Special Program visa (subclass 416)

Features

This visa aims to enhance international relations and cultural exchange by allowing persons to share cultural, social experiences, knowledge and skills in the Australian community through cultural enrichment, community benefits or youth exchange programs.

In addition to the Special Program, the Special Program visa (subclass 416) has another stream called Seasonal Worker Program.

Requirements

You can apply for this visa if you have been invited by an approved Special Program sponsor to participate in an approved youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefit program.

About this visa

The Special Program visa (subclass 416) is a temporary visa that allows you to participate in an approved special program that provides opportunities for youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefits.

You must be invited by an approved special program sponsor.

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for this visa:

  • if you apply in Australia, you must be in Australia to be granted the visa
  • if you apply outside Australia, you must be outside Australia to be granted the visa.

If you are in Australia, usually you must hold a substantive visa to apply for a Special Program visa.

What this visa lets you do

This visa allows you to come to Australia on a temporary basis to:

  • take part in an approved youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefits program
  • work or study in Australia, if work or study is part of the approved program
  • bring eligible family members with you.

Before you apply

You can apply for this visa only after you have been invited by an approved special program sponsor.

Your passport

You must hold a valid passport from an eligible country to apply for this visa. Your passport should also be valid for the entire period of your intended stay in Australia. If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. If you get a new passport after your visa has been granted, give the details of your new passport to one of our offices.

You can give us the information by email or by faxing a copy of the biodata or photo page of your new passport. If you lose your passport, or if it is stolen, you will need to get a new passport and then give us the details.

Cost

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

Other costs

You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, 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 Special Program visa (subclass 416).

Your application must be supported by an approved special program sponsor.

Who could get this visa

You might be able to get this visa if:

  • you meet health and character requirements
  • you have health insurance for the entire period you are in Australia
  • you meet the requirements of an approved special program.

Approved special program

You can apply for this visa if an approved special program sponsor invites you to participate in:

  • an approved youth exchange program
  • an approved cultural enrichment or community benefits program
  • a School to School Interchange Program
  • a School Language Assistant Program.

     

For cultural enrichment or community benefits programs, you must be at least 18 years old.

For youth exchange programs and the School Language Assistants Program, you must be aged between 18 and 30 years.

For the School to School Interchange Program, you must be aged between 17 and 25 years.

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 must have adequate health insurance unless you are covered by Medicare. You should ensure that your insurance will provide at least the level of coverage required for the purpose of your stay. Your health insurer could be in either Australia or your home country.

Attachment A in thehealth insurance standard template letter (138 kB RTF) is a guide to the level of health insurance we will accept as adequate.

Your insurance must cover you and any members of your family who come with you 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.

You must provide a certified English translation with all documents that are not in English.

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.

Including family in your application

You might be able to 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. The application must include documentary evidence of their relationship to you.

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

How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for a Special Program visa (subclass 416).

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for this visa.

  • if you apply in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is granted
  • if you apply outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.

Prepare your documents

You must provide documents to prove the claims you make in your application. The documents you must provide are listed in the Document checklist 

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have all the required documents ready before you lodge your application to reduce any delays in processing.

We will contact you if you need to provide more information.

Lodge your application by email, post, courier or fax

Apply for this visa using:

Lodge your application by email to:

You can pay by credit card, bank cheque or money order made payable to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

You must provide all relevant documents and pay the visa application charge when you apply. If you apply by email, scan the application form and all supporting documents and send the scanned files with your email.

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.

Alternatively, you can submit a query through: Hobart Special Program Processing Centre Enquiry Form.

After you apply

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

Wait for a decision

We have visa processing times for each 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.

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

If you apply for this visa in Australia, you would be able to get a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed. If you are given a Bridging visa A, you can apply for Bridging visa B to travel outside Australia while you wait for a decision.

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:

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.

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. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and may be denied permission to board your plane.

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 and date of birth. You should also include the number we gave you when you applied, if you know it – this could be a file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must sign the letter of withdrawal or send a separate email or letter.

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 not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any).
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Document checklist

You need to provide documents to support your application for this visa. We can make a decision using the information you provide when you lodge your application. It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible with your application.

Provide certified copies of original documents. Do not include original documents unless we specifically ask for them. Police certificates should be original documents. Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.

