CPTPP outcomes: Temporary entry of business persons

Reciprocal CPTPP commitments on temporary entry of skilled business persons support the ability of Australian businesses to move skilled personnel for short-term periods to advance their commercial interests. The ability for business persons to move across borders is an integral feature of modern value chains.

Australian citizens and permanent residents who are business persons seeking temporary entry into a CPTPP country under the following categories will benefit from enhanced certainty on entry and length of stay:

  • Intra-corporate transferees;
  • Contractual service suppliers, including professionals and technicians;
  • Investors and independent executives;
  • Installers and servicers of machinery and equipment; and
  • Short-term business visitors.

Australia’s temporary entry commitments are limited to business persons from those CPTPP countries that provide similar access for Australian business persons in equivalent categories.

Australia’s commitments for intra-corporate transferees, contractual service suppliers and independent executives are implemented through the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa programme,[1] which allows skilled workers to come to Australia and work for an approved business. In accordance with the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa programme, businesses still need to sponsor skilled foreign workers, meet market salary rates and offer employment conditions as required under Australia workplace law, and equivalent to those accorded to Australian workers performing similar duties. Under TSS, skilled foreign workers are required to meet minimum qualification requirements, including any relevant skills testing and existing professional licensing requirements at the Federal, State and Territory Government level.

Australia’s commitments on installers and servicers and short-term business visitors will be implemented through the subclass 400 and 600 visas respectively.

Key outcomes

Intra-corporate transferees

Australian intra-corporate transferees, being those business persons seeking to work in an overseas branch or subsidiary of their company, will benefit from guaranteed initial lengths of stay in CPTPP countries of between one and five years, without being subject to quotas or economic needs tests such as labour market testing. Commitments offered by other CPTPP countries include:

  • Canada has provided a guaranteed work permit or work authorisation with a waiver from labour market testing;
  • Malaysia has agreed not to include a condition in the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) that restricts Malaysia’s commitments to three specialists or experts per organisation;
  • Japan has provided for a greater length of stay, of up to five years (extendable), an outcome that goes beyond our bilateral free trade agreement (JAEPA);
  • Brunei Darussalam has agreed to commitments across all sectors, which improve on its commitments under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA); and
  • Vietnam has waived the requirement obtain a work permit, for intra-corporate transferees working in a broad range of service sectors.

For CPTPP countries providing access for Australian intra-corporate transferees, suitably-qualified intra-corporate transferees from CPTPP countries are able to stay in Australia initially:

  • For up to four years if they are executives and senior managers; and
  • Up to two years if they are specialists.

Contractual service suppliers, including independent professionals and technicians

Australian business persons who possess specialist trade, professional and technical knowledge and who have a contract to deliver services will benefit from guaranteed initial lengths of stay in CPTPP countries of between three months to five years without being subject to quotas or economic needs tests. Commitments include:

  • Brunei Darussalam offering 2 years guaranteed stay for Australian contractual services suppliers working in the oil and gas sector;
  • Canada providing a guaranteed work permit or work authorisation with a waiver from labour market testing in a range of key professional and technical occupations;
  • Malaysia offering commitments on professional services, education and financial services as well as the removal of organisation-specific quotas. These commitments are an improvement on Malaysia’s commitments under MAFTA;
  • Vietnam has guaranteed a longer period of stay in a broader range of sectors, including the construction, engineering, environmental, legal, accounting, taxation and auditing, services incidental to mining, oil and gas and sporting services sectors. These commitments are an improvement on Vietnam’s commitments under AANZFTA;
  • Mexico has made commitments on all professionals and on key technical occupations of interest; and
  • Japan has made commitments relating to teaching and research positions at universities and technology colleges. These commitments are an improvement on Japan’s commitments under JAEPA.

For CPTPP countries providing access for Australian contractual service suppliers, Australia will provide contractual service suppliers from CPTPP countries the ability to stay for an initial period of up to 12 months.

