In the past, TAFTA (The Australian Forum for Textile Arts Ltd) has provided sample documents and background information for people and organisations wanting to know more about Australian VISA regulations affecting International Textile Tutors.
As TAFTA has now de-registered as a company, this service is no longer provided. Martien van Zuilen, a former Director of TAFTA, assisted in compiling the following information, relevant from the start of 2017.
TIMELINE: Work VISA applications must be taken seriously. Study the website information carefully to determine when the application process can commence – and do not leave it too late. Past experience suggests that if applications are done with care and all requested information is uploaded at the time of applying, a Visa can be approved within 2-5 days.
The relevant government website is www.border.gov.au (Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Once on the website homepage one clicks on ‘Visa’, which will take you to http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1
Under ‘What type of Visa are you looking for‘, click on ‘Work’. Then, fill in, when asked: country of passport, age, length of stay (answer temporarily), sponsored or nominated (choose ‘No – I don’t have someone to sponsor or nominate me (independent)’)
Click on ‘Show available visas’, and choose Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400), which will bring you to the #400 page and from there the application itself.
Early in 2017 the application process became more complex and expensive but it can still be managed. The current fee for this visa is AUD$275 (with a credit card/paypal surcharge it comes to about $277.70AUD)
For the visa application, you are advised to have the following prepared and at hand:
(1) Letter(s) of Invitation in PDF format. Each venue must list an ABN number AND a street address as tutors will be asked for it (a P.O. Box will not suffice as a primary address although it may be given as a second address). (NOTE: if a hiring organisation does not have an ABN, it must find another organisation to undertake the hiring on its behalf).
(2) Copy of passport & birth certificate, again in PDF format.
(3) Evidence of health insurance and travel insurance (in PDF format)
(4) Some form of evidence of self-employment registration and ‘proof that you are a professional artist’ (a tax consultant and/or bank may be able to help with this and it must be provided in English, or as a certified translation into English if initially provided in another language). Scanning relevant documents can work and their contents, if not fully translated, can be confirmed as authentic, in English. It is also possible to cite material from a website that explains one’s professional status.