Individuals and Travellers

Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)

Features

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

  • work in the entertainment industry
  • participate in activities at the invitation of an Australian organisation
  • participate or observe in an Australian research project
  • work in a skilled position under a staff exchange arrangement
  • participate in high-level sports competitions or sports training programs
  • participate in a special programme approved by the department that provides opportunities for youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefits
  • do full-time religious work
  • be employed as a superyacht crew member
  • do full-time domestic work in the household of certain senior foreign executives
  • participate in a government endorsed event.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • are supported by an organisation or individual in Australia to undertake a specific activity and you:
    • apply outside Australia; and
    • intend to stay in Australia for three months or less
  • are sponsored by an approved sponsor to undertake a specific activity and you:
    • apply in Australia or
    • apply outside Australia and intend to stay in Australia for more than three months

Global visa processing times

​Stream ​75 per cent of applications processed 90 per cent of applications processed
Australian Government Endorsed EventsUnavailable due to low volume of applications.Unavailable due to low volume of applications.
Domestic Work for ExecutivesUnavailable due to low volume of applications.Unavailable due to low volume of applications.
Exchange ArrangementsUnavailable due to low volume of applications.Unavailable due to low volume of applications.
Superyacht CrewUnavailable due to low volume of applications.Unavailable due to low volume of applications.
Special Programmes59 days75 days
Religious Work78 days4 months
Research Activities 58 days71 days
Invited for Other Social and Cultural Activity14 days21 days
Sporting Activities35 days86 days
Entertainment Activities8 days15 days

Last updated 17 May 2017 (for month ending 30 April 2017)

For more information see Global visa and citizenship processing times

About this visa

From 19 May 2017 you must be a Temporary Activities sponsor if you want to sponsor an applicant for a Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) under the Seasonal Worker Program stream, a Training visa (subclass 407) or a Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408).

Long Stay Activity, Training and Research, Professional Development, Entertainment, Special Program and Superyacht Crew sponsorships cannot be used to sponsor any new visa applicants from 19 May 2017.

Visa applications lodged before 19 May 2017 using one of the above Sponsorships will not be affected by this change.

To become a Temporary Activities sponsor you must lodge your application online through your ImmiAccount.

​​​​The Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) is for people who want to come to Australia on a temporary basis to undertake one of the following activities:

  • Entertainer: to work in the entertainment industry in film, television or live productions in either a performance or behind-the-scenes role, such as directing, producing and other production roles.
  • Invited participant: for people who are invited for stays up to 3 months by an organisation operating in Australia to participate in a specific cultural or social event or events. For example, conferences, sporting, religious and other community events. 
  • Researcher: to:
    • participate or observe in an Australian research project after being invited to do so.
    • undertake a research activity at an Australian tertiary or research institution related to your field of study.
  • Religious worker: to be a full-time religious worker, serving the religious objectives of a religious institution in Australia.
  • Special program: to participate in an approved special program that provides opportunities for youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefits.
  • Sport:
    • play, coach or instruct or adjudicate under contract to an Australian sporting club or organisation
    • participate in a high-level sports training program
  • Exchange: to work in a skilled position under a reciprocal staff exchange arrangement to:
    • give participants an opportunity to experience another culture
    • enhance international relations
    • broaden participants’ experience and knowledge.
  • Superyacht crew: to be employed as a superyacht crew member on board a superyacht in Australia.
  • Domestic worker (executive): to work full time in the household of certain senior foreign executives.
  • Australian Government endorsed event: to participate in a government endorsed major event.

This visa requires sponsorship if:

  • your stay in Australia is for more than three months
  • you apply in Australia.

There is no nomination required for this visa.

This is a temporary visa. You can be in or outside Australian when you apply for this visa and when the visa is granted.

Applying in Australia

If you apply in Australia you must be sponsored by an approved temporary activities sponsor or sponsor who passes the sponsorship test.

Applying outside Australia

If you apply from outside Australia and you intend to stay in Australia for three months or less, the organisation or individual in Australia who has responsibility for the events/activities you will be involved in must pass the support test.

If you apply from outside Australia and you intend to stay in Australia for more than three months you must be sponsored by an approved temporary activities sponsor or sponsor who passes the sponsorship test.

What this visa lets you do

This visa allows you to:

  • stay in Australia for the period that aligns with the activities that you have been approved to undertake on this visa. The maximum stay periods allowed are:
    • Invited participant activity type – up to three months
    • Australian Government endorsed event activity type – up to four years
    • Any other activity type – up to two years
  • do the work or activity specified in your application
  • bring eligible family members with you to Australia
  • enter and leave Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid.

Note: For some activity types such as superyacht crew members and special program participants, the stay period is usually no more than 12 months.

Temporary visa holders are generally not able to extend their stay in Australia beyond four years by applying for this visa.

Before you apply

If your intended stay in Australia is for more than three months, or you apply in Australia, you must be sponsored for this visa. The sponsoring organisation or agency must apply to become an approved temporary activities sponsor or sponsor who passes the sponsorship test before you can lodge your application (see the 'Sponsors and supporters' tab for more information about how an organisation can do this).

Your passport

If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. In most cases, you and your family members must have valid passports to be granted this visa.

No further stay condition

You cannot apply for this visa if you already hold another visa that has a ‘No further stay’ condition.

Contact us if you are not sure whether your current visa conditions prevent you from applying for a further visa while you are in Australia.

Cost

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

You might not need to pay the visa application charge, or might only be required to pay a partial visa application charge if you are an applicant who is a class of person participating in an activity specified by the Minister in a legislative instrument.

Your inviting Australian organisation will inform you if you might be eligible for a visa application charge concession and will provide you with the relevant evidence.

You will need to provide evidence with your application. If you do not provide evidence when you submit your application, your application might not be processed.

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.

