Immigration Reforms Agreed Between Australia and China

Chinese Dragon

Chinese Dragon

These immigration reforms are part of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement. These reforms include:

  • Extending the Work and Holiday program between both countries to include Chinese nationals. It currently allows up to 5000 visas per year;
  • Intra-corporate transfers for Chinese people for up to 4 years;
  • Business visitors from China will be allowed to stay in Australia for 90 days if they are service providers;
  • 1800 visas for Chinese service providers, such as Chinese medical practitioners, chefs and language coaches. The visas will be for up to 4 years;
  • If the visa holder is granted a visa for more than one year, his/her spouse and children will be eligible to apply for a visa.

Some people in Australia, especially trade unions are concerned about the number of Chinese nationals willing to migrate to Australia after those immigration changes. They are also concerned about new rules for infrastructure projects which allow Chinese companies to bring in their own employees and workforce, which might have an impact on the Australian labour market.

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But Prime Minister Tony Abbot assured Australians that this agreement will benefit them as well. He said: “These agreements are not just about trade, they’re also about services, and there are tremendous opportunities for Australian law firms, accounting firms, educational providers and others to make more of this great market and, likewise, there are opportunities for Chinese people in Australia.”

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