What does the Free Trade Agreement mean for Australian Immigration?

China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

China and Australia signed a free trade agreement which is also known as the (ChAFTA) which is planned to come into effect on 1 January 2016. This agreement has increased the benefit for Chinese investors considering investing in Australia.

Chinese Investment in Australia

In recent years Australia has seen a massive growth of Chinese investment in Australia and it is continuing to see this growth reaching almost $65 billion in 2014 from just $2 billion 10 years ago. The ChAFTA will increase the threshold for investments of $252 million to $1,094 million however this will also promote further growth as the free trade agreement will relax the the screening threshold for Chinese investors looking to invest in ‘complying assetts’.

Investment Facilitation Arrangement

The most significant changes that the free trade agreement will introduce is the introduction of foreign labour for projects which are substantially backed by Chinese companies whom expect to spend over $150 million. In other words, we may see a surge in the number of 457 visa applications in Australia for Chinese based projects.

Work and Holiday Arrangement with China

The Australian Government has confirmed and will introduce a work and holiday arrangement with China, similar to the existing Working Holiday (subclass 417) that is already in place. The Australian government has agreed to grant 5000 work and holiday makers to reside in Australia for up to 12 months, work for up to 12 months and study for 4 months if they choose to.

There will be a number of requirements associated with this visa as follows:

  • Applicants must hold a Chinese passport;
  • Must be over 18, but under 31;
  • Must not include any dependent children in their application
  • Be able to supply evidence of having enough funds to support the working holiday;
  • Must not have previously arrived in Australia as a holder of a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417);
  • Must hold tertiary qualifications, or have successfully completed at least two years of undergraduate study at a recognized university;
  • Have function English
  • Meet the character and health requirements
  • Be able to prove that they are arriving to Australia as a genuine visitor and intend to prior to their visa expiring.

 

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