Definitions

The following definitions are used in these pages:

  • Australian organisation: a body corporate, a partnership or an unincorporated association (other than an individual or a sole trader) that is lawfully established in Australia
  • foreign government agency:
    • an organisation conducted under the official auspices of a foreign national government and operating in Australia, including overseas tourist and media bureaus, trade offices and other foreign government entities
    • a foreign diplomatic or consular mission with a presence in Australia
    • an organisation conducted under the official auspices of an international organisation that is recognised by Australia and that is operating in Australia (such as the United Nations).
  • government agency: an agency of the Australian Government or of an Australian state or territory government
  • religious institution: an organisation that is operating lawfully in Australia where:
    • the organisation’s objectives and activities reflect its character as a body instituted for the promotion of some religious object
    • the beliefs and practices of the members of the organisation constitute a religion
  • sporting organisation:
    • an Australian organisation that is lawfully operating in Australia
    • an Australian government agency
    • a foreign government agency that administers or promotes sport or sporting events.

Visa applicants

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for a Temporary Work Activity visa (subclass 408).

Who could get this visa

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • intend to stay in Australia for three months or less and apply from outside Australia, and you have the support of an organisation or individual in Australia who has responsibility for the events or activities being undertaken who passes the support test
  • intend to stay in Australia for more than three months and you are sponsored by an approved sponsor for this visa who passes the sponsorship test
  • meet the requirements of the activity type in which you are applying for this visa
  • have adequate financial support for you and your family while you are in Australia
  • have adequate arrangements for health insurance while you are in Australia
  • meet health and character requirements
  • genuinely intend to remain temporarily in Australia to do the work or activity specified in your application.

See sponsors and supporters tab for more details.

No adverse consequences

You must not intend to engage in any activity that will have adverse consequences for employment or training opportunities, or conditions of employment, for Australian citizens or permanent residents.

Genuine Temporary Entrant

The genuine temporary entrant requirement (GTE) is an integrity measure to ensure that the temporary visa programme is used as intended and not as a way to maintain ongoing residency in Australia. Temporary residents are generally not able to extend their stay in Australia beyond four years by applying for this visa.

The GTE requirement applies to all temporary activity visa applicants. The officer assessing the visa will consider whether the individual circumstances of the visa applicant indicates that their intention is for a temporary stay in Australia.

You must satisfy us that you have a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily.

When assessing the GTE requirement, we will consider:

  • your circumstances
  • your immigration history
  • compliance with visa conditions
  • if you are under 18 years old, the intention of your parent, legal guardian or partner
  • any other relevant matter.

Financial support

While you are in Australia, you must be able to support yourself and any eligible dependant family members who come with you. 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 insurance

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

You must make adequate arrangements in Australia for health insurance, for the period of your intended stay in Australia, 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 the health insurance standard template letter (138 kB RTF) is a guide to the level of health insurance we will accept as adequate.

This applies to you and any dependent family members listed in the application.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months.

This applies to you and any dependent family members included in the application.

You are able to organise your health examinations upfront before lodging a visa application.

Character requirements

If your proposed duration of stay in Australia will be for a period of 12 months or more, then police certificates should be provided when you lodge your application for this visa. For all other situations, do not arrange for police certificates until we tell you to.

You must meet certain character requirements. You must 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.

If you intend to work as a domestic worker (executive): Provide police certificates when you lodge your application for this visa.

Payment for visas declaration

Sponsors, and visa applicants are required to provide a statement in relation to current or previous conduct that constitutes a breach in 'paying for visa sponsorship' activity. This declaration is included in the visa application form.
See: Paying for visa sponsorship – declaration requirement.

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 aged 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.

English language requirements

Visa applicants for special program should have functional English language. This is to ensure that participants fully experience the cultural and social benefits of the special programme and to ensure occupational health and safety standards are met.

Your sponsor

If you apply in Australia or you apply outside Australia and you intend to stay for more than 3 months you must provide the following from your sponsor:

  • Sponsors Transaction Reference Number or Sponsorship Application ID
  • Sponsor approval letter or receipt for lodgement of the sponsorship application.
  • A written statement from the sponsor that they will meet the sponsorship obligations for you and all dependent family members included in your application

Entertainers

You might be eligible for this activity type if you intend to work in the entertainment industry in one of the categorie below.

Performing in film or television productions subsidised by the government

This category is for performers to take part in a film or television production that is subsidised in whole or in part by a government in Australia, including lead actors and major support actors in television or film productions, celebrities making cameo appearances. You might be eligible under this category if:

  • you have entered into a performing contract in Australia to perform in one or more specific engagements
  • you have a certificate issued by the Minister for the Arts, Attorney-General's Department confirming that the relevant Australian content criteria have been met
  • your supporter/sponsor or the organisation or individual in Australia who has responsibility for the event/s:
    • has consulted the relevant Australian union/s, see Sponsors and Supporters tab
    • holds any licenses that are required in relation to the production.
Arts certificate (Australian content)

Your application must be supported by a certificate issued by the Minister for the Arts confirming that the relevant Australian content criteria have been met.

More information is available at Minister for the Arts website.

Performing in film or television production — not subsidised by government

This is for performers who are taking part in a film or television production that is not subsidised in whole or in part by a government in Australia, including lead actors and major support actors in television or film productions, celebrities making cameo appearances and reality show hosts. You might be eligible under this activity type if:

  • you have entered into a performing contract in Australia to perform in one or more specific engagements:
  • you have a certificate issued by the Minister for the Arts, Attorney-General's Department in relation to Australian participation and foreign investment
  • your sponsor or the organisation or individual in Australia who has responsibility for the event/s:
    • has consulted the relevant Australian union/s
    • holds any licenses in relation to the production.
Arts certificate (Australian participation and foreign investment)

Your application must be supported by a certificate issued by the Ministry for the Arts confirming that:

  • Australian citizens or residents have been given a reasonable opportunity to participate in all levels of production
  • the foreign investment in the production, or the private investment guaranteed against the foreign returns by a distributor, is greater than the amount to be expended on entertainers supported or sponsored for entry.

More information is available at Minister for the Arts website.

