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AUSTRALIA: New visas became available as of November 24, 2012.

The New Visa Subclasses:

Subclass 401 (Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) Visa) has replaced the Exchange visa (Subclass 411), the Sport visa (Subclass 421), and the Religious Work visa (Subclass 428) with a single Long Stay Activity sponsorship. The previous subclasses became categories under the Long Stay Activity Visa for which an applicant can apply.

Subclass 402 (Training and Research Visa) has replaced the Visiting Academic visa (Subclass 419), the Occupational Trainee visa (Subclass 442), and the Professional Development visa (Subclass 470) with a single Training and Research sponsorship. The previous subclasses became categories under the Training and Research Visa for which an applicant can apply.

Subclass 403 (Temporary Work (International Relations) Visa) has replaced the Government Agreement visa (Subclass 406), the Foreign Government Agency visa (Subclass 415), the Domestic Worker – Diplomatic or Consular visa (Subclass 426), and the Privileges and Immunities provisions previously in the (Subclass 456 and 457) visas with a single subclass to cover applicants undertaking work related to Australia's international relations. The previous subclasses and provisions became categories under the International Relations Visa for which an applicant can apply. No sponsorship is required.

Significant Investor Visa

The Significant Investor Visa is part of the Australian government's business innovation and investment program and is designed to boost the local economy by increasing the collection of funds managed locally and promoting growth in areas such as finance and real estate from foreign investors. This visa initiative, listed under Subclasses 188 and 888, began on November 24, 2012.

To be eligible for this visa, an investor must submit an Expression of Interest in Skill Select, receive a nomination from a state government, and make investments, held either personally or with a partner, of at least $5,000,000 (AUD) in complying investments.

Complying investments include government bonds, Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)-regulated managed funds with a mandate for investing in Australia, or direct investments in private Australian companies.

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