Individuals and Travellers

Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa (subclass 401)

This visa is closed to new applications.​

Features

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

  • work in a skilled position under a staff exchange arrangement (the Exchange stream)
  • participate in high-level sports competitions (the Sport stream)
  • do full-time religious work (the Religious Worker stream)
  • do full-time domestic work in the household of certain senior foreign executives (the Domestic Worker (Executive) stream).

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • are sponsored by an approved sponsor
  • are nominated to undertake an approved activity
  • have the skills and experience relevant to the nominated activity.

About this visa

​​​​

The Temporary Work (Long Stay Activty) visa (subclass 401) is closed to new applications from 19 November 2016.

This visa has been replaced by the Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408).

Visa holders

Workers in Australia – including visa holders with permission to work – have rights under Australian workplace law.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) provides information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements.

See also: Workplace rights for all visa holders working in Australia

This information is for people who have already been granted a Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa (subclass 401). 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

Your visa is valid for the duration of the nominated position, or up to two years, whichever is earlier (sport stream applicants will usually only be permitted a stay in Australia for the duration of the sporting season).

What this visa lets you do

This visa allows you to:

  • stay in Australia for the period of the nominated position, with a maximum stay of two years
  • do the work or activity specified in your nomination
  • bring eligible family members with you to Australia
  • enter and leave Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid.

Your obligations

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

During your stay in Australia, you must:

  • maintain adequate health insurance while you are in Australia
  • continue to meet the requirements of the visa stream in which you were granted the visa
  • leave Australia when your visa ends (unless you are granted another visa)
  • only engage in work or an activity for the employer identified in the nomination (you cannot become unemployed, leave your position to do work or an activity for someone else, or work for someone else in a second job)
  • only engage in work or activity consistent with the position nominated in your visa application.

If the sponsor ceases your employment, you must do one of the following:

  • find another employer who is willing to sponsor you (your new sponsor must lodge a new nomination to cover you for the time left on your visa; you do not have to apply for a new visa if your visa is still valid and is not about to end)
  • leave Australia within 28 days or sooner if your visa ends before 28 days have passed.

Family members

Your family cannot enter Australia before you. When your visa ends, your family must leave Australia with you.

Your family must:

  • intend to remain members of your family unit.
  • maintain adequate health insurance while they are in Australia.

Your family can work or study in Australia while their visa is valid.

We will tell you if there are any other conditions they must comply with when you are granted the visa.

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:

  • Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (86 kB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022Notification of changes in circumstances (77 kB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

Sponsors

This information is for approved sponsors of people on Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa (subclass 401).

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO for Organisations) to check the visa details and entitlements of a person that you have sponsored.

How long the sponsorship lasts

A sponsorship lasts for up to three years.

If you are approved as a long stay activity sponsor, you can apply to vary (extend) your sponsorship before it expires to allow you to continue to nominate people. If the sponsorship period expires, you will need to reapply and be approved as a sponsor to nominate further visa applicants.

Sponsor obligations

You must be able to comply with the 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
  • ensure the visa holder participates in the nominated occupation, program or activity

Depending on the stream in which you are making a nomination, you may also be required to comply with the following sponsorship obligations:

  • secure an offer of a reasonable standard of accommodation 
  • pay travel costs to enable sponsored people  to leave Australia 
  • make the same position available to Australian exchange participants.

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

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 could take administrative action.

This obligation:

  • starts on the day the sponsorship is approved
  • ends five years after the day the approved sponsorship 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.

Keep records - For Exchange, Sport and Domestic Worker (Executive) streams only

You must keep records that show you have your complied 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.

You must keep a record of:

  • any notification that you were required to make to us
  • the date on which you notified us, and how and where you made the notification.

This obligation starts on the day the sponsorship is approved.

This 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.

Keep records - For Religious Worker stream only

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.

Provide records and information to the Minister

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.

