Visa Summary

The Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400) is a temporary visa that lets you enter Australia to:

  • do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work
  • in limited circumstances, participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests.

You must first arrive in Australia within six months of the date the visa is granted, or within a shorter time-frame if granted.

Generally you can stay in Australia for up to three months where required, but depending on your work or activity a longer period of up to six months might be allowed in limited circumstances. Your stay period begins on the day you first enter Australia. If your visa has been granted with multiple entries, you can travel to and from Australia during the stay period granted.

When you receive your visa, you are issued with a visa grant notification letter that explains the conditions of your visa, including the stay period and entry requirements.

You must be outside Australia when you apply for this visa and when your application is decided.

When lodging your subclass 400 visa application, you will need to allow time for the application to be processed, taking into account the date you are intending to travel to Australia. We may take up to one month to assess the application (sometimes longer if health or character checks are required) or within a shorter timeframe if all the required evidence is provided.  It is generally not recommended that you lodge a subclass 400 application more than six months before your intended travel date, as you must first arrive in Australia within six months of the date the visa is granted, or within a shorter time-frame if granted.

How does this visa work?

This visa lets you:

  • stay in Australia while your visa is valid (generally up to three months, but up to six months may be allowed in limited circumstances)
  • do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work for which you were granted the visa
  • in limited circumstances, participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests
  • bring members of your family with you to Australia, if they meet the requirements for including family members in your application. Your family members will not be allowed to work in Australia
  • If you are granted a single entry visa, you will only be allowed to enter Australia once. If so, you will need to apply for a new visa if you want to return to Australia after you leave.
  • If you are granted a multiple entry visa, you will be able to travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid. If you need to make a number of return visits during your period of stay you should tell us in the visa application form, including the reason why you need to make the return visits to Australia. 
  • Your stay period begins on the day you first enter Australia. Re-entering Australia does not start a new period of stay.

We will notify you of the period of time you have to first enter Australia and your total period of stay allowed in your visa grant letter.

 

Visa Application Process

You and anyone included in your visa application must be outside Australia when the application is lodged and when it is decided.

When lodging your visa application, you will need to allow time for the application to be processed, taking into account the date you are intending to travel to Australia.  We might take up to one month for the application to be assessed (sometimes longer if health or character checks are required) or within a shorter timeframe if all the required evidence is provided.

It is generally not recommended that you lodge a subclass 400 application more than six months before your intended travel date, as you must arrive in Australia within six months or less from the date the visa is granted, otherwise you will need to re-apply.

 

Visa Requirements

You can apply for this visa if you want to enter Australia to:

  • do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work
  • in limited circumstances, participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests.

To apply, you must be able to show that:

  • the work or activity you want to do is short term and non-ongoing
  • you need to be in Australia to do the work or activity
  • you have personal attributes or an employment background relevant to the work or activity
  • you have enough money to support yourself and your accompanying family members while you are in Australia
  • where applicable, you have the support of the organisation for which you will be working or which invited you to Australia
  • you meet health and character requirements.

 

Limitations on your work or activity

Your work or activity must be non-ongoing. This means that you can finish it in six months or less. Do not make arrangements to stay in Australia any longer than that. You also should not agree to being rotated through a position on a short-term basis as one of a number of overseas workers. Instead, you need to consider a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) if the position is ongoing, even if your contract is for less than six months.

You usually cannot work in the entertainment industry on this visa. There is more information in Working in the entertainment industry.

Your work or activity cannot have an adverse impact on the employment, training opportunities or conditions of employment in Australia.

Course of study

As a highly specialised worker, you cannot study for any course that either:

  • leads to finishing a primary or secondary education programme
  • 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 programme.

Note: This study restriction does not apply to applicants granted the visa in Australia’s interest or to family members of a primary visa holder granted in the Australia’s Interest stream.

Workplace-based training

Generally, you cannot undertake training on this visa. You might be eligible for theTraining visa (subclass 407) if you want to do workplace-based training.

Working in the entertainment industry

This visa does not allow a person 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).

You might consider applying for the Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) if you want to come to Australia to do these activities.

You can apply for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400) to:

  • direct, produce or have any other role in a production that will not be shown in Australia (you 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.

Financial requirements

While you are in Australia, you must be able to support yourself and your family members who come with you to Australia. You might be asked to provide evidence of funds, such as an employment contract, bank statements or a letter from your financial institution stating your financial position. Allowances, accommodation and other assistance from your employer can also be considered when looking at your ability to support yourself.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. The health examinations you need will depend on your personal circumstances, including your period of stay, country of citizenship, time spent in another country during the last five years and your intended activities in Australia. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months.

Health insurance

You are responsible for all your health costs in Australia. You will not be covered by Australia's national health scheme (Medicare) while you hold this visa unless your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

We recommend that you take out health insurance each time you travel to Australia.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

This also applies to all members of your family unit in your application who are 16 years of age or older.

Debts to the Australian Government

You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted.

This also applies to all dependent family members in your application who are 18 years of age or older.

Provide Biometrics

You might be asked to provide biometrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of the application. Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program has more information.