Use this checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Forms

Charges

Receiving assistance

  • If someone gives you advice or lodges your application for you, that person completes:
    • Form 956 Advice by a migration agent/exempt person of providing immigration assistance (135 kB PDF) (the agent or exempt person completes the form and you must sign it).
  • If you would like someone to receive correspondence from us on your behalf, that person completes:
    • Form 956a Appointment or withdrawal of an authorised recipient (120 kB PDF) (the recipient completes the form and you must sign it).

Your identity

  • Certified copies of the biographical pages of the current passports or travel documents of all people included in the application (these are the pages with the holder's photo and personal details and the issue/expiry dates).
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs (45 mm x 35 mm) of each person included in the application.
    • These photographs should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background.
    • Print the name of the person on the back of each photograph.
  • If your name has changed or the name of anyone included in your application has changed: a certified copy of evidence of the name change.

Your relationships

Your children
  • Certified copies of birth certificates or the family book showing the names of both parents for all your children.
  • If any dependent child included in the application is adopted: certified copies of the adoption papers.
  • If you want to bring a child younger than 18 years of age with you to Australia, and that child’s other parent is not included in the application: documentary evidence that you have the legal right to bring that child to Australia, such as:

Military service documents

  • If anyone included in the application has served in the armed forces of any country: certified copies of their military service record or discharge papers.

Health insurance

  • Evidence that you have health insurance, such as:
    • a statement in the Special Program sponsor’s invitation letter that health insurance will be arranged for you while you are in Australia
    • a cover note from a health insurance provider.

Academic documents

  • Copy of your qualifications and your curriculum vitae.

Sponsor details

Financial documents

  • Evidence of your financial capacity to support yourself and your family while you are in Australia, such as:
    • bank statements
    • a letter from your financial institution stating your financial position
    • documents showing a guarantee of financial support from your sponsors, (if applicable)
    • documents showing a guarantee of financial support from a family member who has sufficient funds.

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted a Special Program visa (subclass 416). 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

A Special Program visa (subclass 416) is valid for: the time specified in the special program agreement between your sponsoring organisation and the department (usually between four and 12 months). This period includes any arrival and departure arrangements.

What this visa lets you do

This visa lets you:

  • take part in an approved youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefits program
  • work or study in Australia, if work or study is part of the approved program
  • bring eligible family members with you.

Your obligations

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

As a participant in an approved special program, you:

  • must do the activity covered by your visa
  • cannot engage in an activity different from the activity covered by the visa
  • you cannot work for yourself or anyone if that work is different from the activity covered by the visa
  • must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance while you are in Australia.

Report changes in circumstances

Tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

Sponsors

This information is for an Australian organisation that wants to sponsor a person for a Special Program visa (subclass 416).

If you are an Australian organisation you must be lawfully operating in Australia.

Who can sponsor a person

To be a sponsor, your organisation must be lawfully established and actively operating in Australia. Individuals or sole traders are not eligible to be sponsors.

In addition:

  • you must have an approved Special Program Agreement with us, unless you are seeking to invite people to Australia under the School to School Interchange Program or the School Language Assistants Program
  • if you are proposing to conduct a youth exchange program, you must be an Australian organisation or government agency; and, for any other special program, you must be a community-based, non-profit organisation or a government agency
  • if you are an Australian organisation, you are operating lawfully in Australia
  • there must be nothing adverse known about your organisation or it is reasonable to disregard any adverse information
  • if your organisation has previously sponsored overseas workers to Australia, you must have a satisfactory record of complying with Australian laws.

Special program agreement approval

Youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefit programs

If your program is approved as a special program, you will have to enter into an agreement with us. The agreement must include:

  • the details of the program
  • the terms and conditions for approval of the program
  • monitoring and reporting obligations
  • other undertakings and provision for reapproval and revocation of the program
  • signatures on behalf of your organisation and us.

After the agreement is signed by your organisation and by us, you can then apply to become a special program sponsor.

When the sponsorship is approved, you can then invite non-Australian residents to participate in your approved special program.

An approved special program is usually valid for three years. Continuation of a special program depends on us receiving satisfactory monitoring reports from the organisation by 31 July each year. Failure to provide monitoring reports could result in revocation of the special program agreement.

School to School Interchange Program and School Language Assistants Program

Schools seeking to invite people to Australia under the School to School Interchange Program or the School Language Assistants Program do not need a special program agreement before applying for special program sponsorship.

