Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400)

Features

This visa is for people who want to travel to Australia for up to three months to either:

  • do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work
  • participate in non-ongoing cultural or social activities at the invitation of an Australian organisation
  • in limited circumstances, participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests. ​

Requirements

You might be eligible for this visa if you are outside Australia and you either:

  • have specialised skills, knowledge or experience that can assist Australian business
  • have been invited to participate in an event by an organisation in Australia
  • are required in Australia for exceptional circumstances of national importance, such as to assist following a natural disaster.

About this visa

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

  • do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work
  • participate in an event or events on a non-ongoing basis at the invitation of an Australian organisation.
  • in limited circumstances, participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests.

You can stay in Australia for up to three months where required.

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

You must arrive in Australia within three months of the date the visa is granted.

When lodging your subclass 400 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 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 recommended that you allow yourself enough time to lodge your application ahead of your intended travel dates.  However, it is generally not recommended that you lodge a subclass 400 application more than three months before your intended travel date, as you must arrive in Australia within three months from the date the visa is granted, otherwise you will need to re-apply.

What this visa lets you do

This visa lets you:

  • stay in Australia while your visa is valid (up to three months, depending on the purpose of your stay)
  • bring your family with you to Australia if you included them in your visa application
  • do the work or activity for which you were granted the visa, which will usually be either:
    • short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work
    • participation in non-ongoing cultural or social activities at the invitation of an Australian organisation.

We will tell you how many times you can enter Australia on this visa:

  • you might be allowed to enter only once. If so, you will need to apply for a new visa if you want to return to Australia again after you leave
  • alternatively you might be able to travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid. Your visa will only be valid during the period of stay that you have been granted, and this will commence from the date of your first entry into Australia. Re-entering Australia does not start a new period of stay.

Before you apply

This visa has replaced the work entitlements on the following visas:

If you already hold one of these visas, it will still be valid until the expiry date you were given when it was granted.

Your passport

Generally, you and your family members must have valid passports to be granted this visa.

Cost

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

You might not need to pay this application charge if you are:

  • entered in a sporting event as an amateur participant
  • helping an amateur sports participant or amateur team entered in a sporting event
  • coming to Australia to act as a representative of a foreign government
  • listed in a legislative instrument (your inviting organisation will tell you if this applies to you).

Other costs

You could have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments and police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

Visa applicants

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400).

Who could get this visa

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

  • do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work
  • participate in a cultural or social event at the invitation of an organisation in Australia
  • 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 you want to do or your participation in the event is short term and non-ongoing
  • you need to be in Australia to do the work or participate in the 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
  • you have the support of the organisation for which you will be working or which invited you to Australia
  • you will not study a course in Australia that leads to a formal qualification
  • you meet health and character requirements.

Limitations on your work or other activity

Your work or activity must be non-ongoing. This means that you can finish it in three 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, apply for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) if the position is ongoing, even if your contract is for less than three 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.

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.

Course of study

You 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.

You can apply for the Training and Research visa (subclass 402) if you want to do workplace-based training.

Working in the entertainment industry

You should not apply for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400) 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 can apply for the Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa (subclass 420) if you want to come to Australia to do these activities.

You can apply for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) 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.

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 dependent family members 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.

Highly specialised work

You can apply for this visa to do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work in Australia if you have specialised skills, knowledge or experience that both:

  • can assist Australian business
  • cannot reasonably be found in the Australian labour market.

Highly specialised work is usually work that either:

Invited participants

You can apply for this visa if you have been invited by an organisation to participate in an event or events on a non-ongoing basis.

The inviting organisation must be both:

  • operating lawfully in Australia
  • directly responsible for the event or have a formal role in preparing for or conducting it.

You cannot accept any salary, wages or other remuneration for participating in the event, other than:

  • appearance fees
  • prize money
  • reimbursement for your reasonable expenses of doing the activity
  • payments from your non-Australian employer.

You can apply for this visa if you are, for example, a sportsperson participating in specific events or touring as part of a sports team, a public lecturer, an artist, an author or a photographer.

Emergency workers and other exceptional circumstances

In very limited circumstances, this visa may be granted because to do so is in Australia’s interest. In these cases, the department needs to be satisfied that the activity identified in the visa application is of national significance.

For example, this visa could be granted to emergency workers to come to Australia after a natural disaster.

Including family in your application

You can include the following people in your visa application:

  • your partner (married or de facto)
  • your or your partner’s dependent children
  • other dependent relatives.

These family members must meet the requirements for including family members in your application. They must provide evidence of their relationship to you. This could include marriage certificates, birth certificates, joint bank accounts and other relevant documents.

Your family members must also be able to show that they meet Australia’s health and character requirements.

They must also have enough money to support themselves while they are in Australia.

