Business travel and mobility

The UK-Australia FTA makes it easier for UK professionals to travel to Australia to work.

Better business travel and temporary entry for British professionals

This 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 Servicers
  • Intra-Corporate Transferees
  • Independent Executives
  • Contractual Service Suppliers

Intra-Corporate Transferees and Independent Executives will now be able to work in Australia for up to 4 years, double what was previously allowed. During their stay in Australia, their spouses and dependent children will be allowed to accompany them for that time. Their spouses will also be able 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 businesspeople. The FTA 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.

Business professionals granted temporary entry under these rules will still be required to follow all other applicable licensing or other requirements, including signing up to any mandatory codes of conduct, to practise a profession or otherwise engage in business activities.

Categories of businessperson

The full definition of each category and the stay limits are detailed in Annex IV (Schedules of Specific Commitments on Temporary Entry for Business Persons. 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

Two types of business visitor are captured under the agreement.

The first is visitors seeking to travel to Australia for business, including for investment purposes and who must not engage in direct sales or supplying goods or services to the general public. These visitors now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for up to three months subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

The second is 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 six 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 activity by the supplying enterprise is a condition of purchase. These businesspeople now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for up to three months subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Intra-corporate transferees

Intra-Corporate Transferees are businesspeople employed by a UK business which has operations in Australia, who are being transferred to fill a position in the Australian offices.

Two types of Intra-Corporate Transferee are captured under the agreement.

The first is 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 four years, double the length of stay previously allowed, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

The second is 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 four 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 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.

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 four 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 a contract to supply a service.

The UK-Australia 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 in the agreement.

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

Further requirements under this category can be found in the agreement.

Some UK Contractual Service Suppliers now have certainty that they can stay in Australia for up to four 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.

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.

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