Applying for special program agreement approval

This information explains what you need to do to apply for approval of your organisation’s special program.

Prepare your written submission

Prepare a written submission to us. Indicate the type of program (youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefits).

Include the following details:

  • profile and size of the Australian organisation (including organisational structure, ABN, ACN, street address, postal address, email and website) 
  • purpose and details of the organisation’s operations (including the organisation's main activities) 
  • any association with any organisation previously or currently approved for Special Program visa (subclass 416) purposes
  • details of affiliated organisations both in Australia and overseas
  • name of the special program
  • duration of the proposed special program (number of weeks/months/years, ongoing, etc.)
  • the purpose and aim of the program for which approval is being sought
  • benefits to the Australian community if the program is approved as a special program
  • benefits to participants if the program is approved as a special program
  • proposed remuneration for participants (if applicable)
  • the special program eligibility criteria (you will need to explain how participants will be selected for the program)
  • number of visas required per financial year
  • length of participation by participants
  • nominated source countries for participants
  • details of the proposed employment of any visa holders, including wages/salary, duties, insurance, travel and other expenses
  • details of individual participants’ activities during their time in Australia under the program, including information about who will be supervising them during their stay and in their place of activity or work
  • typical weekly schedule of a participant during the life of the program
  • maintenance arrangements (for example, board and lodgings) and any other expenses to be met by the organisation (if applicable)
  • details of expenses to be met by participants in the program
  • details of participants’ obligations
  • the organisation’s contact person (including position in the organisation, email, telephone, fax)
  • for youth exchange programs: details of reciprocal arrangements that will allow young Australians to have similar opportunities outside Australia.

If your organisation is a non-profit organisation, include a copy of its tax exemption certificate.

Lodge your submission by email or post

You can lodge your submission with us:

Cost

There is no application fee for a submission for special program approval.

After you have applied

In some cases, you might be asked to provide additional information.

If your application is approved, we will notify you in writing and will finalise a special program agreement with your organisation.

If your application is not approved, we will advise you in writing.

Applying to be a sponsor under other special programs

This information explains what your organisation needs to do to apply to sponsor someone for a Special Program visa (subclass 416).

Organisations eligible for approval as special program sponsors can include:

  • a community-based, non-profit Australian organisation or a government agency proposing to conduct a cultural enrichment or community benefit program
  • an Australian organisation or a governmen agency proposing to conduct a reciprocal youth exchange program (that may involve work) to foster long-term social and cultural relations between Australia and overseas countries.

Where there is a work placement, the program:

  • must not adversely affect employment and training opportunities for Australians
  • must meet Australian standards and conditions of employment.

The organisation must gain our approval for a special program agreement before a sponsorship application is lodged.

Prepare your documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. These documents are listed in the Document checklist for sponsors.

Some of these 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 by post, courier or fax

Use the following form:

  • Form 1416S Application for approval as a Special Program Sponsor (167 kB PDF).

You must provide all relevant documents and pay the sponsorship application charge by credit card when you apply.

Lodge your application by email to hobart.special.program@immi.gov.au.

Lodge your application by post, courier or fax to the Hobart office in Tasmania - attention Specialist Temporary Entry Centre.

Cost

The sponsor application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

After you apply

We will provide you with a sponsorship application ID number. We might also ask you to supply additional information.

If your application to be a sponsor is approved, we will send you a sponsorship approval letter by post or email.

If your application is not approved, we will send you a letter by post or email:

  • advising you of the decision
  • giving reasons for the decision
  • giving information about any review rights.

How long the sponsorship lasts

Sponsors might be approved for up to three years.

Sponsor obligations

You must comply with following sponsorship obligations:

  • cooperate with inspectors
  • tell us when certain events occur
  • keep records
  • provide records and information to the Minister
  • not recover from, transfer or charge certain costs to another person
  • pay costs to locate and remove an unlawful non-citizen
  • secure an offer of a reasonable standard of accommodation
  • pay travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia.

You are responsible for meeting all your obligations, even if you have someone else authorised to act on your behalf, including a migration agent.

In this section:

  • a primary sponsored applicant is a person your organisation intends to employ or engage in a specified occupation, program or activity
  • a secondary sponsored applicant is a member of the primary sponsored applicant's family.

