The Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400) is for people who want to travel to Australia to:
- do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work
- participate in non-ongoing cultural or social activities at the invitation of an Australian organisation, or
- in limited circumstances, participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests.
Generally, the stay period allowed is up to three months but up to six months may be considered in limited circumstances if supported by a strong business case.
An individual might be eligible for this visa if they are outside Australia and they:
- have specialized skills, knowledge or experience that can assist Australian business
- have been invited to participate in an event by an organisation in Australia, or
- are required in Australia for exceptional circumstances of national importance, such as to assist following a natural disaster.
To apply, the individual must be able to show that:
- they need to be in Australia to do the work or participate in the activity
- they have personal attributes or an employment background relevant to the work or activity
- they have enough money to support themselves and their accompanying family members while they are in Australia
- they have the support of the organisation for which they will be working or which invited them to Australia
- they will not study a course in Australia that leads to a formal qualification
- they meet health and character requirements.
The individual must be outside Australia when they apply for this visa and when their application is decided.
They must arrive in Australia within six months of the date the visa is granted.
When lodging for this visa application, an individual will need to allow time for the application to be processed, taking into account the date they are intending to travel to Australia. It may take up to one month for the application to be assessed (sometimes longer if health or character checks are required) or within a shorter time frame if all the required evidence is provided.
It is recommended that the individual allows themselves enough time to lodge their application ahead of their intended travel dates. However, it is generally not recommended that they lodge application for this visa more than six months before their intended travel date, as they must arrive in Australia within six months from the date the visa is granted, otherwise they will need to re-apply.
What does this visa allow for:
This visa grants permission to-
- stay in Australia while the visa is valid (generally up to three months, but may allow up to six months in limited circumstances)
- bring the individuals family with them to Australia if they included them in their visa application
- do the work or activity for which they were granted the visa, which will usually be either:
- short-term, highly specialized, non-ongoing work
- participation in non-ongoing cultural or social activities at the invitation of an Australian organisation.
- The individual might be allowed to enter only once. If so, they will need to apply for a new visa if they want to return to Australia again after they leave.
- Alternatively, they might be able to travel to and from Australia as many times as they want while their visa is valid. If they need to make a number of return visits during the stay period they must mention it in the visa application form, including the reason why they need to make the return visits to Australia.
- Their visa will only be valid during the period of stay that they have been granted, and this will commence from the date of their first entry into Australia. Re-entering Australia does not start a new period of stay.
Limitations on work or other activity:
The individuals work or activity must be non-ongoing. This means that they can finish it in six months or less. They should not make arrangements to stay in Australia any longer than that. They also should not agree to being rotated through a position on a short-term basis as one of a number of overseas workers. Instead, they need to consider a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa if the position is ongoing, even if their contract is for less than six months.
They usually cannot work in the entertainment industry on this visa.
Their work or activity cannot have an adverse impact on the employment, training opportunities or conditions of employment in Australia.
While they are in Australia, they must be able to support themselves and their family members who come with them to Australia. They might be asked to provide evidence of funds, such as an employment contract, bank statements or a letter from their financial institution stating their financial position. Allowances, accommodation and other assistance from their employer can also be considered when looking at their ability to support them self.
Course of study:
The individual cannot study for any course that either:
- leads to finishing a primary or secondary education program
- leads to a degree, diploma, trade certificate or other formal award
- could be credited towards or accepted as a prerequisite for a course of studies at a higher educational institution in or outside Australia. The only exception is a language training program.
Generally, an individual cannot undertake training on this visa. They can apply for the Training and Research visa if they want to do workplace-based training.
Working in the entertainment industry:
They should not apply for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa to:
- perform as an entertainer in Australia or support an entertainer or group of entertainers performing in Australia
- direct, produce or take any other part in a production that will be shown, broadcast or performed in Australia (including theatre, film, television, radio, concert or a recording).
An individual can apply for the Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa if they want to come to Australia to do these activities.
They can apply for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa to:
- direct, produce or have any other role in a production that will not be shown in Australia (they will need to provide a distribution contract or other evidence to support this)
- come to Australia for a promotional activity, for example:
- an actor visiting Australia for a red carpet premiere
- a rock band in Australia for a promotional tour but no performances.
In addition to the above-mentioned conditions, there are other factors and criteria to be taken into consideration.