Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) - 400

This visa does not require the applicant to be sponsored or nominated. 

The visa applicant must be outside of Australia when applying for the visa and when the visa application is decided.

The maximum period of stay is six months. However, it is expected the normal period of stay would be 3 months or less.

The applicant has personal attributes, an employment background, or both, that are relevant to, and consistent with, the nature of the applicant’s proposed participation in an event, or proposed engagement in an activity or work.

The applicant demonstrates that there is need for the applicant to be in Australia to participate in the event, or engage in the activity or work.

The applicant has sufficient funds or access to funds to support themselves during the period of stay in Australia.

The applicant is a genuine temporary entrant.

The applicant must meet generic health and character requirements.

Members of the applicant’s family unit can be included in the visa application but  they are not permitted to work in Australia.


There are 2 streams:

1. Highly specialised Work stream

This stream is for persons with a demonstrated need to undertake short-term, non-ongoing, highly specialised work in Australia. The visa provides a pathway for workers (such as professionals, managers, technicians and tradespeople) with highly specialised skills, knowledge or experience that can assist Australian business and which cannot reasonably be found in the Australian labour market.

2. Australia's Interest Stream

For persons who do not satisfy the Highly Specialised Work stream where there are compelling circumstances affecting Australia’s interest. 



Applicants should be qualified in ANZSCO Major Groups 1 to 3 (Managers, Professionals, Technicians and Trades Workers), but could also include otherwise highly specialised workers who cannot reasonably be sourced in Australia.


Skills relating to overseas technology - where the applicant is employed by, or has been trained in relation to goods or services developed by, an overseas company that are being introduced to (or are already in use in) Australia this could be considered as a need for the applicant to deliver services in Australia that require their specific (proprietary) skills or knowledge of these goods or services. It is expected that this specific (proprietary) knowledge is not available in the Australian workforce, or is of limited availability.

Highly specialised and not reasonably available in AustraliaThe applicant has highly specialised skills that can be found in Australia, but the skill set in the Australian community is extremely limited so as not to be practicably available to the Australian employer. The overseas contractor /Australian business will need to demostrate that efforts have been made to contract available workers in Australia.

Non-ongoing work is the work that is likely to be completed within a continuous period of six months or less and that the applicant has not made arrangements or been given an expectation of staying in Australia, for a purpose relating to the work, after the end of the visa period granted.

Entertainment related activities - The applicant must not be seeking to 

  • perform as an entertainer, either under a performing contract or for non-profit purposes, or
  • to support an entertainer or group of entertainers
  • to direct, produce or take another part in a film, television or radio production that is to be shown or broadcast in Australia or,
  • to direct, produce or take part in a theatre production, concert or recording that is to be to be performed in Australia.

The appropriate visa for these activities is subclass 408.

Subclass 400 visa may be appropriate if:

  • the material is clearly aimed at an overseas audience,
  • the material has been commissioned by an overseas television broadcaster,
  • the initial point of distribution is overseas and no deal has been made for Australian distribution (and there is no intention to do so),or
  • it seeks to cater to the particular cultural or language requirements of an overseas audience.

Many entertainers enter Australia to promote a performance (for example, a movie due for Australian release) and will be a guest in the media where they will be interviewed by host broadcasters and journalists. During interview or promotional media appearances, the entertainer may provide incidental entertainment (not including a performance) in the context of promoting their movies. This is permitted under 400 visa.

Speakers who impart information, knowledge or facts can apply for 400 visa (e.g. seminars on wealth building and motivational speaking)

Performance preparation workshops - 400 visa may be appropriate for performance artists or other applicants such as a dance teachers to enter Australia to hold performance preparation workshops, provided they will not be involved in the entertainment related activities in performance. The performance artists have to have a strong professional background in their field.



Other criteria:

- the applicant must not engage in any course of study except for a language training program

- the applicant must 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 applicant will be paid in accordance with relevant Australian workplace legislation. 

ANZSCO Major Groups 1-3 occupations (Managers, Professionals, Technicians and Trades Workers) should meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) that applies to the 457 visa.