Cooperate with inspectors

You must cooperate with inspectors appointed under the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) who are investigating whether:

  • a sponsorship obligation is being, or has been, complied with
  • you have hired an illegal worker
  • there are other circumstances in which we might take administrative action.

This obligation:

  • starts on the day the sponsorship is approved or work agreement commences
  • ends five years after the day the approved sponsorship ends or work agreement ceases.

Cooperating with inspectors can include (but is not limited to):

  • providing access to premises
  • producing and providing documents within the requested timeframe
  • not preventing or attempting to prevent, access to a person who has custody of, or access to, a record or documents
  • providing officers with access to interview any person on their premises.

Tell us when certain events occur

You must tell us in writing when certain events occur. Send the information by registered post or electronic mail to a specified address and within certain timeframes of the event occurring.

Events where a sponsor must provide information to us include:

  • the primary sponsored person is unable to meet the requirements of the program;
  • the primary sponsored person is unable to participate in the program;
  • the primary sponsored person ceases to participate in the program prior to the end of the program; and
  • the primary sponsored person fails to attend a program.

This obligation starts to apply on the day the standard business sponsorship is approved or the work agreement commences.

This obligation ends two years after:

  • your sponsorship or the work agreement ends, and
  • you are no longer sponsoring anyone.

Where to send a notice of an event or change

You must send details of these events to one of our offices in the state or territory in which the head office of your organisation is located.

Keep records

You must keep records that show your compliance with your sponsorship obligations. All of the records must be kept in a reproducible format and some must be capable of verification by an independent person. Records that must be kept, in addition to records that must be kept under other Australian Government, and state or territory laws, include the following:

  • written requests for payment of outward travel costs for a sponsored visa holder or their family, including when the request was received
  • how the outward travel costs were paid, how much was paid, for whom they were paid, and when they were paid.

This obligation starts on the day the sponsorship is approved.

The obligation ends two years after both of the following:

  • you are no longer an approved sponsor, and
  • you are no longer sponsoring anyone.

You do not need to keep any records for more than five years.

Provide records and information

You must provide records or information, if they are requested by a departmental officer that goes to determining whether:

  • a sponsorship obligation is being or has been complied with, and
  • determining whether other circumstances, in which the Minister may take administrative action, exist or have existed, in the manner and timeframe requested by the department.

We may ask you in writing to provide records or information which relate to your sponsorship obligations, and any other matters that relate to your sponsorship of visa holders. You must provide the records or information requested if it is a record or information that:

  • you are required to keep under Commonwealth, state or territory law
  • you have an obligation to keep as a sponsor.

This obligation starts to apply on the day the sponsorship is approved or work agreement commences.

This obligation ends two years after:

  • your sponsorship or work agreement ceases, and
  • you no longer have a sponsored visa holder.

Not recover, transfer or charge certain costs to another person

You must not take any action or seek to take any action that would result in the transfer or charging of costs (including migration agent costs) to another person, such as a sponsored visa holder or their sponsored family members this includes costs that relate to:

  • the recruitment of the person you sponsored
  • becoming or being a sponsor or former approved sponsor.

This obligation:

  • starts on the day the sponsorship is approved or the work agreement commences
  • ends on the following two events:
    • you cease to be an approved sponsor or party to a work agreement
    • you no longer have a sponsored visa holder.

Sponsors are also required to pay certain costs associated with becoming a sponsor and not pass these costs, in any form, onto another person. These include:

  • cost of sponsorship and nomination charges
  • migration agent costs associated with the lodgement of sponsorship and nomination applications
  • administrative costs and any sundry costs an employer incurs when they conduct recruitment exercises, including:
    • recruitment agent fees
    • migration agent fees
    • the cost of job advertising
    • screening of candidates, short listing, interviews and reference checks
    • salaries of recruitment or human resource staff
    • the cost of outsourcing background checks, police checks and psychological testing where they relate to an employer determining an applicant’s suitability for the position
    • training of new staff
    • responding to queries for prospective candidates, and advising unsuccessful applicants
    • travel costs for the sponsor to interview and/or meet the applicant either overseas or in Australia.

Pay costs to locate and remove an unlawful non-citizen

In the event a primary sponsored person (or any of their sponsored family members) becomes an unlawful non-citizen, you may be required to pay the costs incurred by the Commonwealth in locating and/or removing the primary or secondary sponsored persons from Australia.