Performer not in film or television

This category is for performers who are taking part in a production that is not related to a film or television production, such as international music acts, live theatre performances, stage comedians, classical music performers, singers and actors for online videos (for example, for marketing or entertainment purposes). You might be eligible under this activity type if:

  • you have entered into a performing contract in Australia to perform in one or more specific engagements that are not related to film or television:
  • the activity will bring a net employment benefit to the Australian entertainment industry by employing more Australian citizens and permanent residents than if the position were filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • your supporter/sponsor or the organisation or individual in Australia who has responsibility for the event/s or activities:
    • has consulted the relevant Australian union/s
    • holds any licenses that are required in relation to the production
    • has provided an itinerary specifying the dates and venues for all performances.

Production roles other than as a performer

This category is for non-performing production and technical crew (such as directors, camera and lighting crew, sound crew, and on-screen presenters for a documentary or commercial that will be broadcast in Australia and reality show hosts) under employment contract for a production. You might be eligible under this category if:

  • you have entered into a contract to direct, produce or take some other part (other than as a performer) in a theatre, film, television or radio production, or a concert or recording to be performed or broadcast in Australia
  • the activity will bring a net employment benefit to the Australian entertainment industry by employing more Australian citizens and permanent residents than if the position were filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • your supporter/sponsor or the organisation or individual in Australia who has responsibility for the event/s or activities:
    • has consulted the relevant Australian union/s
    • holds any licenses that are required in relation to the production
    • has provided an itinerary specifying the dates and venues for all performances.

Support staff for an entertainer or group of entertainers

This category is for people under employment contract to a performer by assisting a performance or providing personal services, such as backing musicians/vocalists and non-performing support personnel such as acting/voice coaches, hairdressers, dressers and make-up-artists. You might be eligible under this category if:

  • you will be supporting or assisting an entertainer or group of entertainers (whether by assisting a performance or by providing personal services) in relation to a performing contract for one or more specific engagements
  • the activity will bring a net employment benefit to the Australian entertainment industry by employing more Australian citizens and permanent residents than if the position were filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • your supporter/sponsor or the organisation or individual in Australia who has responsibility for the event/s or activities:
    • has consulted the relevant Australian union/s
    • holds any licenses that are required in relation to the production
    • has provided an itinerary specifying the dates and venues for all performances

Non-profit engagements (including support staff)

This category is for entertainers, or people supporting an entertainer (or group of entertainers), in non-profit engagements. You might be eligible under this category if:

  • the event/s is non-profit
  • your supporter/sponsor or the organisation or individual in Australia who has responsibility for the event/s or activities has provided an itinerary specifying the dates and venues for all performances.
Non-profit engagements

For an engagement to be considered ‘non-profit’, you might need to prove that the engagement does not serve commercial interests and address issues of likely profit, whether the profit is provided to non-commercial organisations or charities, a patron, etc.

Non-profit organisations

Non-profit organisations are often associated with engagements for non-commercial purposes. Organisations should show that their non-profit status has been accepted by the Australian Taxation Office or a state or territory government agency such as the NSW Department of Fair Trading. The organisation must meet Australian taxation obligations.

Documentaries and commercials for use in overseas market

This category is for television or film crew (including actors, presenters, production and support staff and still photographers) who are involved in the production of a documentary program or commercial that is for an overseas market and is not intended to be shown in Australia.

If the documentary or commercial will be shown in Australia, you can apply for this visa under one of the following entertainment categories:

  • Production roles other than a performer
  • Performer in a film or television production – subsidised by government
  • Performer in a film or television production – not subsidised by government.
What is a documentary

A documentary program is a factual presentation of a real event, era or person’s life in a television, film, online video or radio program. This includes many light entertainment and reality television programs, provided they factually portray real events or people. The fictional portrayal of characters in a drama series, for example, would not be considered a documentary.

You might be eligible for this category if:

  • the position is part of a television or film crew (including actors, presenters, production and support staff and still photographers) to make a documentary or commercial for an overseas audience
  • the person has suitable experience and qualifications to perform the duties
  • it is not intended that the documentary or commercial will be shown in Australia.

Invited participant in an event

You might be eligible for this activity type if:

  • you have been invited by an Australian organisation to participate in one or more events or to otherwise engage in short duration social and cultural activities that are community related in their nature
  • the inviting organisation or individual is either:
    • directly responsible for the event
    • has a formal role in preparing for or conducting it
  • your stay in Australia will not exceed three months.

You can apply for this visa if you are, for example:

  • a sportsperson or overseas sporting team team participating in sporting events
  •  a public lecturer,
  • a visual artist, author or photographer creating works or engaging in workshop activities,
  • a religious worker contributing to a religious event or other short stay religious activities;
  • a paid presenter at a conference or community event
  • an academic giving a short series of guest lectures
  • an academic giving a short series of guest lectures

Examples of the types of events can include conferences, workshops, sporting events, competitions and religious gatherings.

This activity type is for short stay social and cultural activities only and is not intended for persons seeking to engage in skilled work in the Australian labour market.  Such persons may instead consider their eligibility under the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400).

Religious worker

This activity type is for religious workers to undertake full-time religious work that directly serves the religious objectives of a religious institution in Australia.

You might be eligible for this activity type if you:

  • intend to do full-time religious work that directly serves the religious objectives of the religious institution, religious work includes providing spiritual leadership, conducting worship, teaching or guidance on religion, ministering in pastoral care or proselytising, and other high-level specialist work in relation to these areas.
  • have the relevant qualifications and/or experience to perform the proposed religious work.

Note:This activity type is not intended for people who want to simply work for a religious institution in secular activities such as administration or aged care.

Special program

This activity type allows you to participate in an approved special program that provides opportunities for:

  • youth exchange
  • cultural enrichment or community benefits 
  • school language assistants
  • school to school interchange program.

This activity type is intended to enhance international relations and cultural exchange by allowing people to share cultural and social experiences and knowledge in the Australian community through participation in 'activity specific' programs. The cultural exchange should be the primary purpose of the program and any study, work-based training or employment allowed should be incidental to the program. 

Youth exchange program

A youth exchange program allows for cultural interaction through providing both inbound and outbound participants with the opportunity to experience living in another country, acquire life skills and gain cultural experience and mutual respect for each other's country through living in and sharing the lives of the broader community. Youth exchange organisations are expected to provide opportunities for young Australians to have a similar experience overseas.