For other occupations, the remuneration should be at least the Australian minimum wage.



is for persons who do not satisfy the requirements of the Highly Specialised Work stream  to be granted a 400 visa if there are ‘compelling circumstances affecting Australia’s interest’.

Compelling circumstances - The applicant must be going to participate in an event, or engage in an activity or work, that relates directly to the compelling circumstances.


  • the entry of the person is required to assist in a disaster or emergency or
  • Australia’s relationship with a foreign government would be damaged were the person not granted the visa or
  • Australia would miss out on a significant benefit that the person could contribute to Australia’s business, economic, cultural or other development (for example, a special skill that is highly sought after in Australia) if the person was not granted the visa or
  • Australia’s trade or business opportunities would be adversely affected were the person not granted the visa.




Stand-by: 400 applications may be lodged by highly specialised workers, who are on stand-by to travel to Australia at short notice to provide a response to unanticipated or urgent issues (e.g. a specialist technician required to repair a major equipment breakdown on an oil rig; or medical crew providing services on medivac flights.)

Working on vessels in Australia: 

Visa options may include:

  • 400 visa if the work is highly specialised and non-ongoing
  • 457 visa if the work is ongoing
  • 408 Temporary Activity visa if working on a superyacht
  • 988 Maritime Crew Visa - for crew of non-military ships entering and leaving Australia in the course of an international voyage or ships that are registered on the Australian International Shipping Register

Persons seeking to work on a superyacht in Australia should consider applying for 408 Temporary Activity visa:

  • This includes general staff (for example, deck hands, domestic workers, and sailors) travelling with the yacht in and out of the migration zone.
  • It does not include employees undertaking fit-out work on the superyacht while the vessel is moored at an Australian port (for such a purpose, 457 visa or 400 visa should be applied for).

Non-articled crew on cruise ships - 400 visa may be appropriate for crew not listed on a cruise ship’s articles (a written set of conditions under which crew sign on for a given voyage). These crew members are usually referred to as Non-revenue passengers (NRPs). NRPs usually carry out activities on a cruise ship that may be regarded as work. However, as NRPs are not listed as articled crew on the ship’s articles they cannot hold a Maritime Crew Visa. NRPs may include commercial contractors, inspection staff and guest entertainers, who typically perform little or no work in port.

Working on vessels outside Australia: working aboard a vessel outside Australia’s migration zone do not require an Australian visa, unless they intend to enter the migration zone. Other visa options for transiting Australia to join a vessel operating outside of the migration zone may include 771 Transit visa or a visitor visa.

Intra-company transfers - 400 visa may be appropriate for short-term intra-company transfers in Australia.

Domestic staff employed by visitor visa holdersdomestic workers accompanying their employer travelling to Australia for tourism or a business visit should apply for 600 Visitor (Tourist or Business Visitor stream) visa. Other options are 400, 408 or 403 visa. 

In recognition that, for some of Australia’s key tourism markets, the employment of domestic staff (particularly maids or nannies) and the expectation of being able to travel with them is a significant part of their culture, it is policy to allow domestic staff who are seeking to accompany their employers on a short visit to Australia to apply under the Highly Specialised Work stream.

Sports persons and their support staff - 400 visa may be appropriate for short stays in Australia for sporting purposes, where the applicant is considered to be at a level equivalent to the Australian national level of their sport.


  • the applicant is intending to participate in a short-term event including a competition, participation in a trial match or promotional match
  • the applicant is entering Australia to compete in a major event or tournament (which could include several matches) - for example Australian Open or Ashes Series
  • the applicant is entering Australia for a short period to try out for a highly specialised coaching position
  • the applicant is entering Australia to compete in a sporting competition and will be undertaking training that supports their participation in that competition (Note: sports training is generally not acceptable unless the primary purpose of the intended stay is to compete in a sporting competition and the training supports this participation)
  • the applicant is trying out for an Australian national level sporting club (the trial can be through a club’s reserve team but not through a feeder team).

The support staff (of such sports persons) such as coaches, physiotherapists, sports co-ordinators, referees and team officials may also be eligible for 400 visa.

