Immediate changes to visas for visiting academics (visa subclass 419) What you need to know Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) changes to 419 visas mean that international academic visitors coming to Australia for a period of three (3) months or more will now need to be sponsored by UNSW for their visa. This is a 3-step process: 1. UNSW issues visiting 2. UNSW sponsors visiting academic invitation & academic for 419 visa acceptance is received 4. Visiting academic applies for 419 visa What do the changes mean? Previously, the 419 visa was granted on presentation of a visiting academic invitation letter. Now UNSW is required to complete a detailed sponsorship application identifying the activities to be undertaken, the credentials of the visitor and their UNSW academic sponsor, evidence of the visitor’s overseas academic appointment, certified identification documents etc. Other changes include an additional cost ($140 per sponsorship; $260 for academic visitor) and a lengthy visa approval process (minimum 8 weeks). Visas are also limited to a maximum period of 12 months and sponsorship carries with it a number of legal obligations with which UNSW must comply. What alternatives are there? There are no alternatives if the time spent in Australia is three (3) months or more. If the academic visitor is able to confine their time in Australia to less than three months per visit, the following visa options may be suitable: • Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) – Short Validity (subclass 977) or Long Validity (subclass 956) - multiple entry for the life of the passport. • Business Short Stay subclass 456 (multiple visit) – For holders of non-ETA passports (e.g. China, India) • e-Visitor Please note that a tourist visa is not suitable and not recommended for visiting academics. Further information about visas is available from the Department of Immigration at: http://www.immi.gov.au Who should I talk to? Your faculty HR Consultant - preferably before discussion with a potential visiting academic and completion of the Visiting Academic Request form (HR20).
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