Subclass 408: Temporary Activity Visa


Subclass 408 is a temporary visa that allows an individual to carry out a specific type of work on a short-term basis. This visa does not require nomination, but for applicants who seek to stay longer than 3 months, the nomination is required from an Australian employer who is or is to be approved as a temporary activity sponsor. The prescribed types of work include:

1. Invited Participant in an event
2. Sport
3. Religious Worker
4. Domestic Worker (Executive)
5. Superyacht Crew
6. Research
7. Staff Exchange
8. Special Program
9. Entertainment
10. Australian Government Endorsed Event

Different criteria apply depending on the types of work.

Invited Participant Stream

This stream allows up to 3 months stay if you have been invited to participate in a community-based event. This may include a range of social or cultural activities, including religious, sporting, academic and artistic activities. Only the participants who are contributing to the event are eligible to apply, and mere attendants should explore other visa options, such as Subclass 600 tourist visas.

Sport Stream

This stream permits national-level sportspeople, namely players, coaches, instructors, judges and adjudicators, to participate in national-level competition and training with Australian athletes. It requires endorsement from a peak sporting body in Australia. The threshold in satisfying national-level competition is strict, thus organisations competing in sub-national competition should be directed to consider alternatives of subclasses 400 or 482.

The applicable criteria to elite players, coaches instructors or adjudicators include:

  • Applicant will take part in an Australian sporting organisation;
  • Applicant is invited by the said organisation;
  • There is a formal agreement between the parties to undertake a role for a definite period;
  • Applicant is endorsed by a national sporting body.

The applicable criteria to sports trainees include:

  • Applicant is to be trained by an Australian sporting organisation;
  • Applicant is a sportsperson or adjudicator competing at the national level, endorsed by a peak sports body or demonstrates potential to compete at a national level;

The sponsoring sporting organisation has an international reputation.

Religious Worker Stream

This stream is for qualified religious workers who are sponsored to perform full time religious work at a religious institution in Australia. Applicants must demonstrate that they have appropriate training, experience and qualifications to undertake the proposed religious work. There can be secondary applicants, and subclass 408 visas can be granted up to 2 years.

Domestic Worker for Executives Stream

This stream is exclusively for persons employed as domestic workers to the residences of senior executives of overseas organisations or foreign government agencies. Only experienced domestic workers over the age of 18 are eligible to apply, and the visa can be granted for up to 2 years.

Superyacht Crew Stream

Applicants may apply for this stream as crew members of a superyacht to stay in Australia for a period up to 12 months. To be eligible, the crew members must be at least 18 years old, and the captain, owner or operator must be a temporary activity sponsor.

A superyacht is defined as a high value luxury sailing ship or motor vessel which is:

a. 24 metres or longer in length; and
b. Not carrying cargo; and
c. Used for sport or pleasure.

Research Stream

The stream is open to:

  • Accomplished academics invited to participate in a research project by an Australian tertiary or research institute; and
  • Students or recent graduates seeking to undertake a research activity at an Australian tertiary or research institution.

The eligible activities must be aimed at contributing to a research project or undertake research activities at request of an Australian tertiary or research institution.

It is important that the research project is related to the field of the applicant. Furthermore, there can be secondary applicants, and subclass 408 visas can be granted up to 2 years in this stream.

Staff Exchange Stream

Where a reciprocal staff exchange program is in place between an Australian entity and a foreign entity, the foreign worker may be entitled to apply with his family members for Subclass 408 visas to stay in Australia for up to 2 years. This stream is restricted to full time and skilled positions.

The legislative intention for Subclass 408 visas is to facilitate the exchange program of the staff, and is not to act a substitute for or circumvent Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visas.

Special Program Stream

This stream permits applicants to participate in one of the 4 approved special programs:

  • School language assistants program
  • School to school interchange program
  • Approved cultural exchange program
  • Cultural enrichment or community benefit program with an approved organisation or organisations.