This obligation ends two years after:

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

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:

  • a change to the information in the sponsor's application for approval as a sponsor, relating to the person's address and contact details;
  • the primary sponsored person fails to participate in the nominated occupation, program or activity
  • the primary sponsored person ceases to participate in the nominated occupation, program or activity
  • a change to the formal agreement between the primary sponsored person and the person
  • a change to the exchange agreement (for sponsors who are party to an exchange agreement)
  • the person has paid the return travel costs of a primary sponsored person or secondary sponsored person in accordance with the obligation mentioned in regulation 2.80.

This obligation starts to apply on the day the sponsorship is approved.

This obligation ends two years after:

  • your sponsorship ceases, and
  • you are no longer sponsoring anyone. 

Where to send a notice of an event or change

You must send details of these events by email or to one of our state or territory offices listed below.

By email (preferred): sponsor.notifications@border.gov.au

By registered post:

  • Australian Capital Territory
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 717
    Canberra ACT 2601

  • New South Wales
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 9984
    Sydney NSW 2001

  • Queensland
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 9984
    Brisbane Qld 4001

  • Northern Territory
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 864
    Darwin NT 0801

  • South Australia
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 2399
    Adelaide SA 5001

  • Tasmania
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 794
    Hobart Tas. 7001

  • Victoria
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 241
    Melbourne Vic. 3001

  • Western Australia
    Sponsor Monitoring
    Locked Bag 7
    Northbridge WA 6865

Ensure that the visa holder participates in the nominated occupation, program or activity

You must ensure that the person you have sponsored  participates only in the  occupation, program or activity for which you nominated them. If you want to engage a visa holder for  a different occupation, program or activity, you must lodge a new nomination application. This obligation starts on the day the person you have sponsored is granted a visa. If they already hold a visa when you nominate them, your obligation starts on the day the nomination is approved.

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

  • the sponsored visa holder has a nomination approved for another approved sponsor
  • the sponsored visa holder is granted another  substantive visa of a different type from the one for which you sponsored them (unless that other visa is a bridging visa, criminal justice visa or enforcement visa) 
  • the sponsored visa holder  has left Australia and  the relevant visa (and any subsequent bridging visa) is no longer in effect.

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
  • ends on the following two events: 
    • you cease to be an  approved sponsor
    • 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 travel costs to enable sponsored people to leave Australia - For Religious Worker stream only 

You must pay reasonable and necessary travel costs to enable the sponsored person you have sponsored 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 ask on their behalf.

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

  • travel from the sponsored  persons’ 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 a 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.

Pay travel costs to enable domestic workers to enter and leave Australia - For Domestic Worker (Executive) Stream only

You must pay reasonable and necessary travel costs to enable the sponsored person and their sponsored family members to travel to and to leave Australia. 

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

  • the sponsored person’s travel to Australia
  • travel to the sponsored person’s place of residence in Australia from the place of arrival in Australia
  • travel from the sponsored person’s place of residence in Australia to the place of departure from Australia 
  • travel from Australia to the country from which the sponsored person came to Australia 
  • are for economy class air travel or, where unavailable, a reasonable equivalent.

This obligation starts on the day:

  • the visa is granted (if the person does not already hold a 427 visa or 401 visa in the domestic worker (executive) stream, or
  • your nomination is approved.

This obligation ends on the day (whichever is the 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 subclass to the one they last held
  • the person you have sponsored has left Australia and the relevant visa (and any subsequent bridging visa) is no longer in effect. 

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’ above).

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 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 - For Sport and Religious Worker Streams only

If you sponsor someone to work for you as a volunteer without a salary or wages, 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 regarding 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 or a Religious Worker (Subclass 428) or Sport (Subclass 421) visa when you nominate them).

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 visa of a different type from the one 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.

Make the same position available to Australian exchange participants – for Exchange stream only

Immediately on completion of the exchange, you are required to make available to the Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident who is a participant in the exchange, the same position or equivalent position in Australia that was held by the Australian participant at the time the exchange was entered into.

This obligation starts on the day your nomination of the sponsored person is approved.

This obligation ends 30 days after completion of the exchange.

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.

Estimate the cost of your visa

The following 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.