Investors and independent executives

Australian investors and independent executives will benefit from guaranteed lengths of initial stay in CPTPP countries of between three months to five years without being subject to quotas or economic needs tests. Commitments include:

  • Canada providing a guaranteed work permit or work authorisation with a waiver from labour market testing; and
  • Japan and Malaysia offering commitments on length of stay that are an improvement on their commitments under our respective bilateral FTAs.

For CPTPP countries that have offered access for Australian investors and independent executives for a total stay of at least one year, Australia will provide investors and independent executives of CPTPP countries the ability to stay for up to two years.

Installers and servicers (after-sales, after-lease services)

Australians providing services relating to installation and servicing of machinery or equipment will benefit from the following temporary entry commitments offered by other CPTPP countries:

  • Guaranteed lengths of stay for up to three months in Brunei Darussalam (extendable for up to 12 months), Chile, New Zealand, Peru (renewable for one year); and
  • Guaranteed lengths of stay for up to six months in Canada (with the possibility of extensions), Malaysia and Mexico.

Commitments relevant to Australia would allow, consistent with Australia’s existing immigration framework, CPTPP countries’ installers and servicers of machinery and equipment pursuant to a warranty or contract to stay for up to three months.

Short-term business visitors

Australian business persons who wish to stay in a CPTPP country for a short period of time to pursue business opportunities, including to attend a conference, trade fair or meetings, explore investment opportunities or engage in negotiations, will benefit from greater certainty on length of stay:

  • For up to three months in Chile (extendable), Japan (extendable), Malaysia and Singapore;
  • For up to six months in Canada (extendable), Mexico, Peru and Vietnam; and
  • For up to 12 months in Brunei Darussalam.

For CPTPP countries offering access for Australian short-term business visitors, Australia has made commitments for business visitors and service sellers from CPTPP countries:

  • To stay for up to three months, if they are business visitors; and
  • To stay for an initial period of up to six months and up to a maximum of 12 months, if they are service sellers.

Spouses and dependants

Some CPTPP countries have made commitments enabling spouses and dependants of Australian intra-corporate transferees, contractual service suppliers and investors to enjoy greater certainty in relation to entry and the ability to work, including the following:

  • Entry and work rights in Canada, Mexico and Brunei Darussalam; and
  • Entry rights in Chile (with the ability to transition to a work visa without leaving Chile), Japan, Malaysia (for intra-corporate transferees) and Peru (for intra-corporate transferees and investors).

The periods of stay offered to a spouse and dependants are equivalent to the length of stay of the business person.

Australia extended entry and work rights to spouses and dependants of business persons from those CPTPP countries which have made commitments relevant to spouses and dependents of Australian business persons.

Table 1: Guaranteed length of stay for Australian Business Persons in CPTPP countries

CPTPP country

Intra-corporate transferees

Contractual service suppliers

Investors

# Under existing bilateral arrangements with Singapore under the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (amended in 2017).

Brunei Darussalam

3 years, extendable for up to 5 years in total

For oil, gas and resources sector: 2 years

For all other sectors: 1 year

Up to 1 year

Canada

3 years, extendable

1 year, extendable

1 year, extendable

Chile

1 year, extendable

1 year, extendable

1 year, extendable

Japan

5 years, extendable

5 years, extendable

5 years, extendable

Malaysia

For senior managers: 2 years, extendable to total of 10 years

For specialists and experts: 2 years, extendable to total of 5 years

1 year

Up to 90 days

Mexico

1 year, extendable for up to 4 years

1 year, extendable to total of 4 years

1 year, extendable to total of 4 years

New Zealand

Existing preferential access under Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Trade Relations Agreement (ANZCERTA)

Peru

1 year, extendable[2]

For independent technicians: 1 year, extendable

For contractual service suppliers: 90 days, renewable to up to 1 year

1 year, extendable

Singapore

2 years, extendable for up to total of 15 years#

2 years, extendable#

2 years#

Vietnam

3 years, extendable

6 months

1 year

[1] This replaced the 457 visa programme in March 2018.

[2] Provided foreign nationals comprise not more than 20 per cent of employees in enterprise in Peru.

Fact sheet last update: January 2019

Last Updated: 5 February 2019