Working in Australia's offshore oil and gas industry

Under the Migration Act 1958 (the Act), non-citizens are required to hold an appropriate visa to participate in, or to support, an offshore resources activity.

From 31 August 2016, non-citizens working on vessels involved in offshore resources activities will have to meet the same visa requirements as non-citizens working on Australian resources installations.

Visas for people working on Australian resources installations

Non-citizens, other than permanent residents, intending to work on an Australian resources installation must hold either a Subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa or a Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa.

Arriving at Australian resources installations

Non-citizens intending to work on Australian offshore resources installations or supporting vessels need to ensure they have complied with immigration clearance requirements by meeting one of the following:

  1. be immigration cleared on the Australian mainland before travelling to the Australian resources installation, or
  2. non-citizens arriving to work on an Australian resources installations who have not already been immigration cleared, should report their intended entry to or on an Australian resources installation in writing by email to: ora@border.gov.au a minimum of seven days prior to arrival.

When reporting, the following information needs to be provided for each non-citizen:

  • full name, date of birth, country of birth and nationality and sex.  This information should exactly match the details of the person's passport biographical data page
  • passport details, including passport number, issue and expiry date and issuing authority
  • visa subclass held
  • project or employment start and end dates
  • project, vessel or ship name, and
  • a copy of each non-citizen's passport biographical data page.

For further general travel information is available at Individuals and Travellers.

Offshore resources activity

An 'offshore resources activity' is linked to two pieces of legislation – the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 and the Offshore Minerals Act 1994.

An operation or activity performed under either of these Acts is an ‘offshore resources activity’ (unless excluded by a determination made by the Minister).

Joint Petroleum Development Area

Non-citizens who intend to transit through Australia on their way to the Joint Petroleum Development Area in the Timor Sea, or to other offshore activities that fall outside the migration zone, should hold a Visitor visa (subclass 600), Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601) or eVisitor (subclass 651) to be immigration cleared. These visas do not allow the holder to work in Australia.

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