Temporary Work (International Relations) Visa Subclass 403 | GVM


This is a visa which came into effect from 24 November 2012, and has been retained in the consolidation of 19 Novdember 2016. It provides for a temporary work visa for persons required to be in Australia to undertake long term activities under certain international relations arrangements, including:



  • This stream is for persons seeking to be in Australia to take up positions under a relevant agreement between an Australian signatory and a foreign government
  • The national government of the applicant supports the applicant’s stay in Australia.
  • Engaging in an activity in accordance with a relevant agreement
  • The agreement must have been entered into between an Australian signatory and a foreign signatory, and must be provided, in English, with the visa application
  • Both signatories have agreed to the applicant’s entry and stay in Australia
  • The applicant will need the approval of the foreign national government if a signatory to the agreement is not the national government
  • The Australian signatory may be certify that the applicant will be engaged in accordance with Australian conditions and wages, and that the applicant meets any mandatory registration or licensing requirements in relation to the activity to be performed
  • Employment of the applicant in Australia would be of benefit to Australia



  • This stream is for persons seeking to be in Australia to take up positions as:
    • staff of foreign government agencies who do not enjoy any official status, or
    • oreign language teacher as an employee of a foreign government
  • Applicant to have support of the foreign government agency
  • Employment of the applicant in Australia would be of benefit to Australia



  • For persons seeking to be in Australia to take up full time domestic duties for diplomats and consular representatives in Australia
  • Can only be applied for initially from offshore, although extensions after arrival in Australia is permitted
  • Application must be supported in writing by the Foreign Minister
  • Applicant must be over 18, and
    • is not an Australian permanent resident
    • is in, or has entered into, an employment agreement to take up full-time domestic duties in the household of a diplomatic or consular representative of a foreign government in Australia
    • is to be employed in accordance with relevant Australian wages and conditions
    • must not remain in Australia after the permanent departure from Australia of the employer (unless written permission has been obtained from the Foreign Minister)



  • This stream is for foreign government officials or staff being posted to take up positions in Australia, who are not diplomatic or consular staff in a diplomatic mission, but who enjoy certain privileges and immunities under the International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963 or the Overseas Missions (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1995., e.g. UNHCR staff.
  • The Foreign Minister has provided support in writing for the visa application



  • This was formerly a sub-category under the 416 Special Program visa, but which has been regrouped under the 403 visa in the consolidation of 19 November 2016
  • On 23 September 2008, the Minister announced a ‘Pacific Islands Guest Workers Scheme’ pilot program where seasonal workers from certain Pacific islands are permitted to come to Australia to work in horticultural positions
  • On 1 July 2012 the pilot scheme was formalised as a ‘seasonal worker program’, with Australia having signed agreements with several Pacific island nations to allow citizens from these countries to come to Australia to undertake seasonal work
  • Currently citizens of Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvali, Vanuatu and East Timor are included
  • Applicants must be invited by an approved sponsor organisation in Australia
  • Under this program, workers will come and work for up to seven months within any period of 12 months, with no restrictions on subsequent repeat visas
  • Applicants under the program are not permitted to include family members in their application
  • Visas granted under this program will have the mandatory 8501 and 8503 conditions
  • The Seasonal Worker Program Sponsor is responsible for reasonable travel costs for the seasonal work program nominee upon their departure from Australia



  • The Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) is a new stream for the 403 visa introduced from 1 July 2018 as part of the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, and commits Australia to a more ambitious and intensified engagement in the Pacific region.
  • This stream caters for citizens of certain Pacific nations to come to Australia to take up low and semi-skilled work opportunities in the rural and regional areas for up to 3 years.
  • The Pacific nations included in the PLS are expected to be those signatories to the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER+), which commenced in 2009 and concluded in Brisbane in 2017, including Australia, New Zealand, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
  • As a prelude to a visit by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to Fiji in January 2019, it was announced that Fijian workers will be able to work in Australia under an expanded Pacific Labour Scheme.
  • Employer sponsorships and visa applications require DFAT endorsement, labour market testing, and safeguards against worker exploitation.
  • Visa holders in this stream are permitted to only work for an approved Temporary Activities sponsor, and are not allowed to undertake work for other employers nor for themselves.
  • Despite its perceived popularity, it has been reported that so far only 83 workers have been granted visas under the Pacific Labour Scheme since its inception in July 2018.


