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My parents have just received their visa for their upcoming Australia trips. Among the terms, there's condition 8115:

Condition 8115 allows 'business visitor activities' such as general business or government enquiries or negotiations, and attendance at conferences and seminars, but does not allow for work.

To my reading, this means that you aren't allowed to do anything else, including:

  • Checking your work email, or replying
  • Connecting to your work network/VPN to download documents and work on them
  • Working on work files you've brought in your computers offline

Of course that sounds draconian and/or hard to impossible to enforce, but it could always come in handy as a good excuse to actually enjoy one's vacation time (and rather expensive trip).

Is that reading of condition 8115 correct?

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9  
By work they mean finding a job locally in Australia. –  MeNoTalk Jun 13 '13 at 11:39
    
I would suggest asking this question at –  andra Jun 13 '13 at 12:02
3  
@Andra you fell asleep at keyboard? :) –  Mark Mayo Jun 13 '13 at 12:41
    
@HaLaBi: not necessarily, for example if you'd travel as consultant to work with client on behalf of your company, you'd wouldn't find job locally in Australia, but you'd be still working in Australia. This is legal gray issue, AFAIK, generally not acted upon. Another similarly gray-zone example are mother-companies sending their representatives/auditors/etc to local subsidiaries. –  vartec Jun 13 '13 at 16:12
    
@HaLaBi: also seems that working remotely full-time for employer outside of Australia would be illegal too: "An applicant who wishes to continue to work online, basically full-time may be of concern in terms of the genuine visitor requirement and should be considered carefully." –  vartec Jun 13 '13 at 16:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 30 down vote accepted

This is a standard clause found on tourist visas for many countries.

What it basically means is you cannot legally seek employment within Australia or its territories or be employed by any entity in Australia and receive income from it.

So checking your work email or working offline or even online for their employer outside Australia doesn't violate the terms of their visa. But IMHO violates the term vacation.

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15  
+1 for "violates the term vacation"! –  RBerteig Jun 13 '13 at 18:41

When you're filing in eVisitor (subclass 651) visa, one of the questions is purpose of your stay. You have to choose between "Business" and "Tourist", if you mix both you should select "Business"

If you intend to conduct any business activities on your visit to Australia, select 'Business'. Business activities may include attending business related meetings, seminars, conventions, conferences or networking.

If you intend to visit Australia for holidays, tourism, recreation or to visit family or friends, select 'Tourism'. 'Tourism' may also include informal studies or training.

If the purpose of your visit is a combination of business and tourism as defined above, select 'Business'. (source)

In case of physical paper application that's Form 1419 vs Form 1415.

I'm assuming that you've selected "Tourist", thus rule 8115 doesn't apply to you. You aren't allowed to do even the things mentioned there. What applies to you is:

Visa condition 8101

You must NOT work in Australia.

However, I've found this on UK Expats forum, not sure if of the source of the quote, but it covers exactly the case you're asking about (emphasis mine):

Tourist visa applicants wishing to work online (for example, wanting to check emails online) should be considered on a case by case basis. If the applicant is holidaying in Australia for a short period, and just wishes to keep on top of work back home (that is, the online work is incidental to their trip), this is not of concern in terms of condition 8101. An applicant who wishes to continue to work online, basically full-time may be of concern in terms of the genuine visitor requirement and should be considered carefully.

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2  
The email they received did not mention Visa condition 8101, or I would've asked about that one. –  badp Jun 13 '13 at 18:49
    
@badp: In that case you should mention in the question, that they've got business visas, not tourist ones. –  vartec Jun 13 '13 at 20:33
1  
the mail subject clearly mentions it's a tourist visa. –  badp Jun 13 '13 at 21:42

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