Australia currently has international trade obligations arising from ten agreements, including Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Chile and New Zealand,
and the General Agreement on Trade in Services signed by World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries in 1994. For a full list of WTO members, consult the list here.
Certain reciprocal concessions have been negotiated in relation to the movement of people between countries where international trade obligations exist. Some of the more useful TSS visa concessions includes:
- Exemption of the requirement to undertake mandatory Labour Market Testing (LMT) for all occupations, where the nominee is a national of certain countries (China, Japan or Thailand), national/permanent resident of others (Chile, Korea, NZ and Singapore), a current employee of an associated entity of the sponsor that operates in a Chile, China, Japan, South Korea, NZ or ASEAN member state, or a citizen of a WTO member country and has worked in Australia for the sponsor on a full-time basis for the last two years;
- Some Executives and Senior Managers, whose occupations are on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and would usually be granted a 2 year visa, are eligible for 4 year visas if applying as intra-company transferees;
- Exemption from caveats in relation to minimum earnings, revenue and staffing figures on certain occupations where applicant is an intra-company transfer and from a WTO member country; – Some TSS visa holders, whose occupations are on the STSOL and would usually only be able to renew their TSS visa for an additional 2 years, are eligible for longer stay (e.g. 8 years for Chinese nationals, and up to 15 years for Singaporean nationals / permanent residents who are intra-company transferees);
- Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement considered met where the international obligation permits the applicant to remain for a period greater than the visa period and that period has not expired.
Whether international trade obligations apply is quite complex and will be advised on a case by case basis.
As you may be aware, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership between 11 countries (including Australia) was signed in March 2018, and has been tabled in Parliament. We anticipate the TTP-11 will be implemented towards the end of this year with the full extent of advantages flowing between member states to be disclosed during the implementation phase.
Free Trade Agreements are also being considered with the European Union and with the UK. We note however that it can take many years to move from negotiation to implementation.
This information is current as at 13 June 2018 and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.