You might be eligible for this activity type if:

  • you are between 18 and 30 years of age
  • you have been invited to participate in a youth exchange  program
  • the youth exchange program is being conducted by a person or organisation has an approved special program agreement.

Cultural enrichment or community benefits program

A cultural enrichment or community benefit program is defined as any activity that enables exchange of differing ideas, beliefs, rituals, customs and traditions between people with different or similar ethnic or social backgrounds. The program allows people to share cultural and social experiences and knowledge in the Australian community through participation in 'activity specific' programs. Approved Australian organisations are encouraged to promote this exchange in order to foster mutual understanding and tolerance in the Australian community.

Activities that might be accepted as cultural enrichment or community benefit program include: 

  • teaching of Australian indigenous languages and cultures
  • teaching of other languages and cultures within community organisations
  • volunteer community outreach activities sponsored by charitable organisations
  • religious activities, including pastoral care, teaching, evangelism, renovation of cultural artefacts
  • socio-cultural activities, research and conservation, including outdoor education.

You might be eligible for this activity type if:

  • you are at least 18 years of age
  • you have been invited to participate in a program of cultural enrichment or community benefit by a community based, non-profit Australian organisation
  • the program is between 3 and 12 months in duration
  • the program is being conducted by a person or organisation that has an approved special program agreement. See sponsors and supporters tab for detailed information.

School language assistants program

The school language assistants program allows Australian schools to invite young persons, between 18 and 30 years of age, from other countries, who intend to pursue a career in teaching to obtain some initial experience through assisting qualified Australian language teachers in language and cultural matters for up to 12 months. Participants should be engaged only as teaching assistants in the school.

You might be eligible for this activity type if:

  • you are between 18 and 30 years of age
  • you have been invited to participate in school language assistants program
  • the school language assistants program is being conducted, or is proposed to be conducted, by a school that is:
    • a community-based, non-profit Australian organisation that is lawfully operating in Australia, or
    • a government agency.

School to school interchange program

The school to school interchange program is often referred to by Australian schools as a 'gap year' program. This program allows schools in Australia (generally but not exclusively boarding schools) that have reciprocal arrangements with boarding schools overseas to invite participants to Australia as assistants at the school for up to 12 months.

You might be eligible for this activity type if:

  • you are between 17 and 25 years of age
  • you are seeking a gap year between secondary school and further studies, training or employment, or during tertiary studies
  • the gap year is to take place immediately after finishing school and before starting work, further studies or training
  • you have been invited to participate in a school to school interchange program
  • you intend to work as a voluntary assistant and will not be replacing qualified teaching staff or taking formal classes by yourself
  • the school will be providing appropriate accommodation and maintenance arrangements for the whole period of stay
  • the intended period of stay is less than 12 months
  • you have been invited to participate in a school to school interchange program
  • the school to school interchange program is being conducted, or is proposed to be conducted, by a school that is:
    • a community-based, non-profit Australian organisation that is lawfully operating in Australia, or
    • a government agency.

Sport

This activity type is for sports persons to participate in sporting activities and/or to engage in competition with Australian residents. You might be eligible for this activity type if:

  • you will participate in a high level structured sports training program that is aimed at developing you at or towards the national or international level
  • play, coach, instruct or adjudicate for a sporting club or sporting organisation for a season (you must have a contract and an established reputation in your field of sport).

The requirements for this visa depend on the sporting activity:

  • sports trainees
    • you will be participating in a full-time structured sports training programme that is designed to achieve a high performance outcome
    • the sports training organisation must have an international reputation for training elite sportspeople or adjudicators
    • you must be currently competing or adjudicating at the Australian national level or equivalent or the relevant peak sporting body in Australia or overseas must provide a letter of endorsement stating that you have the potential to compete or adjudicate at the Australian national level
  • elite player, coach, instructor or adjudicator
    • there must be a contractual arrangement in place
    • you must have an established reputation in your field of sport
    • the Australian national sporting body must provide a letter of endorsement stating that you:
      • have the ability to play, coach or instruct or adjudicate at the Australian national level
      • will benefit the sport in Australia through your participation in that sport.

Note: If you are granted a visa as an elite player, coach, instructor or adjudicator your visa will generally cover the length of the sporting season. You are expected to depart Australia at the conclusion of the sporting .

Researcher

This activity type is for academics invited to visit Australia to observe or participate in an Australian research project at an Australian tertiary or research institution.

You might be eligible for this activity type if:

  • you are an academic with significant achievement in your field and have been invited to observe or participate in an Australian research project (usually for a period of up to 12 months):
    • at an Australian tertiary or research institution
    • in collaboration with other academics employed by the Australian tertiary or research institution.

You must:

  • be employed or have been employed as an academic at a tertiary or research institution and hold or have held a senior academic title
  • have the qualifications and experience required for the position
  • have a significant record of achievement in your field

Research student

You might be eligible for this activity type if you are a student or recent graduate of a foreign educational institution and you are invited to undertake research at an Australian tertiary or research institution that is related to your field of study. Current students must be undertaking the research in order to meet course requirements for their overseas qualification.

Staff exchange

This activity type is for skilled workers to take part in a reciprocal staff exchange arrangement with an overseas organisation.

You might be eligible for this activity type if:

  • you intend to work in a skilled position under a reciprocal staff exchange arrangement with an Australian organisation, government agency or foreign government agency
  • there is a written agreement between the Australian organisation, government agency or foreign government agency in Australia and reciprocating organisation overseas that specifies:
    • the person, the skilled position and the period of the exchange
    • an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident to have the opportunity with the reciprocating organisation overseas for a similar period
  • you have the necessary skills and/or experience for the skilled position
  • the exchange benefits both you and the Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident who will be working in the reciprocating organisation overseas.

Superyacht crew

This activity type allows a crew member of a superyacht to work on the vessel in Australia and stay in Australia for up to 12 months.

A superyacht is any high-value luxury sailing or motor vessel that:

  • is 24 metres or longer
  • is not carrying cargo
  • is used for sport or pleasure.

You might be eligible for this activity type if you:

  • are older than 18 years of age
  • have a contract of employment as a member of the crew of the vessel.