This visa allows you to visit Australia for a limited time:

  •  in the context of a bilateral pact (Government Agreement stream)
  • to work as a foreign government representative or to teach a foreign language in an Australian school (Foreign Government Agency stream)
  •  to serve as a domestic servant for a diplomat (Domestic Worker stream)
  •  as a statutory privileges and immunities holder (Immunities and Privileges) to 
  • participate in the program of seasonal work (Seasonal Worker Program stream).


You might be able to get this visa if:

  • you meet the requirements for one of the streams within this visa

The Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) permits you to come to Australia under one of five streams:

This visa allows you to visit Australia for a limited time:

    • in the context of a bilateral pact  under Government Agreement stream
    • to work as a foreign government representative or to teach a foreign language in an Australian school  under Foreign Government Agency stream
    • to serve as a domestic servant for a diplomat under Domestic Worker stream
    • as a statutory privileges and immunities holder under Immunities and Privileges stream in accordance to International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963 or the Overseas Missions (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1995

Seasonal Worker Program stream: come to Australia to work as a seasonal laborer in a variety of industries for Australian employers that are unable to find local workers. To participate in the Seasonal Worker Program, you must be invited by an approved Temporary Activities sponsor. This program is only available in a few countries.

This is a short-term visa.

If you apply in Australia, you must be present in Australia at the time the visa is issued.

If you apply outside of Australia, you must be outside of Australia at the time your visa is approved.

 Note :It’s important to note that the Seasonal Worker Program stream visa can only be filed for and issued outside of Australia.

You must meet the following requirements to hire a domestic helper under this visa:

  • be accredited as a diplomat or consular officer in Australia and have a Diplomatic visa (subclass 995)
  • not be an Australian permanent residence
  • Before a domestic worker applies for a visa, you must get written approval from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). 
  • want to hire the professional to help you with domestic chores in your home
  • sign an employment contract that complies with Australian working regulations as well as state and territory laws.

The Fair Work Ombudsman can provide you with information and advice on your workplace rights and responsibilities, as well as your employer’s responsibilities.

Employer obligations

You must do the following:

  •  Ensure that the domestic worker is exclusively hired to conduct domestic responsibilities in your home.
  • When your domestic worker initially comes in Australia and when they depart, notify the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • When the domestic worker finishes working for you, make sure they leave Australia.

The sponsoring employer for the Seasonal Worker Program must be an approved employer in the horticulture, tourist (accommodation), aquaculture, sugar cane, and cotton industries.

  • Your organization must be legally founded and operating in Australia to be a sponsor. Furthermore:
  • You must be a government or non-profit organization in Australia.
  • There must be no negative information about your company or it is fair to overlook any negative information.
  • If your company has previously sponsored foreign workers to come to Australia, you must have a sufficient track record that comply with Australian law.

A sponsorship agreement might run up to five years.

 If you’ve been authorized as a temporary activities sponsor, you can ask to have your sponsorship varied (extended) before it expires so you can continue to sponsor others. If your sponsorship period ends, you must reapply and be authorized as a sponsor before you can sponsor other visa applications.

As an example fees for 403 visa for the main applicant, spouse and a dependent under 18 would be:

403 visa 1 310.00
Additional Applicant Charge 18+ 1 310.00
Additional Applicant Charge U18 1 80.00
GST 0.00
Total AUD  700.00


All charges shown below are in Australian Dollars.

Temporary activities sponsorship $420

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