Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa | Subclass 400


The 400 visa is primarily for individuals who are looking to undertake the following activities in Australia:

  • highly-specialised temporary or short-term work
  • activities which can be classified as ‘relating to Australia’s interests’

400 visas are usually valid for up to three months. However, if the applicant has sufficient justification for a longer stay, Australian authorities will consider issuing a 400 visa for up to six months.


Applicants must meet at least the following basic criteria in order to be considered for a 400 visa:

  • they must have been invited or sponsored directly by the organisation that they intend to work for
  • they must have specialist or expert experience, knowledge or skills which is required by their sponsor but that is not able to be found within the Australian labour market

Length of stay

Usually three months, potentially as many as six months in certain circumstances


Applications for a 400 visa will cost at least AUD 405

Processing time

75 per cent of applications processed 90 per cent of applications processed
Within 12 days Within 25 days

Please be aware that all Australian visa processing times vary.

Financial requirements

When applying for a 400 visa, you should be prepared for the possibility that you will be asked to provide evidence that you can support yourself financially while in Australia. If you are intending to bring family members with you on this visa, you might be asked to show that you can support them as well.

About this visa

The Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400) is lets you enter Australia on a short-term basis in order to:

  • highly-specialised temporary or short-term work
  • activities which can be classified as ‘relating to Australia’s interests’

Before making plans to travel to Australia, you should take into account the time that it will take for your 400 visa application to be processed.

What the 400 visa lets you do

Holders of this visa are permitted to:

  • remain in Australia for as long as their visa is valid
  • do the specialised, short-term work (or activity relating to Australian interests) that was the basis for the visa being granted
  • bring eligible family members with you, provided they do not work

You are also permitted to combine your work with a holiday, provided that your primary reason for visiting Australia was to work.

Restrictions on this visa

This visa can not be used in order to work in the Australian entertainment industry.

400 visas can not be extended.


Applying for a 400 visa will cost at least AUD 405

Further costs might be payable for any dependants attached to the visa.

Representatives of foreign governments and certain individuals and professions listed in specific Australian law are exempt from the application fee.


Applicants must be outside Australia when applying, and when receiving a decision on their application.


Any family members an applicant wishes to bring with them should be included in the initial visa application. If they are not, they will need to submit their own separate visa applications.

Family members may also have to submit their own visa applications if they intend to work or undertake formal study in Australia.

Your obligations

Applicants and any family members included in their application must ensure that they abide by the conditions of their visa, as well as Australian law. Only work and activity specified in the visa is permitted, and any desired change in activity or working arrangements after arriving in Australia may require application for a different visa.

Sponsors’ obligations

Applicants for a 400 visa will need to provide Australian authorities with either a contract, job offer or invitation from an Australian business or other organisation. This should set out:

  • the specifics of the applicant’s position and the work they will be undertaking
  • how long the work will last
  • why this specific individual is needed in Australia
  • remuneration and employment conditions
  • which Australian workplace standard or Industry Award applies to the position that is being sponsored

All workers in Australia have rights in the workplace under Australian law. This includes non-Australian citizens working on a valid visa.

Additional information on these rights (including shift, leave, notice and pay standards) can be found by searching for Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT).

NB: If you are intending to work in Australia as a freelancer (e.g. a photographer or journalist) you will be required to submit your planned itinerary with your application, as well as any details you might have regarding your work assignment.

Domestic workers

Individuals who are travelling with their employer or household, for whom they are employed as a domestic worker, should not apply for the 400 visa. Instead, they should submit an application for the subclass 600 Visitor (Tourist or Business Visitor stream) visa. Applicants for this visa must intend to travel with their employer and have the same itinerary during their planned visit.

Six-month 400 visa

In order to qualify for the less common six-month subclass 400 visa, applicants will be assessed based on a number of factors, including:

  • the quality and nature of the evidence presented as it relates to the impact that the project they will undertake will have on the local community, including any impact that it will have on local businesses and workers already in Australia
  • how many Australian citizens or permanent residents will be employed by the project
  • the quality of evidence supplied to justify the request to bring in labour from outside Australia
  • if the applicant is being brought to Australia to fulfil part of a contract e.g. an installation or servicing contract
  • if appropriate, any evidence from the applicant’s sponsor that they have first attempted to recruit from within the Australian labour market before seeking to bring someone in from overseas

Book your no-obligation consultation today with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne, and find out the right visa options for your unique circumstances.