Domestic worker (executive)

This activity type is for domestic workers to undertake full-time domestic work in the household of certain eligible senior foreign executives.

You might be eligible for this activity type if:

  • you have been invited to do full-time domestic work in the private household of a person or organisation that is either:
    • a foreign government agency that is the employer of the holder of a Subclass 403 (Temporary Work (International Relations)) visa in the Privileges and Immunities stream
    • a foreign organisation that is lawfully operating in Australia and is the employer of the holder of a Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa
    • national managing director, deputy national managing director or state or territory manager of an Australian office of the foreign government agency or foreign organisation.
  • are over 18 years of age
  • have experience working as a domestic worker
  • the person or organisation has been unable to find a suitable person in Australia for the nominated position (labour market testing is required unless there are compelling reasons for employing you)
  • are employed in accordance with the standards for wages and working conditions under relevant Australian legislation and awards.

Note: At any one time the number of domestic workers workers holding visas for employment in the household cannot exceed three.

Australian Government endorsed event

An Australian Government endorsed event is established where the Minister lists a major Australian event on a legislative instrument. The listing of the major event will also include the classes of persons eligible to apply under this activity type by invitation of the event organiser.

You might be eligible for this visa activity type if:

  • you intend to enter Australia to undertake work directly associated with an Australian Government endorsed major event
  • the event is specified in a legislative instrument
  • you are a class of persons listed on the instrument.

There is no requirement for the event organiser to pass the sponsorship test or pass the support test.

Including family in your application

For detailed information regarding who you can include in your application see including family members in your application. You should read and understand this before completing your applications.

All family members who will come with you or who will join you later in Australia must be:

  • included in your visa application (even if they will join you later in Australia)
  • sponsored if your stay in Australia is for more than 3 months (your sponsor must agree, in writing, to sponsor your family members)

Members of your family unit must be able to show that they have access to adequate means of support for their stay and meet health and character requirements.

Members of your family unit can apply for this visa as either a combined applicant (included in your application) or as a subsequent applicant (at a later time, separate from your application). Applications can be made using ImmiAccount. Subsequent applicants should apply using the Temporary Activity, International Relations or Training Visa (Subsequent Entrant) (403,407,408) form in ImmiAccount.

How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for a Temporary Work Activity visa (subclass 408).

Applying in Australia

If you apply in Australia, you must be sponsored by an approved temporary activities sponsor or an approved sponsor who passes the sponsorship test. You may be in or outside Australia when your visa is granted but not in immigration clearance.

Applying outside Australia

If you apply from outside Australia and you intend to stay in Australia for three months or less, the organisation or individual in Australia who has responsibility of the events/activities you will be involved in must pass the support test.You may be in or outside Australia when your visa is granted but not in immigration clearance.

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 below.

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

Apply online

Visa applications must be made online. Applicants and agents can access online services by creating an account in ImmiAccount.

You can apply when you are in or outside Australia.

After you have gathered and scanned the documents that support your application, create an account and apply using our online application system – ImmiAccount.

If you do not provide the documents requested, your visa application could be refused.

More information

Please refer to preparing your application, for information on:

  • certifying and translating documents into English
  • communicating with us
  • using a migration agent
  • authorising another person to receive information from us
  • receiving assistance with your application.​​​​

After you have applied

After you have applied for your visa you might be required to do the following:

  • attend an interview
  • provide additional information
  • provide biometric information
  • provide police certificates.

Track and manage your application

A Transaction Reference Number (TRN) is a unique number assigned to each online application. You will need this to:

  • track and manage your application
  • identify your application when you communicate with us
  • check your visa entitlements.

You will need to login to your ImmiAccount. You can use your account to:

  • continue a saved application​
  • attach documents
  • update passport details
  • change email and address details
  • check progress of your application
  • notification of changes in circumstances
  • notification of incorrect answer(s)
  • appoint or withdraw an authorised recipient (including migration agent)

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.

Outside Australia:
If you apply for this visa from outside Australia, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa. Wait for a decision from us before you leave your job, sell your home or book your travel.

In Australia:
If you apply for this visa in Australia, you could be eligible for 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 a Bridging visa B (BVB) to travel outside Australia while you wait for a decision.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw your application at any time before a decision is made. You can do this by logging into your ImmiAccount.

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.​

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights and the time limit for applying for a review (if applicable).

Document checklist for visa applicants

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 the 408 applicant checklist to make sure your application is complete.

 

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 Activity visa (subclass 408). 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 period that aligns with the activities that you have been approved to undertake in Australia. The maximum stay periods allowed are:

    • Invited Participant activity type – up to three months
    • Australian Government Endorsed Event activity type – up to four years
    • Any other activity type – up to two years

Note: For some activity types such as superyacht crew members and special program participants, the maximum stay period is usually no more than 12 months.

If your Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) is granted when you are outside Australia, the stay period starts from the day that you first enter Australia as the holder of this visa.

What this visa lets you do

This visa allows you to:

  • stay in Australia for the period that the visa is granted.
  • do the work or activity specified in your application
  • bring eligible family members with you to Australia
  • enter and leave Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid (unless you visa is granted for a single entry only).

Your obligations

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

You can check your visa conditions in Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

During your stay in Australia, you must:

  • maintain adequate health insurance while you are in Australia
  • continue to meet the requirements of the visa activity type 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 or organisation identified in your visa application (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 or role identified in your visa application
  • not become involved in activities disruptive to, or violence threatening harm to, the Australian community or a group within the Australian community.

Note for entertainers only: It is a condition on your visa that you must not change details of the times and places of engagements specified in the application to be undertaken in Australia during the visa period, without the prior permission in writing of the Secretary of the department. You must ask permission from the Entertainment Visa Centre (NSW) to make any changes to your itinerary, including new events, changes in times or new venues. You can contact the Entertainment Visa Centre at: entertainment.visas@border.gov.au   

If the sponsor or supporting organisation or individual ceases your activity or employment, you must do one of the following:

  • find another organisation who is willing to sponsor you and apply for a new visa
  • find another individual or organisation or individual who is willing to support you and apply for a new visa
  • if eligible, apply for a different visa or 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 or stay after you finally depart.

