Australian Government Visa category changes affecting foreign football players in the A-League

The Australian Government recently closed the specific sporting visa category from its immigration program which was previously utilised by all A-League clubs to bring new foreign players signings into the A-League. Known as the Sport visa (subclass 421), this visa has been phased out and closed to any new applications by A-League clubs. 

This sport visa category was intended for professional sportspeople, judges and adjudicators who want to come to Australia to participate in their field of sport.[1] A new temporary visa category has replaced the Sport visa, namely the temporary activity visa (subclass 408) which is now the visa required for foreign players to be employed in the Australian A-League.

The information required to submit to Australian Immigration authorities to obtain the temporary activity visa (subclass 408) is considerable and there have been major delays in obtaining this visa unlike the sport visa which had a quick processing time. Subsequently, the change in visa category has caused two significant issues, firstly for A-League clubs namely processing times and for foreign players themselves who may aspire to obtain Australian citizenship which requires 5 years of residence in...

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