408 Temporary Activity Visa
The Temporary activity (subclass 408) visa provides a single visa pathway and streamlined processing arrangements for persons entering Australia in association with a major event to undertake one of the following activities (see detailed description for each event in the relevant tabs below):
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.
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.
To participate or observe in an Australian research project after being invited to do so. To undertake a research activity at an Australian tertiary or research institution related to the field of study.
to be a full-time religious worker, serving the religious objectives of a religious institution in Australia
to participate in an approved special program that provides opportunities for youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefits.
play, coach or instruct, or adjudicate under contract to an Australian sporting club or organisation
participate in a high-level sports training program
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.
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.
Who can sponsor individuals for a 408 visa?
The sponsor applicant must be one of the following types of individuals or organisations:
- Australian organisation
- Government agency
- Foreign government agency
- Religious institution
- Sporting organisation
For every 408 visa applicant, under any activity type, there must be a:
- ‘Sponsor’ who passes the sponsorship test in relation to the applicant; or
- ‘Supporter’ who passes the support test in relation to the applicant where the application is made offshore and the proposed period of stay is up to 3 months.
How long can you stay on this visa in Australia?
The Temporary activity (sc 408) visa is a temporary visa that allows visa holder to stay in Australia for the period that aligns with the activities that they have been approved to undertake on this visa. The maximum stay periods allowed are:
- Invited participant activity type – up to 3 months
- Australian Government endorsed event activity type – up to 4 years
- Any other activity type – up to 2 years
- Applicants need to do the work or activity specified in their application
- They can bring eligible family members with them to Australia
- Applicants may enter and leave Australia as many times as they want while their 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.
The visa requires sponsorship if the applicant is in Australia or the applicant wishes to stay for a period of more than 3 months.
This activity type is for persons intending to work in the entertainment industry, including:
- performers for recorded and live performances activities undertaken in Australia
- production and support personnel for these activities.
Seven categories of entertainers
An applicant must meet any of the seven Entertainer categories:
1. Performing in a film or television production subsidised by government;
2. Performing in a film or television production not subsidised by government;
3. Performing in productions not related to film or television;
4. Production roles other than as a performer;
5. Support staff;
6. Non-profit engagements; and
7. Documentary program or commercial for overseas market.
These include, but are not limited to:
- religious, sporting, academic, and artistic events; and
- conferences, conventions and trade fairs where, for reward, the applicant will be actively contributing to the event (eg. making presentations).
The sponsoring or supporting organisation must be directly responsible for the event(s) or has a formal role in preparing for, or conducting the event(s).
This activity type is for:
- academics with significant achievement in their field of endeavor who are invited to collaborate in a research project by an Australian tertiary or research institution; and
- students or recent graduate who wish to undertake a research activity at an Australian tertiary or research institution that is related to their field of study.
The Religious Worker activity type provides for the temporary entry of persons who will be full-time religious workers in Australia. The applicant must hold appropriate qualifications and experience to undertake the work or activity. The applicant must show that they have had an ongoing association with the religious institution (generally more than 2 years) prior to the visa application and have previously served in a similar capacity to their intended role with the institution or similar institution overseas or elsewhere in Australia.
This activity type is for persons who have been invited by an approved temporary activity sponsor to participate in:
- School language assistants program (SLAP)
- School to school interchange program (SSIP)
- a youth exchange program based on cultural drivers, for which both the organisation and the program have been approved by the Secretary; or
- a cultural enrichment or community benefit program, where both the organisation and the program have been approved by the Secretary.
The GG-408 Special Program activity type is not for persons who are primarily seeking employment, training or study.
The special program is expected to be conducted by a community based, nonprofit Australian organisation or a government agency.
The Special Program Agreement
All SPAs are written to be specific to the programs they describe. Agreements provide information about:
- the organisation who is party to the agreement with the department;
- the description of the special program the organisation has been approved to operate; and
- the criteria for overseas participants’ eligibility for the program, including minimum English language requirement of IELTS 4.5 or equivalent.
A special program must comprise sufficient activities to be considered full-time. Under policy, full-time is taken to be at least 30 hours a week for a special program
The Sport activity type enables the entry of sportspersons who are skilled at the Australian national level with the purpose of improving the quality of a sport in Australia through participation in high-level competition and training with Australian residents.
Letter of Endorsement by the peak sporting body responsible for the sport in Australia is required.
The exchange activity type is intended to facilitate the entry of skilled persons under genuine exchange arrangements that identify a reciprocal employment placement for Australian residents to work with overseas organisations, promoting international understanding and cooperation. The purpose of the exchange arrangement must be primarily to benefit the exchange staff involved.
There must be a written agreement between the Australian organisation and a foreign organisation (the reciprocating organisation) that provides for the applicant to work for the Australian organisation for a period specified in the agreement and an Australian citizen or permanent resident, to have the opportunity to obtain experience with the reciprocating organisation for a specified period.
The work that the applicant will perform for the Australian organisation will be in a Skilled position.
The principles that underpin the entry of Superyacht crew include:
- Streamlined and efficient application processing;
- While in Australia Superyacht crew will only undertake work that is consistent with the usual operational requirements of their vessel; and
- Superyacht visa holders do not intend to engage in activities that will have adverse consequences for employment or training opportunities, or conditions of employment, for Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.
The Domestic Worker (Executive) activity type provides for the temporary entry of persons to be employed as domestic workers by:
- certain 457 visa holders who are senior executives of overseas organisations; or
- certain 403 Privileges and Immunities activity type visa holders who are senior executives of foreign government agencies.
At any one time, there will not be more than three domestic workers holding a visa for employment in the household of the first visa holder holding UC-457 or GD-403 visa.
Australian Government Endorsed Events (AGEEs) activity type is established for major Australian events such as Commonwealth Games, Rugby League World Cup 2017, or where the sponsor or eligible supporter is a charity registered by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission or an agency of the Commonwealth, state or territory, embassy or consulate and such other agencies.
There is no requirement for a person or organisation to pass the sponsorship test or pass the support test in relation to the applicant.