Your family must:

  • intend to remain members of your family unit.
  • maintain adequate health insurance while they are in Australia
  • not become involved in activities disruptive to, or violence threatening harm to, the Australian community or a group within the Australian community.

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

You must 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 your ImmiAccount to:

  • Appoint or withdraw an authorised recipient (including migration agent)
  • Change of address details
  • Change of email address details
  • Change of passport details
  • Notification of changes in circumstances
  • Notification of incorrect answer(s).

Sponsors/supporters

From 19 May 2017 you must be a Temporary Activities sponsor if you want to sponsor an applicant for a Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) under the Seasonal Worker Program stream, a Training visa (subclass 407) or a Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408).

Long Stay Activity, Training and Research, Professional Development, Entertainment, Special Program and Superyacht Crew sponsorships cannot be used to sponsor any new visa applicants from 19 May 2017.

Visa applications lodged before 19 May 2017 using one of the above Sponsorships will not be affected by this change.

To become a Temporary Activities sponsor you must lodge your application online through your ImmiAccount.

This information is for a person who wants to sponsor or support someone for a Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408).

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

All activities types for the Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) do not require sponsorship where the visa applicant is outsideAustralia and intends to stay for three months or less.  Instead the individual or organisation in Australia who is responsible for the events or activities must meet the Support test.

If the person you want to bring to Australia will be either:

  • in Australia at time of application
  • outside Australia and is intending to stay in Australia for more than three months

they must be sponsored.

These support or sponsorship requirements do not apply to persons applying for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa to enter Australia under endorsement for an Australian Government Endorsed Event.

Sponsors

If the person you want to bring to Australia will be either:

  • in Australia at time of application
  • outside Australia and is intending to stay in Australia for more than three months

they must be sponsored (with the exception of Australian Government Endorse Events).

To sponsor a person to work or undertake an activity in Australia on this visa, you must:

  • apply online to become an approved temporary activities sponsor
  • already be an approved long stay activity sponsor, training and research, professional development, entertainment, special program or superyacht crew sponsor This will allow you to sponsor applicants up until 18 May 2017. See transitional arrangements.

To sponsor an applicant for a Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) you must meet the Sponsorship test.

Sponsorship test

To meet the sponsorship test, an individual or organisation must:

  • be an approved sponsor
  • have agreed in writing to sponsor the visa applicant and any family members travelling with them
  • have not withdrawn that agreement or ceased to sponsor the applicant
  • have nothing adverse known by us about you or a person or organisation associated with you, unless it is reasonable for usto disregard that information.

How long the sponsorship lasts

A sponsorship lasts for up to five years.

If you are approved as a temporary activities sponsor, you can apply to vary (extend) your sponsorship before it expires to allow you to continue to sponsor people. If the sponsorship period expires, you will need to re-apply and be approved to sponsor further visa applicants.

How to apply to be a sponsor

This information explains what you need to do to apply to sponsor someone for a Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408).

You must lodge your sponsorship application before the person you want to sponsor lodges their visa application/s. The person you want to sponsor will require your sponsorship application ID or Transaction Reference Number (TRN) to be able to complete the online visa application form and make a valid visa application.

Prepare your documents

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

Some documents can take you several weeks to obtain. You should have all the required documents ready to lodge with your application to reduce any delays in processing.

Lodge your application

To be a temporary activities sponsor, you must lodge your application online.

You must provide all relevant documents and pay the visa application charge by credit card when you apply. You should upload your documents through your ImmiAccount when you apply. This will help reduce delays in processing your application.

There is a fee for applying to become an approved sponsor. Payment of this fee must accompany your application. Payment does not guarantee approval of the application.

To check the current application fee, see Fees and charges for visas.

Sponsorship decision

If your application to be a sponsor is approved, we will send you a letter with:

  • the date your sponsorship ceases 
  • your sponsorship agreement number
  • the obligations you have as a sponsor.

If this sponsorship is not approved, we will send you a letter stating:

  • why your application was refused
  • your rights (if any) to a merits review of the decision and relevant time limits.

Sponsor obligations

You must be able to comply with the following sponsorship obligations:

  • cooperate with inspectors
  • keep records
  • provide records and information to the Minister
  • tell us when certain events occur
  • 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 engages in the position or role for which the visa was granted..

Depending on the activity in which the visa was granted, you may also be required to comply with the following sponsorship obligations:

  • pay travel costs to enable sponsored people  to leave Australia
  • secure an offer of a reasonable standard of accommodation 
  • to make the same or equivalent 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 participants, sport trainees, elite players, coaches, instructors or adjudicators and Domestic Workers (Executive) 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 a visa holder.

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

Keep records - For religious workers 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 Commonwealth, 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.

We might 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 are no longer sponsoring a visa holder.
Tell us when certain events occur  

You must tell us in writing when certain events occur. The information must be sent 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 notified address and contact details of the sponsor;
  • if the primary sponsored person fails to commence in the position, program or activity for which the visa was granted
  • if the primary sponsored person ceases to continue in the position, program or activity for which the visa was granted
  • any change to the formal arrangement or agreement between you and the primary sponsored person
  • any change in the final date on which a primary sponsored person will cease in their position, program or activity for you.
  • where you have paid the return travel costs of a sponsored person in accordance with the obligation mentioned in regulation 2.80.
  • if you ceases to hold any necessary licenses that were required for the visa to be approved in relation to the entry of an entertainer
  • a primary sponsored person is unable to meet the requirements of a special program activity
  • your legal entity ceases to exist.

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

This obligation ends two years after:

  • your sponsorship ceases
  • you are no longer sponsoring a visa holder. 
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 set out in the visa application

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

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

  • the sponsored visa holder has a visa granted 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 a formerly 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 are no longer sponsoring a 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 charges
  • migration agent costs associated with the lodgement of sponsorship and visa 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 workers and  special program only 

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

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

  • the person you sponsored is granted another visa other than 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.
  • the person you sponsored is granted another visa other than 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 costs to locate and remove an unlawful non-citizen

In the event a sponsored person becomes an unlawful non-citizen, you may be required to pay the costs incurred by the Commonwealth in locating and/or removing the 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.

