TEMPORARY ACTIVITY VISA (SUBCLASS 408)

This is a new ‘multi-purpose’ visa which came into effect from 19 November 2016, and replaces the former 401 Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa. It provides for sponsorships from approved sponsors, and temporary work visas for persons required to be in Australia to undertake certain activities of a long or short term nature.

‘Eligible sponsor’ for this visa is one who is either a ‘temporary activities sponsor’ or an ‘entertainment sponsor’, and includes an Australian organisation legally operating in Australia, or a government agency or a foreign government agency, while an ‘eligible supporter’ would include an Australian organisation legally operating in Australia, or a government agency or a foreign government agency, or an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

Sponsors under this visa may be required by the Minister to pass a ‘sponsorship test’ and/or a ‘support test’ in relation to a nominated visa applicant. Definitions of these tests and requirements to pass the tests are set out in Schedule 2 of the Migration Regulations under the 408 visa.

Basically, a sponsor passes the ‘sponsorship test’ if the person is an ‘approved sponsor’ of the visa applicant and has not withdrawn the agreement to be sponsor. And for the ‘support test’, a person or an organisation produces a letter of support, identifying the event, activity or work to be performed by the applicant, and the duties and date(s) and location(s) in relation to the event, activity or work. In addition, both tests also require no adverse information about the person or organisation or any associated person, or adverse information is known but it is reasonable to disregard it.

The streams which are grouped under the 408 visa include:

EVENT PARTICIPANTS

Invited participants in an event

  • This sub-category is for persons who are invited by an organisation to come to Australia to participate in an event, on an unpaid basis.
  • The inviting organisation must be directly involved in the holding of the event, which is non-going (defined to be not taking more than 6 months continuously to complete, and visa holders only allowed to be in Australia for 6 months on the visa).

Australian Government endorsed event

  • This sub-category is for persons coming to Australia to undertake work directly associated with an event which is specified in a legislative instrument made by the Minister.
  • The applicant is in a class of persons prescribed in the legislative instrument in relation to the event.

 

SPORTSPERSONS

Sports trainee

  • This sub-category is for persons seeking to participate in a sport in Australia by being trained by a sporting organisation in Australia,
  • The sporting organisation sponsor has an international reputation for training elite sports persons or adjudicators, and is not a sporting club which usually competes in sporting competitions at a level below the Australian national level for that sport.

Elite player, coach, instructor or adjudicator

  • This sub-categfory is for persons seeking to be in Australia as a player, coach, instructor or adjudicator with a sporting team or a sporting organisation
  • The applicant has been invited by the sponsoring sporting team or organisation to participate in the sporting activity for a specified period
  • The relevant national sporting body for the sport in Australia has provided the Minister with an endorsement, certifying that the applicant has the ability to participate in the sport at the national level.

 

RELIGIOUS WORKER

  • This stream is for persons seeking to be in Australia to work for registered religious organisations
  • A ‘religious worker sponsor’ must be a religious organisation lawfully operating in Australia
  • The sponsor is responsible for paying reasonable travel costs of the nominee and any secondary applicants upon their departure from Australia
  • The sponsor must not seek to recover from the nominee expenditure in relation to financial support for the nominee in Australia
  • Applicant will be undertaking work or activities in Australia which will be predominantly non-profit, and which will directly serve the religious objectives of the sponsor
  • The applicant must not be involved in activities disrupting or threatening harm to Australian community groups
  • In Trinity Assembly of God [2003] MRTA 5002, an applicant for the Religious Worker visa was found not to have the necessary qualifications or experience to perform the tasks of a religious worker among the Fijian community in Australia.

 

DOMESTIC WORKER

  • This stream is for persons performing work as domestic worker in the private household of another person (“the employer”) who has been appointed to the position of national managing director, deputy national managing director or state manager in an Australian office of a foreign government agency or overseas organisation
  • The domestic worker is sponsored by the foreign government agency or the overseas organisation of which the employer of the domestic worker is an employee.
  • The employer must be the holder of a 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa in the Privileges and Immunity stream, or a 457 or 482 visa
  • The employer has to show evidence that he/she is unable to find a suitable person to perform the work from the local workforce, or that there are compelling circumstances for employing the identified applicant
  • The total number of persons being sponsored for work in the household of the employer does not exceed 3 at any one time
  • The applicant to be aged ove 18, and has working experience as domestic worker
  • The applicant is to be employed under standard Australian wages and work conditions.

 

SUPERYACHT CREW

  • This is the former 488 ‘Superyacht crew’ visa, and was introduced in October 2008 designed to promote the superyacht and tourism industries in places like Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.
  • The meaning of ‘superyacht’ is defined by legislative instrument to be a yacht of more than 24 metres in load line length, used for sport or leisure and not for carriage of cargo.
  • A ‘superyacht crew sponsor’ must be the owner or captain of a superyacht. Crews can work for up to 12 months under this visa on commercial or private superyachts.

