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Temporary work short stay visa 400

Subclass 400 visa Australia

For those who have specialised skills, knowledge or experience not generally available in Australia, the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400) is a viable option. It is a temporary visa designed to allow for the short term employment of professionals in highly specialised work streams. The visa is generally granted for up to three months however it can be extended to a period of up to six months when a strong business case is provided. Family members of a subclass 400 visa holder may be eligible for additional visas to accompany the primary applicant during their short stay in Australia, providing support and companionship during their temporary work assignment.

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What is the Temporary work short stay visa 400?

The subclass 400 visa, the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa are temporary visas for those intending to come to Australia to engage in short-term employment. The visa allows applicants to come to Australia for a period of up to three months (or up to six months with a strong business case) and is designed to address situations where skilled workers are needed for specific projects or tasks on a temporary basis where such specialisations are not available in the Australian labour market. Applicants are required to present a strong business case demonstrating the benefits of their work to Australia’s interests given that this is a highly specialised work stream visa. While family members can be included in the application and accompany the main applicant to Australia, they are not provided with work or study rights during their time in Australia. 

Various visa subclasses cater to different purposes, including where applicants are looking for short term highly specialised work opportunities.If applicants need help assessing their visa options and if the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa is right for them, contact an Australian Migration Lawyer who can provide tailored advice based on an applicant’s specific circumstances.

Eligibility criteria for a Temporary work short stay visa

There are several eligibility requirements that must be satisfied in order for an applicant to be able to apply for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) (subclass 400) visa. Primarily, individuals must be able to demonstrate their specialised skills and expertise in relevant deficient areas of the Australian labour market. Additionally, applicants must also:

  • Engage in work outside of the Australian Entertainment Industry (if engaged in the Entertainment Industry, applicants need to apply under a Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)).
  • Demonstrate the ability to support themselves and their dependants during their stay in Australia.
  • Meet Australia’s health and character requirements.
  • Be a genuine visitor (only intend to stay temporarily in Australia and comply with visa conditions) .
  • Have settled any debts owed to the Australian Government (or have an arrangement in place with the Australian Government for these debts).
  • Not have had a visa cancelled or an visa application refused.

At Australian Migration Lawyers, we are able to assist applicants understand these eligibility requirements and where necessary can help identify if an applicant meets the criteria set by the Department.

Benefits of the Temporary work short stay visa 400

The subclass 400 visa lets applicants seeking to work in Australia on a short term basis a clear pathway for entry into Australia. While it is a temporary visa, there are still a number of benefits for applicants who are granted a valid visa including:

  • Not requiring an employer to sponsor the application.
  • Lower application costs.
  • Faster processing times.
  • The ability to bring family members for the duration of the visa.
  • Rights and protection under Australian workplace laws

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Temporary work short stay visa 400 checklist

In addition to completing the application form for a Temporary Work visa, applicants are also required to provide additional documents and relevant supporting material in order to make their application. While these requirements will depend on the circumstances of each applicant, the following is a list of documents that should be included by applicants for a subclass 400 visa. Applicants should ensure they provide all required documents for each new visa application.

  • Pages of current passport displaying photo, personal details, issue, and expiry dates
  • National identity card (if applicable)
  • Proof of change of name (if applicable)
  • You are required to furnish a letter of invitation, job offer, employment contract, or similar documentation issued by an Australian organisation confirming your employment engagement within Australia.
  • Evidence of funds (employment contract, bank statements), or a letter from your bank or financial institution stating your financial position
  • Character documents (such as police certificates)
  • Partner documents (if applicable)
  • Dependent documents (if applicable)
  • Parental responsibility documents (if applicable)

Temporary Work Short Stay Visa Application Process

The Temporary Work Short Stay Visa application process occurs over multiple stages. Firstly, applicants should carefully consider whether they meet the eligibility requirements for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400) and organise any health exams that they anticipate that will be required.

Applicants then need to gather documents, including any required for the application or supporting evidence, and fill out the relevant application form.

When an applicant is ready to lodge their application, they must submit all documents online (as paper applications are not accepted) and pay the relevant application fee.

Applicants must be outside of Australia when they lodge their application.

After the application’s lodgement, the Department will consider the application.

Applicants should be aware that during this time the Department may request additional information if required or that the applicant meets other requirements.

Once the Department has made a decision on the application, this will be communicated to the applicant in writing.

If the visa is granted, the applicant will receive a visa grant letter that contains all of the relevant information for their visa. If the visa application is refused, the Department will provide reasons for why the visa was refused and information about any available avenues of review.