You may be liable to pay the Commonwealth the difference between the actual costs incurred by the Commonwealth (up to a maximum of AUD10 000) less any amount which may have already been paid under the obligation to pay travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia (see ‘Obligation to pay travel costs’).

This obligation starts on the day the person you sponsored becomes an unlawful non-citizen.

It ends five years after they leave Australia. This means that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection might, up to five years after the person you have sponsored has left Australia, give you a letter requiring payment of the costs that the Commonwealth paid to locate and remove the person you sponsored prior to their departure from Australia.

Secure an offer of a reasonable standard of accommodation

If you sponsor someone to work for you as a volunteer without a salary or wages or sponsor someone to participate in a professional development program, you must secure an offer of a reasonable standard of accommodation in Australia for them and any family they bring with them.

If the accommodation becomes unavailable, you must find alternative accommodation for them.

A ‘reasonable standard of accommodation’ means that the accommodation must:

  • meet all relevant state or territory and local government regulations about fire, health and safety
  • offer 24-hour access
  • provide meals or a self-catering kitchen
  • be clean and well-maintained
  • have a lounge area
  • have adequate laundry facilities or a laundry service
  • provide power for lighting, cooking and refrigeration
  • have an adequate ratio of guests to bathroom facilities
  • have uncrowded sleeping areas
  • provide appropriate gender segregated areas and bathroom facilities
  • allow adequate privacy and secure storage for personal items.

This obligation starts on the day:

  • your nomination of the sponsored person is approved, or
  • the day the visa is granted (if the person you have sponsored does not already hold this visa when you nominate them or nomination was not required for that visa type).

This obligation ends on the day (whichever is earliest):

  • another sponsor has their nomination application for the same person approved
  • the person you have sponsored is granted a further substantive visa of a different type for which you sponsored them (unless that other visa is a bridging visa, criminal justice visa or enforcement visa)
  • the person you have sponsored has left Australia and the visa (and any bridging visa) is no longer in effect.

Pay travel costs to enable sponsored applicants to leave Australia

You must pay reasonable and necessary travel costs to enable the sponsored person and their sponsored family members to leave Australia. They must ask you in writing for you to pay the costs. We can also make a written request on their behalf.

The costs will be considered reasonable and necessary if they include all of the following:

  • travel from the sponsored person's usual place of residence in Australia to their place of departure from Australia
  • travel from Australia to the country (for which the sponsored visa holder holds a passport) and intends to travel to
  • economy class air travel or, where that is not available, a reasonable equivalent. 

Travel costs must be paid within 30 days of receiving the request.

You will only be required to pay return travel costs once. If a sponsored person returns to Australia (whilst holding the visa for which you sponsored them) after you have paid their return travel costs, you will not be required to pay their return travel costs again.

This obligation starts on the day:

  • the visa is granted (if the sponsored person did not already hold this visa when your nomination of them was approved), or
  • your nomination is approved (if the person already held a visa in this subclass when your nomination is approved).

This obligation ends on the day (whichever is the earliest):

  • another sponsor has their nomination application for the sponsored person approved
  • the person you sponsored is granted another visa other than a subclass 457 visa, a bridging visa, a criminal justice visa, or an enforcement visa
  • the person you sponsored has left Australia and the relevant visa (and any subsequent bridging visa) is no longer in effect.

Monitoring of sponsors and visa holders

You must comply with your obligations as a sponsor. We monitor your compliance with the sponsorship obligations and whether your visa holders are upholding their visa conditions.

We monitor you while you are a sponsor and for up to five years after you cease being a sponsor. We do this routinely and in response to information provided to us, and in three main ways:

  • exchanging information with other Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies, including the Department of Employment, the Fair Work Ombudsman, and the Australian Taxation Office.
  • writing to you to ask for information in accordance with the obligation to provide records and information
  • site visits, usually to the sponsored business premises, with or without notice

Your compliance with the sponsorship obligations might be investigated by Immigration inspectors who have investigative powers under the Migration Act 1958. Failure to cooperate with inspectors is a breach of the sponsorship obligations.

Sanctions for not meeting your sponsor obligations

If you do not meet your obligations, we could take one or more of the following actions:

Administrative

  • you could be barred from sponsoring more people for a specified time
  • you could be barred from applying for approval to be a sponsor, in relation to this visa or another one
  • all of your existing approvals as a sponsor could be cancelled.