Entertainment Stream

This activity type is available to persons intending to undertake work within Australia’s entertainment industry. The entertainment channels can be film, television or live productions as a performer, production or support staff. This stream is further divided into a number of sub-streams, including:

  • Performing in film or television production subsidised by Government;
  • Performing in film or television production not subsidised by Government;
  • Performing in productions not related to film or television;
  • Production roles other than as a performer;
  • Support staff for profit;
  • Non‑profit engagements;
  • Documentary program or commercial for overseas market.

There can be secondary applicants, and subclass 408 visas can be granted up to 2 years in this stream.

It should be noted that journalists should consider subclasses 482 or 400 in the alternative, as Subclass 408 is usually deemed inappropriate under the Department’s guidelines.

Australian Government Endorsed Event Stream

This stream allows individuals to come to Australia to participate in events which are endorsed by the Australian Government. The list of endorsed events is subject to constant changes, and will generally cover events of national importance, such as international sporting events.

In this stream, subclass 408 visas will usually be arranged by a government agency, or another national or international body involved with the relevant event.

Application Charges

  • Base application charge: $310
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $310
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is under 18: $80

It is to be noted that no application fee needs to be paid by persons who are sponsored by certain government and non-profit organisations, or are to participate in particular sporting events. A concessional fee applies to persons who are sponsored by specified industry entities.

Applicable Public Interest Criteria:

4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, 4005, 4011, 4013, 4014, 4020, 4021, 4012, 4017 and 4018.

Applicable Special Return Criteria:

5001, 5002 and 5010.

Visa Conditions

In relation to the main applicant, the following must be imposed:

8107: Approved employment only.
8303: The holder must not become involved in activities disruptive to, or violence threatening harm to, the Australian community or a group within the Australian community.

In relation to the main applicant who are entertainers, the following must be imposed:

8109: The holder must not change details of 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.

In relation to the main applicant, the following may be imposed:

8106: The holder must engage in work in Australia only if the work is relevant to the conduct of the business, or performance of the tasks, specified in the visa application.
8114
: The holder must not work in Australia otherwise than as a member of the crew of a superyacht.
8301: After entry to Australia, the holder must satisfy relevant public interest criteria before the visa ceases.
8501: The holder must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance while the holder is in Australia.
8502: The holder of the visa must not enter Australia before the entry to Australia of a person specified in the visa.
8503: The holder will not, after entering Australia, be entitled to be granted a substantive visa, other than a protection visa, while the holder remains in Australia.
8516: The holder must continue to be a person who would satisfy the primary or secondary criteria, as the case requires, for the grant of the visa.
8525: The holder must leave Australia by a specified means of transport on a specified day or within a specified period.
8526: The holder must notify the Secretary in writing, not earlier than 7 days before the day the visa ceases to be in effect, and not later than that day, of the holder’s place of residence in Australia by posting the notification to the Central Office of Immigration in the Australian Capital Territory.

In relation to a secondary applicant, the following must be imposed:

8303: The holder must not become involved in activities disruptive to, or violence threatening harm to, the Australian community or a group within the Australian community.

In relation to a secondary applicant, the following may be imposed:

8106: The holder must engage in work in Australia only if the work is relevant to the conduct of the business, or performance of the tasks, specified in the visa application.
8301: After entry to Australia, the holder must satisfy relevant public interest criteria before the visa ceases.
8501: The holder must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance while the holder is in Australia.
8502: The holder of the visa must not enter Australia before the entry to Australia of a person specified in the visa
8503: The holder will not, after entering Australia, be entitled to be granted a substantive visa, other than a protection visa, while the holder remains in Australia.
8516: The holder must continue to be a person who would satisfy the primary or secondary criteria, as the case requires, for the grant of the visa.
8522: The holder must leave Australia not later than the time of departure of the person who has satisfied the primary criteria and of whose family unit the holder is a member.
8525: The holder must leave Australia by a specified means of transport on a specified day or within a specified period.
8526: The holder must notify the Secretary in writing, not earlier than 7 days before the day the visa ceases to be in effect, and not later than that day, of the holder’s place of residence in Australia by posting the notification to the Central Office of Immigration in the Australian Capital Territory.