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Travel to Australia for short term business

Free Trade Agreement export guide

Overview

The UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) provides greater certainty and access for British professionals looking to deliver services in person in Australia. The FTA applies to business professionals under the following categories:

  • business visitors
  • installers and services
  • independent executives
  • contractual service suppliers
  • intra-corporate transferees

Business travel is an important contributor to enabling more trade and investment. For the first time, UK service suppliers in certain sectors including architecture, accountancy and law will have access to visas to work in Australia without being subject to Australia’s changing skilled occupation list. This is more than Australia has ever offered any other country in a free trade agreement and will improve long-term planning for UK businesses.

Intra-Corporate Transferees and Independent Executives will now be able to work in Australia for up to 4 years, double what was previously allowed, and bring their spouses and dependent children with them to Australia for that time. Their spouses and dependents also have greater rights to work in Australia during their stay.

Contractual Service Suppliers, including self-employed independent professionals, working in certain sectors will no longer be subject to Australia’s changing skilled occupation list, providing greater certainty for UK business persons. The FTA agreement lists the sectors that are guaranteed to be accessible for UK Contractual Service Suppliers.

Australian firms will also no longer have to prove that they can’t find an Australian worker before they sponsor a UK professional. This will mean that British Intra-Corporate Transferees and Contractual Service Suppliers will compete for jobs in Australia on a more level footing with Australian equivalents, and there will be more opportunities available to them in Australia after the FTA enters into force.

What opportunities are there in Australia?

Are you a representative of a service supplier and planning to travel to Australia to negotiate the sale of a service? UK business visitors in this category will now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for 6 months, and up to a maximum of 12 months, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Are you a UK based business looking to transfer an executive, senior manager, or specialist to a branch in Australia? That employee could benefit from extended Intra-Corporate Transferee provisions that will mean they can stay in Australia for up to 4 years, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements. Provided they are

granted temporary stay in Australia of at least 12 months, they will also be able to take a spouse and any dependants with them for the same period, again subject to relevant requirements.

Have you recently sold equipment to an Australian client alongside a contract to install and maintain the equipment over a period of time? You will now have certainty that you can come to Australia for up to 12 months at a time, subject to meeting relevant

immigration requirements.

Are you a self-employed service supplier looking to carry out contractual work in

Australia? For certain sectors, you will no longer be subject to the changing skilled

occupation list, helping you to better plan for the future.

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Categories of businessperson for temporary business travel

Prospective visa applicants should check with the Australian Department of Home Affairs for full visa details and eligibility criteria. Please note that final visa names are set by the destination country and may vary from the FTA business travel category titles.

The FTA provides full definitions for each category and their stay limits.

Please read the full definition to ensure you meet the criteria for the category.

A summary of the main categories and length of stay permitted is below.

Business Visitors

2 types of business visitor are captured under the agreement.

The first are visitors seeking to travel to Australia for business,including for investment purposes. These visitors now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for up to 3 months subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

The second are business visitors entering Australia for general business purposes, such as to negotiate the sale of a service or good. These visitors now have certainty that they can stay in Australia initially for 6 months, up to a maximum of 12 months, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Installers and Servicers

Installers or servicers are businesspeople who are installing or servicing machinery or equipment, where such installation or servicing by the supplying enterprise is a condition of purchase. These businesspeople now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for up to 3 months subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Intra-corporate Transferees

Intra-Corporate Transferees are businesspeople employed by an enterprise of the UK established and operating in Australia, who are transferred to fill a position in their enterprise in Australia. 2 types of Intra-CorporateTransferee are captured under the agreement.

The first are executives or senior managers of UK enterprises looking to travel to Australia to temporarily work in a branch of their enterprise there. Under the FTA, executives and senior managers in any sector now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for up to 4 years,double the length of stay previously allowed,subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

The second are specialists with advanced trade, technical, or professional skills and experience, who have been employed by their enterprise for at least two years before they seek entry and who are looking to travel to Australia to temporarily work in a branch of their enterprise there. Specialists now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for up to 4 years, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Temporary entry for Intra-Corporate Transferees is subject to employer sponsorship. Full details of employer sponsorship requirements including eligible occupations can be found on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.

For Intra-Corporate Transferees granted temporary entry for a period of twelve months or longer, Australia will allow their accompanying spouse or dependant the ability to enter and work in Australia during the same period as their stay, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Independent Executives

Independent Executives are businesspeople responsible for establishing their enterprise’s new branch or subsidiary in Australia. The enterprise must have its head of operations in the UK and have no other branch in Australia.

Under the FTA, Independent Executives in any sector now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for up to 4 years, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Temporary entry for Independent Executives is subject to employer sponsorship. Full details of employer sponsorship requirements including eligible occupations can be found on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.

For Independent Executives granted temporary entry for a period of 12 months or longer, Australia will allow their accompanying spouse or dependant the ability to enter and work in Australia during the same period as their stay,subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Contractual Service Suppliers

Contractual Service Suppliers are either employees of UK enterprises contracted to supply services to clients in Australia or self-employed independent professionals with acontract to supply a service.

The FTA guarantees that UK Contractual Service Suppliers in certain sectors, including those who are self-employed independent professionals, will not be subject to Australia’s changing skilled occupation list, providing greater certainty for British businesspeople. The complete list of sectors with guaranteed access can be found here.

Contractual Service Suppliers in these sectors now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for at least 6 months in any 12 month period, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Further requirements under this category are contained in Appendix IV-a. Some UK Contractual Service Suppliers now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for up to 4 years, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements. Temporary entry for these Contractual Service Suppliers is subject to employer sponsorship. Full details of employer sponsorship requirements including eligible occupations can be found on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.

For Contractual Service Suppliers granted temporary entry for a period of 12 months or longer, Australia will allow their accompanying spouse or dependant the ability to enter and work in Australia during the same period as their stay, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Additional information for temporary business travel in Australia

Australia has committed to ensuring visas are processed quickly, at a reasonable cost, and that applicants can receive updates on the status of their applications. The FTA also obliges Australia to ensure all requirements for temporary entry be available publicly to visa applicants.

For the full definition of each category and temporary entry limits, please see here.

Providing services in Australia will have other consequences including for tax, intellectual property and local labour regulations. Please refer to the following for more advice:

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Doing business in Australia

Australia shares a common language and culture with the UK, as well as business and legal practices such as intellectual property protection and the rule of law. This makes it easier for UK companies to do business there. With a population of over 25 million, including more than 1 million Britons, Australia is an ideal place to test and develop new products and services. Around three-fifths of the total population live in Australia’s 4 largest cities, making it easy to prioritise where to launch your product or service.

Legal disclaimer

The information provided on this webpage is for guidance only and should not be relied on as a substitute for your own research or independent advice. No investment and/or business decision should be made solely on the basis of information presented in this document. It is recommended that an independent due diligence investigation is conducted before entering into engagement with any individual, firm, company or other organisation mentioned. DBT accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage caused to any person as result of any error, omission, inaccurate or misleading statement in this document. The accuracy, completeness or up-to-dateness of the content of any website mentioned in this document is not guaranteed in any way, implied or explicit.

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