Enforceable undertaking

You could be invited to enter into an enforceable undertaking.  Enforceable undertakings require you to promise, in writing, to undertake to complete certain actions to demonstrate that the failures have been rectified and won’t happen again.

Civil

  • we can issue an infringement notice of up to AUD10200 for a body corporate and AUD2040 for an individual for each failure.
  • we can apply to a court for a civil penalty order of up to AUD51 000 for a corporation and AUD10200 for an individual for each failure.

Other circumstances in which administrative action might be taken

In addition, you could also have sanctions imposed if:

  • you provide false or misleading information to us or the Migration Review Tribunal
  • you no longer satisfy the criteria for approval as a sponsor or for variation of a term of that approval
  • you have been found by a court or competent authority to have contravened a Commonwealth, state or territory law
  • the person you have sponsored breaks a law relating to the licensing, registration or membership needed to work in the nominated position.
  • The types of actions that could be taken depend on whether the sponsor is a standard business sponsor or has made  a work agreement.

    If you have sponsored someone under a work  agreement, we could suspend or terminate it in accordance with the clauses of the particular work  agreement.

Document checklist for sponsors

You need to provide documents to support your application to become a sponsor. We could ask you for more information, but we can make a decision using the information you provide when you lodge the application. It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible with your application.

You must provide certified copies of original documents. Do not include original documents unless we specifically ask for them. Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.

Use this checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Forms

  • A completed application form:
    • Form 1416S Application for approval as a Special Program Sponsor (167 kB PDF).

Charges

Receiving assistance

Financial status

  • Provide one of the following:
    • a letter of support from a chartered accountant, Certified Practising Accountant, Professional National Accountant, Fellow Professional National Accountant or reputable financial institution that clearly summarises the organisation’s ability to meet its financial responsibilities, or
    • other details of the organisation’s financial status, such as bank statements for the most recent six months; balance sheets / profit and loss statements / tax returns for the most recently concluded financial year; relevant extracts from the business plan showing cash flow projections; contracts; lease agreements; and statements concerning the source of any funds.

    If your organisation is operated under a trust structure, these documents must relate to the trust (to the trustee in their capacity as trustee).

    Your organisation is not required to provide evidence of its financial status if it is one of the following:

    • an Australian Commonwealth, state, territory or local government organisation, a government business enterprise or a statutory authority/agency
    • listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and you have provided an ASX Code at Question 21
    • a foreign government agency operating in Australia
    • has more than 20 full-time employees, has satisfactorily sponsored temporary resident visa holders previously, and is listed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and you have provided an ABN and/or ACN/ARBN at questions 18, 19 and 20.

Operations in Australia

  • If your organisation operates for profit: the following:
    • certificate of registration for tax purposes (ABN)
    • Business Names Extract (if operating under a trading name)
    • ASIC Historical Company Extract
    • ASIC Historical Director Data
    • relevant pages of the trust deed (pages listing parties in the franchise agreement and signature page).

    If none of these is applicable to your organisation, provide some form of documentation that shows registration of your organisation with an Australian government authority.

  • If your organisation is a not-for-profit organisation: a tax exemption certificate.
  • If your organisation is a new or start-up business that has operated for less than 12 months: a combination of:
    • detailed business plan
    • contract of sale relating to the purchase of the business
    • lease agreement relating to business premises
    • evidence of lease or purchase of machinery, equipment, furniture etc.
    • contracts to supply services
    • evidence of employment of staff
    • Business Activity Statements for each complete quarter since the commencement of business
    • business bank statements covering the period of operation.

Compliance with Australian laws

  • Information relating to your employment arrangements over the past 12 months for any person who is not an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Information relating to action that has been taken against the organisation by any Australian state or territory government agency in the preceding 12 months, even if it did not result in a criminal or civil penalty being imposed. This should include any breach notices or infringement notices issued to the organisation.

Special Program Agreement

  • A copy of the Special Program Agreement.

    Providers of a School to School Interchange Program or School Language Assistants Program do not need to provide a copy of a Special Program Agreement

Other documents

  • A copy of the organisation’s structure chart.

Estimate the cost of your visa

Will the primary applicant be in Australia when the application is lodged?
* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
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 Wednesday 16 July 2014