240, +7 727 2919 030).
Online Visa Lodgement for Russian Nationals
Access to electronic (online) lodgement for Visitor visas (subclass 600) and Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visas (subclass 400) is now available to passport holders of the Russian Federation who want to visit Australia for tourism or business purposes.
Label-Free Visas (No More Visa Stickers)
On 1 September 2015, Australia ceased issuing visa labels to holders of Australian visas. Nationals of all countries who are granted an Australian visa by the Embassy are able to travel to Australia without a visa label (sticker) in their passport. Visa applicants who are granted a visa are no longer required to forward their passport to the Embassy in order to obtain a physical label as evidence of their visa. Online checking of visa details can be performed by visa holders, registered Australian organisations and airline staff. Your visa is linked to your passport through its unique identification number.
Applicants who are granted visas will receive a visa grant notice, which explains the validity and conditions of their visa.
See more info on visa label-free travel.
Ukraine Processing Arrangements
All new visa and citizenship applications from Ukrainian nationals residing in Ukraine will now be processed by the Australian High Commission in London. Applications received prior to 16 February 2015 will continue to be processed by the Australian Embassy in Moscow.
Please visit the website of the Australian High Commission in London for further information.
Increase to Visa Application Charges (1 January 2016)
From 1 January 2016, visa application charges have increased.
New Immigration Website
On 1 July 2015, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service integrated with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Border Force was established.
To support the integration, a new website was launched at www.border.gov.au. Internet searches for immi.gov.au and customs.gov.au will redirect to this address. Any links, bookmarks or favorites on your computer will need to be updated.
Adoption and Surrogacy
If you are planning to adopt a child overseas, please be aware that the Embassy cannot provide advice or information on the adoption requirements or processes in any country. See more info on adopting children from outside Australia.