Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with China… what does it mean? And what does it allow? We take a look.

The Free Trade Agreement is not instant

Putting the agreement in place takes some time. This is because it relies on a number treaty-making processes, which are not immediate.

Australia guarantees access to some Chinese citizens

Chinese citizens that fit any of the following categories are guaranteed access to Australia.

They are:

  • Intra-corporate transferees and independent executives. You can stay in Australia for up to four years. This category includes executives, managers and specialists.
  • Contractual service suppliers. You can stay in Australia for up to four years. This includes guaranteed access for up to a combined total of 1,800 people per year in four occupations: Chinese chefs, WuShu martial arts coaches, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and Mandarin language tutors. These people still have to meet standard immigration requirements.
  • Installers and servicers. You can stay in Australia for up to 3 months.
  • Business visitors. You can stay in Australia for up to 90 days, or 6 months if you are a business visitor who is a service sellers.

Dependents and spouses can also enter Australia

If you are a spouse or dependent of a Chinese citizen who has been granted entry to Australia for longer than a year, you can also come to Australia.

Application processing is faster

Both countries – China and Australia – will process immigration applications more quickly for each other’s citizens.

Each country has also agreed to:

  • give you timely information on the progress of your visa application
  • be transparent about procedures and requirements relating to the movement each other’s citizens.

Streamlined licensing and skills assessments

So that workers associated with trade and investment can move between countries more easily, both China and Australia will cooperate on skills recognition.

This will involve better recognition of skills and licenses. And it will also involve the streamlining of relevant licensing procedures. Improving access to skills assessments is also part of this work.

China to be included in Work and Holiday Arrangements

Australia and China have also agreed to a Work and Holiday Arrangement. Australia will grant visas for up to 5,000 Chinese workers and tourists annually.

3. Investment Facilitation Arrangements

Chinese-owned companies registered in Australia will be able to negotiate increased labour flexibilities for specific projects, if they are doing large infrastructure development projects worth more than $150 million. This will be done on a case-by-case basis under arrangements similar to the former Enterprise Migration Agreements.

These arrangements will operate within the framework of Australia’s existing 457 visa system. This means that Australian employment laws, wages and conditions will be upheld.

Additionally, the nationalities of eligible overseas workers under this arrangement will be non-discriminatory.

For more information about how this Free Trade Agreement may affect your company, contact us today >>.

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