 

RESEARCH

Academics

  • This sub-category is for academics seeking to be in Australia, on written invitation from a tertiary or research institution, to observe or participate in research in collaboration with other academics at the institution
  • The applicant must be currently or formerly employed as an academic at a tertiary or research institution, and has a significant record of achievement in that field
  • The applicant must not, without written permission, receive salary, scholarship or allowance (other than living and travel allowance) from the institution

 

Research (Students)

  • This sub-category is for students who had graduated within the last 12 months from a foreign education institution
  • The student seeks to undertake research at an Australian tertiary or research institution in a field closely related to the field of study in which the student had graduated from

 

STAFF EXCHANGE

This stream is for persons seeking to be in Australia to work for an organisation, which is either an Australian organisation, a government agency or a foreign government agency, as part of a staff exchange agreement

A ‘staff exchange sponsor’ must be an organisation in Australia which has an agreement with a foreign organisation regarding staff exchange,

The exchange position must be skilled, and:

  • A named Australian resident will gain the opportunity for experience with a reciprocating organisation overseas for a specified period, and
  • the exchange will be of mutual benefit to the applicant and the Australian resident

The Australian citizen or resident named in the exchange project must be offered the same position within 30 days after completion of the exchange project

 

OTHER EXCHANGE PROGRAMS

  • Youth exchange
    •  This sub-category is for persons to participate in a youth exchange program approved by the Secretary
    • The organisation conducting the exchange program must be either an Australian organisation or a government agency, and has an agreement with the Secretary for conducting the program

 

  • School to school interchange
    • This sub-category is for persons to participate in a school to school interchange program
    • The organisation conducting the exchange program must be either an Australian community or non-profit organisation or a government agency

 

  • School languages assistant
    • This sub-category is for persons to participate in a school language assistant program
    • The organisation conducting the program must be either an Australian community or non-profit organisation or a government agency

 

  • Other programs
     

    • o This sub-category is for persons to participate in a program of cultural enrichment or community benefit, and which has been approved by the DIBP Secretary
    • o The organisation conducting the program must be either an Australian organisation or a government agency, and has an agreement with the DIBP Secretary for conducting the program

 

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

  • This was the former 420 Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa, and is for persons seeking to be in Australia to fill a role in the entertainment industry, e.g. in operas, musicals, ballets, concerts, nightclub performances, etc., and includes their support staff
  • An ‘entertainment sponsor’ must be either
    • An Australian organisation lawfully operating in Australia, or
    • A government agency, or
    • An Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible NZ citizen usually resident in Australia

 

  • Performance in a film or television production subsidised by the government
    • The applicant will be performing under a performing contract in one or more specific (other than non-profit) engagements funded wholly or partly by the Australian Government
    • The applicant will be performing in a leading role, major role or cameo role, or to meet ethnic or other requirements
    • The sponsor has the necessary license for the work, and has consulted with relevant unions relating to the applicant’s proposed engagements in Australia
    • The nomination is supported by the Arts Minister that Australian content criteria are met

 

 

  • Performance in a film or television production not subsidised by the government
    • The applicant will be performing under a performing contract in one or more specific (other than non-profit) engagements which is not funded by the Australian Government
    • The applicant will be performing in a leading role, major role or cameo role, or to meet ethnic or other requirements
    • The sponsor has the necessary license for the work, and has consulted with relevant unions relating to the applicant’s proposed engagements in Australia
    • The nomination is supported by the Arts Minister that
      • Australian citizens and residents have been afforded reasonable opportunities to participate at all levels of the production, and
      • Foreign investment is greater than the expenses for sponsoring entertainers for entry to Australia for the production

Performance in a production not related to film or television

  • The applicant will be performing under a performing contract in one or more specific (other than non-profit) engagements which are not related to film or television productions
  • The activity will bring a net employment benefit for the Australian entertainment industry
  • The sponsor has the necessary license for the work, and has consulted with relevant unions relating to the applicant’s proposed engagements in Australia
  • The sponsor has provided an itinerary regarding dates and venues for the performance(s)

 

Production role other than as performer

  • The applicant will be taking part as director, producer or another role other than as performer in a theatre, film, television or radio production, or a concert or recording to be performed or shown in Australia, or

 

Support staff for profit

  • support staff to an entertainer or group of entertainers in relation to a performance contract for one or more specific for-profit engagements in Australia, whether in assisting with the performance or for personal service (e.g. as make-up technician)
  • The activity will bring a net employment benefit for the Australian entertainment industry
  • The sponsor has the necessary license for the work, and has consulted with relevant unions relating to the applicant’s proposed engagements in Australia
  • The sponsor has provided an itinerary regarding dates and venues for the performance(s)
  • The sponsor has consulted with the relevant unions in Australia regarding the employment or engagement of the applicant in Australia

 

Non-profit engagements

  • The applicant will be performing in one or more specific engagements which are of a non-profit nature
  • The sponsor has provided an itinerary regarding dates and venues for the performance(s)

 

Documentary programs or commercials for overseas market

  • The applicant will be participating in a documentary or commercial for exclusive viewing in the overseas market

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