Signed on June 17, 2015, the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement will simplify travel for both countries’ business visitors, highly-skilled workers, and intracompany transferees. It will also promote investment opportunities and reduce trade restrictions between China and Australia.

Improvements for Visa Applicants, Businesses, & Investment Opportunities

Both countries plan to expedite visa processing and also increase duration periods of visas for business travelers and highly-skilled workers.

Both countries will increase threshold investment amounts in all industries except in agriculture, defense-related sectors, media, and telecommunications. Commercial opportunities in Free Trade Zones and market access to various industries will also be opened. More avenues for information-sharing in the financial industry plan to be established.

Australia:

Registered Chinese companies performing large infrastructure projects above AUD 150 million, will be allowed to hire lower skilled workers and also apply for reduced English language requirements under the subclass 457 visa program for certain projects determined on a case-by-case basis.

Under a work and holiday agreement that Australia and China are expected to sign, Australia will grant visas for up to 5,000 Chinese work and holiday travelers on an annual basis.

The Australian government also plans to switch to an online application service for Chinese nationals as well as launch a pilot program for a three-month tourist visa for Chinese nationals that will have a validity period of ten years.

Australia will allow access to eligible Chinese applicants who are in the following classifications:

  • Business visitors for stays up to 180 days;
  • Intracompany transferees under the subclass 457 visa program, including executives, managers, and specialists, for stays of up to four years;
  • Contractual service suppliers for stays of up to four years; and
  • Installers and product maintenance specialists for stays of up to three months.

China:

China will issue equivalent entry and stay rights for dependents and spouses of Australian intracompany transferees or contractual service suppliers who are on stay for over twelve months.

For the mining industry, China agreed to allow Australian service suppliers to provide technical consulting and field services in coal bed methane and shale gas extraction.

China will allow access to both eligible Australian citizens and permanent residents in the following classifications:

  • Business visitors for stays up to 180 days;
  • Intracompany transferees, including executives, managers, and specialists, for stays up to three years;
  • Contractual service suppliers in certain fields, for stays of up to one year or longer if stated under the employment contract; and

Installers and product maintenance specialists for stays of up to 180 days.


Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.