Australian Visa Status and Tax Residence
It is important to keep in mind that your Australian visa status does not necessarily or automatically determine your income tax status.
The holder of a temporary resident visa may be a resident for tax purposes, depending on the circumstances. There are specific rules which treat temporary tax residents as non-residents for some purposes, including Capital Gains Tax. The holder of a permanent resident visa may or may not, in a particular tax year, be a tax resident.
Residency for tax purposes (and access to the tax concessions which tax residents enjoy – such as the tax-free threshhold) is determined upon a set of arbitrary rules, which may be overridden by circumstantial evidence, of which immigration or visa status is but one factor. A brief explanation of the residency rules with links to Tax Office rulings is here.
Electronic visas are now the norm..
Visa evidence is maintained by the immigration authorities in electronic form, with physical visa labels no longer automatically stuck in passports as they once were. Australian Government authorities no longer require a visa holder to have a physical visa label.
To provide evidence of visa status, internet access is provided to visa holders, government authorities and employers (with your permission) which can be used to check on the visa class or subclass should there be a need to do so, or to confirm your entitlement to work. The Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) is free.
Visa labels are still available on request (and payment)
Notwithstanding that, if a visa holder wishes to obtain a visa label to put in their passport for any reason, there is an application form and fee ($A70 at the time of writing – with exemptions for humanitarian, diplomatic and government sponsored visa applicants) Form 1405 Visa label request and payment can be obtained here.
This page was last edited on 13 January 2014