In April 2017 the Federal Government announced major changes to the business visa regime. These changes are being introduced over time, through to 2018.

The immediate restrictions on senior management roles caused consternation for many businesses. Under the new rules these were mostly restricted to 2-year visas, with one renewal, and no option of a longer stay or conversion to permanent residence.  Furthermore, multi-national businesses were effectively prevented from starting up an operation in Australia by a ban on visas for CEO appointments for businesses with annual turnover of less than $1 million.

Fortunately, the Government has listened to the concerns expressed in many submissions, including by Woodhams Relocation Centre, that these aspects of the changes worked against Australia’s interests by impeding these job-creating roles.

From 1 July, 2017 the ability of employers to sponsor senior roles has been re-introduced. Below we summarise the impact on certain job classifications. We have not attempted to look into all senior roles, and if you would like guidance on other roles, or any remaining restrictions that could impact your organisation, please contact us.

We will be closely monitoring this and providing further updates in due course.

Job classificationPre-April 2017
(Note 1)
April – June 2017From 1 July 2017
(Note 1)
Chief Executive – established business4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency2 year visa, plus one renewal. 4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency
Chief Executive – Multinational start-up (ie less than $1 million turnover)4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent ResidencyNo visa4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency
Chief Operating Officer 4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency2 year visa, plus one renewal. 4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency
General Manager - Finance4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency2 year visa, plus one renewal4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency
Corporate General Manager4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency2 year visa, plus one renewal.4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency
Chief Information Officer4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency2 year visa, plus one renewal.4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency
Engineering Director4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency4 year visa, renewable, and progression to Permanent Residency

Note 1: Subject to certain conditions that can affect particular appointment.

For more information or to discuss any visa matter please contact Sue Stinson [MARN 1383173 ] at susans@relocationcentre.com.au or call+ 61 2 9955 3300.