Benefits of using a migration lawyer

Migration lawyers and registered migration agents can assist individuals in navigating the visa application process 

At Australian Migration Lawyers, we are dedicated to providing tailored support to prospective visa applicants. Our extensive knowledge and experience of Australia’s immigration framework allows us to guide applicants through what is a complex and challenging process with ease and confidence.

  • An Australian Migration Lawyer works closely with applicants to create and lodge comprehensive applications that have all the necessary documentation to minimise any avoidable delays.
  • Australian Migration Lawyers are ready to provide assistance to applicants at any stage of the process, from initial consultation to addressing requests from the Department.
  • While an applicant is able to apply for a visa independently, enlisting the support of an Australian Migration Lawyer can significantly bolster an applicant’s chances of success in seeking a favourable visa outcome. 

It is important for applicants to note that the subclass 400 visa is designed for short-term stays and does not lead to permanent residency in Australia. Permanent residents of Australia receive additional benefits when compared to temporary visa holders. If applicants are looking to pursue permanent residency in Australia, speak to an Australian Migration Lawyer who can help assess different available options and pathways

Temporary work short stay visa 400 costs

There are two main costs associated with making a subclass 400 visa application.

Department Fees

The Department currently charges $405 to make a Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa application, except in limited circumstances.

Professional Fees 

At Australian Migration Lawyers, we base our pricing on the specific needs of each client to acknowledge that no two applications are the same. We achieve this through a fixed-fee model that provides transparency and predictability to our clients regarding the costs of their visa application, something not accounted for in other forms of billing. Additionally, we also offer different payment options and payment plans to ensure our services are accessible to all clients regardless of their financial situation.

If applicants wish to discuss the costs of making a visa application, they can contact an Australian Migration Lawyer who can evaluate their circumstances and provide a specific estimate of the costs associated with their application. 

Visa application process

Applying for a visa to Australia can be complex. With help from an Australian Migration Lawyer, we can untangle this complexity, and help you apply for the right visa.

1. Consultation and engagement

2. Preparation and support

3. Submission and communication

4. Representation and success

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Temporary work short stay visa 400 processing times

The time it takes to process a visa application can fluctuate due to a range of factors. These factors include the current workload of the Department, the complexity of the application and any delays caused by the lodgement of an incomplete, inaccurate or insufficient application. Given that each application is evaluated individually, it is challenging to predict the exact timeframe for processing a visa application.

However, as stated above, comparatively, the subclass 400 visa has a shorter processing time than most other visa applications. 

The Department of Home Affairs provides a provisional estimate on their official website regarding the processing timeframes for subclass 400 visas. Currently, 50% of applications are processed in 8 days, with 90% of applications being processed in 19 days.

For specific guidance on how long a visa application may take or assistance drafting a strong, complete and accurate application that meets the Department’s requirements, contact an Australian Migration Lawyer.

Temporary work short stay visa 400 considerations

Prospective applicants need to acknowledge that as the Department retains full discretion in approving visa applications, an Australian Migration Lawyer cannot promise that a visa will be granted upon an application being made.

At Australian Migration Lawyers we are committed to:

  • Helping applicants lodge ‘decision-ready’ applications
  • Ensuring that applicants provide all of the relevant information
  • Supporting evidence required by the Department

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Frequently asked questions

Read our most frequently asked questions about Temporary work short stay visas

How do you apply for the Temporary work short stay visa 400?

The process for applying for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) (subclass 400) visa occurs over multiple stages. After applicants have confirmed their eligibility and gathered all of the relevant documents, they can apply for the visa online. Applicants need to be outside of Australia when they apply for this visa.

How long does it take to get a 400 visa in Australia?

Compared to other visa types, the subclass 400 visa has fast processing times. While the information published by the Department should be used as a guide only, 90% of visa applications are processed within 19 days of the application being successfully lodged.

What is the difference between visa 400 and 482?

There are a few differences between the subclass 400 visa and the subclass 482 visa. Firstly, under a subclass 482 visa, applicants require an employer to sponsor their application, whereas subclass 400 visas can be applied for by the applicant independently. Secondly, a subclass 400 visa can only be granted for a shorter maximum period than the subclass 482 visa. Thirdly, the subclass 400 visa is for applicants who do not intend to stay in Australia, whereas the subclass 482 visa provides a pathway to permanent residence for applicants.

About the content author

Perry Q Wood
Partner - Principal Migration Lawyer

Perry Q Wood is National President of the Australian Institute of Administrative Law and one of Australia’s leading administrative and migration lawyers. To date, he has been involved in 1,000+ migration and refugee matters.

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