Players competing at a regional (sub-national) club level should not apply for 400 visa and should consider 408 or 457 visa.

Academics - seeking to undertake research, guest lecture or any other type of work for a higher education institution on a short term, non-ongoing basis may be eligible for 400 visa in the Highly Specialised Work stream. 

International media representatives - such as journalists (photo-journalists), correspondents or reporters coming to Australia to cover a specific event or events for international news organisations may be eligible for 400 visa in the Highly Specialised Work stream.

Media representatives who are required to attend events that have a duration of more than three months such as the Ashes cricket series, or G20, may be granted a stay period (up to six months) to cover the event or events.

Applicants who don't satisfy restrictions on entertainment industry workers may be granted 400 visa in the Australia’s Interest stream.

If applicants will be undertaking ongoing work and do not satisfy Australia's Interest stream, they should consider applying for 457 or 408 visa. 

Tour leaders, chaperones and teachers accompanying students
400 (Highly Specialised Work stream) visa is generally the most appropriate visa for tour leaders or chaperones who are undertaking an administrative function (such as keeping a tour group together, without providing commentary). 600 Business stream visa may also be appropriate.

Due to the availability of tour guides in Australia, 400 is not appropriate for tour guides (as opposed to tour leaders or chaperones) unless exceptional circumstances exist. 

400 visa is generally the most appropriate visa for school teachers accompanying a group of overseas students, provided the teachers are acting only as chaperones and are not teaching. 600 Business stream visa or 408 Temporary Activity visa may also be appropriate.

If a school teacher intends to teach or undertake other activities outside the role of a chaperone, 400 may be appropriate. The school teacher must not be taking the role of a local teacher, or providing another service that could otherwise be delivered by an Australian worker.

Models - high-profile models with an established international reputation intending to undertake short-term non-ongoing work in Australia may be considered under the Highly specialised stream.

400 visa is not appropriate for models without a high profile as they are considered to be low-skilled workers and would be competing with local models for work in Australia.

Models entering Australia to conduct ongoing work should consider their eligibility for 457 visa.

Processing of 457 visa application
If there is an urgent need for a worker to travel to Australia at short notice to commence ongoing work, and there is evidence that the applicant has made a 457 visa application or been nominated for 457, the Australia’s Interest stream may be considered. Up to a three months stay may be permitted to allow time for the processing of 457 application.

Visa base application charge: $315


- an applicant who applies in the course of acting as a representative for a foreign government and their f amily members- NIL charge

- an applicant who has been invited to Australia by the Australian Government, or by an Australian State or Territory government, to assist in providing emergency services in connection with a disaster or emergency and their f amily members - NIL charge



PLEASE NOTE: The above information is prepared based on legislation and procedural instructions valid as at 19/01/2017. Last reviewed on 22/11/2021 to reflect new visa application charges. OZ HOME MIGRATION does not guarantee all information is correct and professional advice should be sought in relation to the above information.

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Recent News

  • 189NZ Requirements Relaxation - 10 December 2022


    Applicants are not required to satisfy the New Zealand stream specific criteria relating to a period of residence in Australia, minimum taxable income and health. In addition, family members of primary applicants who made a Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa application in the New Zealand stream prior to the commencement of the Amendment Regulations are also not required to satisfy the health criteria. This applies to only already lodged application before 10 December 2022. More info in the legislative update summary


  • 408 AGEE COVID-19 VISA UPDATE - 14 MAY 2021


    The updated legislation dealing with 408 Covid-19 Pandemic Visa came in effect today.

    We have prepared a structured summary of requirements for this visa on our website: http://visa.ozhome.info/visa/408-covid-19-pandemic

  • Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List - September 2020


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  • New GSM points test 16 November 2019


    We prepared a new interactive GSM points test that will be in place after 16 November 2019 - check your points score here

  • New skilled occupation lists 11 March 2019


    New occupation lists came in force on 11 March 2019

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The Code of Conduct for registered migration agents is set out in legislation to regulate the conduct of registered migration agents. 

The Code of Conduct:

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Provision for a Code of Conduct for migration agents is set out in Section 314 of the Migration Act 1958.


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