Sponsors of Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visas must ensure that the primary sponsored person works or participates in the activity in relation to which the visa was granted.

This obligation starts on the day the visa is granted.

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

  • the person you sponsored is granted another visa other than 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 (executive) to enter and leave Australia

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.

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

Secure an offer of a reasonable standard of accommodation - For sport, religious workers, entertainers and special programs activity types 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 the visa application of the sponsored person is approved.

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

  • the person you sponsored is granted another visa other than 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.
Obligation to ensure primary sponsored person works or participates in the activity in relation to which the visa is granted

Make the same position available to Australian exchange participants – for Exchange participants 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 the visa 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.

Supporters

If the person you want to bring to Australia applies from outside Australia and intends to stay in Australia for three months or less they do not need to be sponsored for this visa. Instead the individual or organisation in Australia who is responsible for the events or activities must meet the Support test.

Support test

To meet the support test, an individual or organisation must:

  • provide a letter of invitation (if an organisation - on the organisation’s letterhead) which identifies:
    • the visa applicant and any family members travelling with them
    • the event/s, activity or work the applicant will be involved
    • the duties in relation to event/s, activity or work the applicant will be involved
    • the date/s, location/s of the event/s activity or work
  • have nothing adverse known by usabout you or a person or organisation associated with you, unless it is reasonable for us to disregard that information.

You do not need to lodge an application to be a supporter. You must provide all the documents mentioned in the document checklist to the visa applicant to submit with their visa application.

Sponsorship applications lodged before 19 November 2016

If you were approved before 19 November 2016 as a long stay activity, training and research, professional development, entertainment, special program or superyacht crew sponsor, you can use this approval to sponsor a Temporary Activity (subclass 408 ) visa applicant (who is engaging in the relevant activity) during the transitional period, that is until 18 May 2017, or until your sponsor approval ceases (whichever is earlier).

From 19 May 2017 must apply online for approval as a temporary activities sponsor if you want to sponsor a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa applicant.

If you apply for approval before 19 November 2016 as a long stay activity, training and research, professional development, entertainment, special program or superyacht crew sponsor, your application would continue to be assessed under the pre-19 November 2016 legislation. The sponsorship would only be valid for new Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa applications until 18 May 2017.

Who can be a sponsor/supporter?

To sponsor or support someone for this visa you must be one of the following types of individuals or organisations:

  • Australian organisation lawfully operating lawfully in Australia
    • an Australian organisation that is lawfully established and operating in Australia, such as a business, a body corporate, unincorporated body (other than an individual or a sole trader), non-profit organisation.
  • Government Agency
    • an agency of the Australian Government or an Australian state or territory government.
  • Foreign Government Agency
    • a foreign government agency operating in Australia such as a consular or diplomatic mission as well as foreign tourist and media bureaus, trade offices and other foreign government entities.
  • Religious institution
    • a religious institution that is lawfully operating in Australia and endorsed as a charity by the Australian Tax Office.
  • Sporting organisation
    • An Australian organisation, a government agency or foreign government agency that is lawfully operating in Australia and administers or promotes sport or sporting events.
  • Foreign organisation
    • a company registered in another country and lawfully operating in Australia that wants to carry on business in Australia is a foreign organisation'. Corporations sole, exempt public authorities, and unincorporated bodies in Australia cannot be 'foreign companies'.
  • Superyacht captain, owner or operator
    • a person who is the captain or owner of a superyacht, or an organisation that operates a superyacht.

You must also show that you:

  • have a good business record and abide by Australian laws
  • have the capacity to comply with the sponsorship obligations.

Lawfully operating in Australia

Your organisation must be lawfully established and actively engaged in business activities in Australia.

Good business record and abide by Australian laws

To meet this requirement:

  • there must be nothing adverse known about you or a person associated with you that could affect your suitability as a sponsor, unless it is reasonable to disregard that information
  • if you have previously sponsored overseas workers to Australia, you must have a satisfactory record of complying with Australian laws
  • the activities of your organisation or agency must not be illegal in Australia.

Further information is provided in Adverse information for sponsors.

Entertainers

To sponsor an entertainer you must be:

  • an Australian organisation that is lawfully established and operating in Australia
  • an agency of the Australian Government or an Australian state or territory government
  • a foreign government agency operating in Australia.

Individuals can no longer sponsor entertainers and will not meet the sponsorship test. 

To support an entertainer you must be:

  • an Australian organisation that is lawfully established and operating in Australia
  • an agency of the Australian Government or an Australian state or territory government
  • a foreign government agency operating in Australia
  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who is usually resident in Australia.

You are required to consult with the relevant union if you are sponsoring or supporting one of the following persons:

  • Performers in film or television productions subsidised by the government
  • Performers in film or television production—not subsidised by government
  • Performers not in film or television
  • Support staff for an entertainer or group of entertainers
  • A  person who has a production role other than as a performer.

Consult with unions

You must consult with relevant Australian unions about engaging the person in Australia before the visa application is lodged.

In some circumstances there might be more than one relevant union that should be consulted:

  • Musicians and conductors
    Consult the Musicians Union of Australia (MUA) for applications for performing musicians and conductors. For further information refer to Musicians Union of Australia website.
  • Directors
    Consult the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) for applications for foreign screen directors in film, television and digital media. For further information refer to Australian Directors Guild website.
  • All other applications
    Consult the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) in connection with all other applications. For further information refer to Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance website.

Visa application charges (for entertainers only)

The visa applicant might not have to pay the visa application charge if they are working in the entertainment industry in an event or events and your organisation is:

  • a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission;
  • a foreign government agency, Embassy or Consulate;
  • a State and Territory Government or Commonwealth Government agency; or
  • a government funded event or organisation that is specified by the Minister in a legislative instrument

You should advise the the visa applicant if you are eligible for a visa application charge concession and provide them with the relevant evidence to submit with their application.

If the visa applicant does not provide evidence when they submit their application, the application might not be processed.

