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A Guide to the Temporary Work (subclass 400) Visa | Short Term Specialised Australian Work | Immigration Lawyers

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Short Term Work in Australia – A Guide to the Temporary Work (subclass 400) Visa

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) manages the application and approval process for the Temporary Work – Short Stay Activity (subclass 400) visa. This visa allows applicants to be approved a visa to undertake short-term, non-ongoing and highly specialised work in Australia for a period of up to 6 months.

It is important to note that if someone is coming to Australia for a short period to undertake work, they cannot work on a business visitor visa. Working on a business visitor/tourist visa is a serious offence and penalties apply to visa holders and businesses employing these visa holders.

A sponsorship by a business is not required for this visa subclass.

For employees undertaking paid work:

Short Term Work up to 6 Months – Temporary Work (subclass 400) Visa is appropriate

Longer Term Work more than 6 Months – The Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) Visa should be considered


The Temporary Work (subclass 400) visa has three streams available to applicants:

Highly Specialised Work Stream – Highly specialised work that is of a short term nature (under 6 months) and not ongoing

This is the most common stream for employees applying for a visa to work in Australia for a short period. This stream enables applicants to apply for the visa if they hold highly specialised skills, knowledge or experience that can assist Australian businesses. It must be demonstrated that these skills cannot be reasonably found in the Australian labour market.

In most cases this visa is only provided for a period of up to 3 months however a longer stay of up to 6 months can be granted if the applicant can demonstrate that they are required for more than 3 months and a business case is provided.

The non-ongoing nature of the role is a critical criteria that must be met for this visa to be granted. A non-ongoing position is one that is generally considered to not continue for longer than 6 months. Examples such as once-off projects, installation of specialised equipment, and high-level consulting for a specific project can be considered non-ongoing.

The highly specialised aspect of the visa criteria relates to skills that are generally not readily available in the Australian labour market. Applicants such as Managers, Professionals, Technicians and Trade Workers are generally the most common occupations for this visa class.

It is important to note that entertainment industry workers are excluded from this stream and should consider the if the Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa is appropriate.

Invited Participant Stream – To participate in one or more cultural or social event(s) at the invitation of an Australian organisation; and

Australia’s Interest Stream – This is a discretionary stream that allows a visa to be granted to an individual if it would be in the interest of Australia.

This stream is only available to applicants in very limited circumstances and is predominately used for people who can assist Australia by providing emergency or disaster relief, people who can contribute a significant benefit to Australia’s business, economic, cultural or other development or people who have been supported by a foreign government.

More information

Ethos Migration Lawyers assists a wide range of employers and individual applicants utilise the Temporary Work (subclass 400) visa and can provide specific advice on the options available.

If you are considering bringing specialised employees from overseas for your business or are an applicant considering applying for this visa please feel free to contact us for expert advice on the most appropriate pathway moving forward.

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