Each family member you want to bring with you must be included in your application for this visa. Your family members will need to lodge their own application for this or another visa if:

  • you do not include them in your application form for this visa or
  • they want to work in Australia or
  • they want to study towards a formal qualification in Australia (except a language training program).

How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400). You and anyone included in your application must be outside Australia when the application is lodged and when the visa is granted.

You must arrive in Australia within three months of the date your visa is granted.

When lodging your subclass 400 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 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 recommended that you allow yourself enough time to lodge your application ahead of your intended travel dates.  However, it is generally not recommended that you lodge a subclass 400 application more than three months before your intended travel date, as you must arrive in Australia within three months from the date the visa is granted, otherwise you will need to re-apply.

Prepare your documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the document checklist.

Some of the documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge your application to reduce any delays in processing.

Lodge your application

Apply online: Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to apply online for this visa.

Apply by post or in person: Complete the following form:

  • Form 1400: Application for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa.

Passport holders who are citizens of the countries in the list below are eligible to submit an online application for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400):

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Argentina
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong (SAR of China)
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau (SAR of China)
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Monaco
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom - British Citizen
  • United Kingdom - British National (Overseas)
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City

You must provide all relevant documents and pay the visa application charge when you apply.

Contact one of the immigration offices outside Australia, for information about:

  • where and how to lodge your application and supporting documents
  • hours of operation for counter and telephone services
  • how to pay the visa application charge.

More information

There is more information to help you prepare your application, such as certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with us, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from us, and receiving assistance with your application.

After you have applied

After you have lodged the application and documents, we will let you know that we have received your information.

You can track and manage your application using ImmiAccount.

Note: If you submitted a paper application you can import your application into ImmiAccount.

Wait for a decision

We have service standards related to the time it takes to process applications for this visa.

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

Applying outside Australia: Do not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

  • Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99KB PDF).

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

You might be able to provide additional information, including Form 1023 using ImmiAccount.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Report changes in circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change after you have applied for the visa.

You can use the following forms:

You might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.

Examples of changes you must report include:

  • details of the family members included in your application change (for example: births, changes in dependency, and relationship status)
  • the person authorised to act on your behalf changes

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name, date of birth, and the date of your application. If you know it, you should also include the number we gave you when you applied – this could be a file reference number, client ID, or a transaction record number.

Everyone included in the application who is 18 years of age or older must sign the letter of withdrawal or send a separate email.

There are limited circumstances in which the visa application charge can be refunded.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

You will not have a visa label placed in your passport.

If the visa is refused, we will send you a letter or email stating why it was refused.

Document checklist

You must provide documents to support your application for this visa.

Use the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400) document checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400). It explains your rights and obligations.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

How long your visa lasts

This visa can be granted for up to three months if we agree you need to stay for that time. We will tell you how long you can stay in the visa grant notification letter. Your visa will be valid during the stay period you have been granted, which will commence from the date you first enter Australia.

You must arrive in Australia within three months of the date on which the visa is granted.

What this visa lets you do

This visa lets you:

  • stay in Australia while your visa is valid (which can be up to three months in some cases)
  • bring your family with you to Australia if you included them in your visa application
  • do the work or activity for which you were granted the visa, which will usually be either:
    • short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work
    • participation in non-ongoing cultural or social activities at the invitation of an Australian organisation.

We will tell you how many times you can enter Australia on this visa:

  • you might be allowed to enter only once. If so, you will need to apply for a new visa if you want to return to Australia again after you leave.
  • alternatively, you might be able to travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid. Your visa will only be valid during the period of stay that you have been granted, and this will commence from the date of your first entry into Australia. Re-entering Australia does not start a new period of stay.

Your obligations

You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

You must do only the work or activity that you listed in your visa application. You will need to lodge a new application for this visa if you want to:

  • participate in a different activity than the one you listed in your application
  • work for an organisation that is not one of the organisations you identified in your application.

You must also:

  • ensure that your activities in Australia do not have an adverse impact on employment or training opportunities, or the conditions of employment in Australia
  • not study any course (other than a language training program) that will lead to a formal qualification
  • not perform as, or support, an entertainer in Australia
  • not direct, produce or take another part in a theatre, film, television or radio production, or a concert or recording, to be performed or shown in Australia.

Your family

Your family members cannot work while they are in Australia if they were included in your application for this visa.

No further stay

If you have a ‘No further stay’ condition on your visa, you cannot apply for a new visa while you are in Australia, except in extremely limited circumstances. You must leave Australia no later than the date on which your visa ends.

Report changes in circumstances

You should tell us if your circumstances change. In particular, you must tell us about changes that occur after your visa is granted but before you travel to Australia.

You can use the following forms:

You might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.

Estimate the cost of your visa

The Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator does not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.

Last reviewed

Saturday 23 August 2014