Invited participant in an event

To sponsor or support an invited participant activity type application you must be:

  • an Australian organisation that is lawfully established and operating in Australia
  • an agency of the Australian Government or an Australian state or territory government
  • a foreign government agency operating in Australia

and must be directly responsible for the event(s) or activities or have a formal role in preparing for or conducting the event(s) or activity.

Religious workers

To sponsor or support a religious worker activity type application you must be:

  • an organisation that is operating lawfully in Australia and endorsed as a charity by the Australian tax office where:
    • the organisation’s objectives and activities reflect its character as a body instituted for the promotion of some religious object
    • the beliefs and practices of the members of the organisation constitute a religion

Sports trainee, elite player, coach instructor or adjudicator

To sponsor a sports trainee, elite player, coach instructor or adjudicator you must be:

    • an Australian organisation that is lawfully operating in Australia
    •  an Australian government agency
    • a foreign government agency

that administers or promotes sport or sporting events

To sponsor a sports trainee, if you are an Australian organisation you must have an international reputation for training elite sportspeople or adjudicators. You cannot be a sporting club that, as its primary activity, competes in sporting competitions below the Australian national level for the sport.

Researchers

To sponsor or support a researcher you must be either tertiary or a research institution lawfully operating in Australia.

Exchange participants

To sponsor or support an exchange participant you must be:

  • an Australian organisation that is lawfully operating in Australia
  • a government agency
  • a foreign government agency operating in Australia.
  • with an agreement in place with an overseas organisation for the exchange of staff.

Superyacht crew member

To sponsor or support a member of the crew of a superyacht you must be the captain, owner or operator of the superyacht or an organisation that operates a superyacht.

Domestic worker executive

To sponsor or support a domestic worker (executive) you must be either:

  • a foreign government agency that is the employer of the holder of a Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) in the Privileges and Immunities stream who is the national managing director, deputy national managing director or state manager of an Australian office of the agency
  • a foreign organisation that is lawfully operating in Australia and is the employer of the holder of a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) who is the national managing director, deputy national managing director or state manager of an Australian office of the organisation.

Special program

To be a sponsor for a special program or to support a person for a special program, your organisation must be lawfully established and actively operating in Australia. Individuals or sole traders are not eligible to be sponsors or supporters for this activity type.

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.

Youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefit programs

Youth exchange program

A youth exchange program allows for cultural interaction through providing both inbound and outbound participants with the opportunity to experience living in another country, acquire life skills and gain cultural experience and mutual respect for each other's country through living in and sharing the lives of the broader community. Youth exchange organisations are expected to provide opportunities for young Australians to have a similar experience overseas.

The program allows participants aged between 18 to 30 years of age to undertake activities that provide a practical cultural enrichment training or short term employment often referred to as an 'internship'. The cultural exchange should be the primary purpose of this arrangement with the study, work-based training or employment as incidental activities.

Internships for special programmes should in general possess the following characteristics:

  • intern is between 18 and 30 (inclusive) years of age
  • internship placement offers cultural benefit/experience
  • internship placement is directly related to the intern's previous tertiary studies
  • intern completed tertiary studies within the last three years at time of application
  • internship is a supernumerary position and does not displace an Australian employee
  • intern is under continuous supervision
  • study component is no greater than 20 per cent
  • intern has not previously undertaken an internship performing similar duties at the same skill level.
Cultural enrichment or community benefit program

A cultural enrichment or community benefit program is defined as any activity that enables exchange of differing ideas, beliefs, rituals, customs and traditions between people with different or similar ethnic or social backgrounds. The program allows people to share cultural and social experiences and knowledge in the Australian community through participation in 'activity specific' programs. Approved Australian organisations are encouraged to promote this exchange in order to foster mutual understanding and tolerance in the Australian community.

The cultural exchange should be the primary purpose of the program and any study, work-based training or employment allowed should be incidental to the programme. Tourism or training activities, as the primary objective, would not be considered a cultural enrichment or community benefit program.

Generally, participation in a cultural enrichment or community benefit program might not be less than three months and may not exceed 12 months.

Activities that might be accepted as cultural enrichment or community benefit programs include: 

  • teaching of Australian indigenous languages and cultures
  • teaching of other languages and cultures
  • volunteer community outreach work sponsored by charitable organisations
  • religious activities, including pastoral care, teaching, evangelism, renovation of cultural artefacts 
  • socio-cultural activities, research and conservation, including outdoor education.

Process after the special program is approved

If your program is approved as a special program, you will have to enter into a signed 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.

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

When the sponsorship is approved, you can then invite non-Australian residents to participate in your approved special program.  If you are already a temporary activities sponsor, then you can commence sponsoring straight away under the terms of your agreement.

An approved special program is usually valid for three years. Continuation of a special program may, by our request, require a monitoring reports from the organisation from time to time. Failure to provide monitoring reports could result in revocation of the special program agreement.

School to School Interchange Program and School Language Assistants Programme

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.

The School to School Interchange Program allows schools in Australia (generally but not exclusively boarding schools) that have reciprocal arrangements with schools overseas to invite a participants to Australia as assistants at the school for up to 12 months. The participant must have recently completed their schooling – this is often referred to as the 'gap year' program by participating schools.

The School Language Assistants Program allows Australian schools to invite young persons, between 18 and 30 years old, from other countries, who intend to pursue a career in teaching to obtain some initial experience through assisting qualified Australian language teachers in language and cultural matters for up to 12 months. Participants should be engaged only as teaching assistants in the school.  There is no requirement for individual schools in Australia to be approved to participate in this program.

Applying for special program approval

This information explains what you need to do to apply for approval of your organisation’s youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefit special programme.

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 purposes under the Special Program visa (subclass 416) or Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)
  • 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:

  • by email: specialist.entry@border.gov.au
  • by post or courier to: 
    By mail
    (Attention Temporary Specialist Visas Section)
    Department of Immigration and Border Protection
    P.O. Box 25
    Belconnen ACT  2616

    By courier
    (Attention Temporary Specialist Visas Section)
    Department of Immigration and Border Protection
    6 Chan Street
    Belconnen ACT 2617

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 programme agreement with your organisation.

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

Document checklist for sponsors and supporters

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 the 408 sponsor checklist to make sure your application is complete.

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 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.