Fact sheet – Temporary Residence

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Australia's temporary residence programme is designed to allow overseas people to come to Australia for specific purposes that benefit Australia. The programme consists of four categories:

  • skilled
  • temporary work
  • international relations
  • training and research.

Temporary residents are required to pay taxes on income earned in Australia. Most temporary residents do not have access to social welfare benefits or national public health cover.

Applicants must be assessed to satisfy Australia's strict health and character requirements.
See: Fact sheet – The health requirement

In addition to meeting the health requirement, if you are applying for certain temporary visas you might have to provide evidence of adequate health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia. We also encourage all prospective visitors and residents to have adequate health insurance cover while staying in Australia.

Information on student visas, post-study work arrangements, skilled migrants, temporary short and long stay visa options, business services and accessing retirement savings is available.
Fact sheet – Overseas Students in Australia
Fact sheet – Helping Skilled and Business People
Fact sheet - Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa

Citizens of countries where Australia has reciprocal health care agreements (RHCA) are generally entitled to emergency medical cover in Australia. This cover does not extend to pre-existing medical conditions. RHCA countries include Belgium, Slovenia, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Travellers should check if they need to maintain private health insurance.

For the latest list of countries and further information on RHCA, including what Medicare services are available under RHCA, you should refer to the Department of Human Services website.
See: Medicare Australia – Visitors to Australia

Skilled visa classes

Business entry visas allow employers to recruit skilled people from overseas for a stay of up to four years. The position being filled must be skilled and paid at the local market rate.
See: Fact sheet – Helping Skilled and Business People

Temporary work

Temporary work visas are available for people taking part in sporting, entertainment and cultural activities, for short-term highly specialised work and for staff exchange arrangements.

Temporary work (entertainment) visas are for people involved in a wide range of social and cultural events and activities in the arts and entertainment industries, taking into account the need to protect the employment of Australians in the industry.

Temporary work (long stay activity) visas are for people intending to come to Australia on a temporary basis to participate in a staff exchange arrangement, to undertake sporting activities or religious work.

Temporary work (short stay activity) visas are for people intending to come to Australia to do short term, highly specialised non-ongoing work or to participate in non-ongoing cultural or social activities at the invitation of an organisation in Australia.

Temporary graduate visas are for people who have completed their studies in Australia while on a qualifying student visa, and who intend to live and work in Australia temporarily after they have finished their studies.

International relations

Working holiday visas allow young people from certain arrangement countries to experience Australian culture and lifestyle through an extended holiday and short term employment, with special focus on regional Australia.

The programme is an integral part of Australia's tourism industry and also supports the Australian economy by providing supplementary labour for industries requiring short-term casual workers.
See: Fact sheet – Working Holiday Programme

Work and holiday visas are similar to working holiday visas, except that the work and holiday visa programme requires additional documentation from arrangement countries. Applicants may need to provide a letter of support from their government agreeing to their stay in Australia, hold university education qualifications and have functional English.
Note: These extra provisions do not apply to applicants from the United States of America.

See: Fact sheet – Working Holiday Programme

Diplomatic visas allow for temporary entry of people wanting to travel to Australia in a diplomatic or official capacity, on advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Eligible people should apply for this visa regardless of their intended period of stay in Australia.

Temporary work (international relations) visas are for people who are intending to travel to Australia on a temporary basis:

  • to work for a foreign government agency (where they do not have official status)
  • to undertake work or an activity in accordance with the terms and conditions of an agreement between the Australian Government or a state/territory government and the government of another country
  • as a domestic worker for the holder of a Diplomatic (subclass 995) visa
  • as a person whom privileges and immunities will be accorded under the International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963 or the Overseas Missions (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1995.

Training and research

Training and research visas allow people who are intending to come to Australia on a temporary basis to undertake occupational training, conduct or observe research as a visiting academic or participate in a professional development programme.
See: Training and Research visa (subclass 402)

Other visas

Investor retirement visas are for self-funded retirees who are 55 years or older, have no dependants (other than a partner) and are able to make a significant long term financial investment in Australia. The visa is temporary and does not lead to Australian permanent residence or citizenship.

Retirement visas are available to current retirement visa holders and their partners, and to certain former holders of this visa who have not held another substantive visa since their last retirement visa ceased. New or first time applicants considering spending a period of their retirement in Australia should consider the Investor Retirement (subclass 405) visa.

Special programme visas are for people coming to Australia under approved programmes to participate in youth exchange, community benefit or cultural enrichment programmes, or the special programme of seasonal work.

Access to retirement savings

Eligible temporary residents are able to access their retirement savings (superannuation) upon permanent departure from Australia or, in limited circumstances, when they reach preservation age in Australia.

More information on accessing this money is available on the Australian Taxation Office's website (temporary residents).
Australian Taxation Office
Accessing Superannuation Benefits