Temporary Work – Subclass 400 Visa


The Subclass 400 Temporary Work visa is a new visa which was introduced on 23 March 2013. This visa allows the holder to temporarily work in Australia in a highly specialised and non-ongoing role.

If you need to work in Australia in a highly specialised, and you only need to perform this role for a period of 6 weeks of less, this new Subclass 400 visa now provides an alternative to the Subclass 457 visa (which can be time consuming and expensive to obtain which the requirements which the sponsoring business and the applicant need to satisfy).

So what kind of work are you allowed to perform as a Subclass 400 visa holder?

‘Non-ongoing’ role

The role that the visa holder will be performing must be ‘non-ongoing’, which means that the work is likely to be completed within a continuous period of 3 months. Please note that the role itself must be non-ongoing. You can’t have a single role which will require more than 3 months of continuous work, and then rotate several Subclass 400 visa holders through this role. With such an on-going role, a Subclass 457 visa may be appropriate.

Highly specialised

The visa holder needs to be performing a role that requires highly specialised skills, knowledge or experience that can assist Australian business and cannot reasonably be found in the Australian labour market.

DIAC’s policy states that the role should align with an occupation in ANZSCO Major Groups 1 to 3 (Managers, Professionals, Technicians and Trades Workers)

This visa is not intended for workers seeking to perform a role that is generic to their profession. For example, an electrician required to wire newly constructed premises would not meet this criterion as this activity can reasonably be performed by a licensed Australian electrician. However, if an electrical engineer employed by an overseas mining equipment manufacturer was required to diagnose and correct electrical problems related to newly imported mining equipment, then it could be found that they have particular specialist skills that are not reasonably available in Australia. The applicant will not meet this requirement if they will be using their skills to perform tasks which are generic in nature (even if the role itself and the applicant’s skills and/or experience are highly specialised). Their skills are not highly specialised skills if they can be replicated by reasonably available Australian skilled workers with similar experience and qualifications.

This requirement may be satisfied if the 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.

This generally means that the Australian workers with the applicable skill set are already in employment and are not available to be contracted out. The Australian business will need to satisfy the officer that efforts have been made to contract the available workers in Australia. Cost relating to engaging workers in Australia is not to be considered as a relevant factor.

No adverse consequences on Australian employment

Under DIAC’s policy, in the absence of contrary evidence, this criterion may be satisfied if information provided as part of the application indicates:

  • due to key aspects to the skill set required to perform the role, the applicant’s proposed employer is unable to find an appropriate candidicate in the Australian labour market and
  • the work is highly skilled (that is, occupations in ANZSCO Major Groups 1 to 3) or otherwise highly specialised and
  • the work is non-ongoing

If the case officer is concerned about the satisfaction of this requirement, he or she may ask for the following documents:

  • evidence from a large reputable employment agency that there is a shortage of similarly qualified persons in Australia or
  • evidence from the applicant’s proposed employer that they have tried unsuccessfully to hire an Australian to do the proposed work (for example, evidence of job search or training programs or letter of support from relevant union or local council) or
  • details of contractual obligations relating to the servicing of a piece of equipment (for example, the work must be serviced or installed by an overseas provider) or
  • information that indicates there is no time for an Australian to be trained to do the proposed work (although over a longer period this would be expected)

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22 thoughts on “Temporary Work – Subclass 400 Visa

  1. Emma

    Hi Peng,

    Is it possible to apply for a 457 visa while holding the subclass visa 400 in Australia?

    I’m particularly concerned about any ‘no further stay’ conditions on the visa, meaning that a bridging visa will not be issued, or on the 400 not being recognised as a substantive visa to the 457 making the application impossible within Australia.

    In understanding that applications for the 457s can take up to 3months, I am seeking a short term visa that can be used for entry and work entitlements to Australia (not-eligible for working holiday or exchange) in the interim, and I see no option other than the subclass 400.


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Emma,
      In order to waive a no further stay condition like 8503, you’ll need to demonstrate compelling / compassionate reasons for the waiver. It is not necessarily easy to get this waiver, and I’d say that you won’t get the waiver if you just want to apply for a 457 visa holder and there are no real compelling / compassionate reasons. The no further stay condition is designed to get you to lodge offshore if you want to apply for another visa.
      Examples of compelling / compassionate reasons include: 1) becoming unfit to fly due to medical reasons that arise after you arrive in Australia, 2) death/illness within close family, 3) nature disaster in home country.

  2. Biju K Raju

    Hi Team

    I have recently applied a Short Term Visa- Single Entry(Subclass 400) and it is granted by Australian Immigration Authority as well. Since i have not travalled yet, whether i would able to change the visa gant date ?


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Biju,
      No you can’t change this – you’d need to apply for a new visa for a different travel period.

  3. Harish


    If in case stay condition like 8503, is not imposed, then with Sub Class 400, Can we Apply for 457 when in Aus ?
    In my case only 8107 & 8303 is imposed.

    Thanks and Regards

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Ganesh,
      You can apply for a 457 visa if there are no conditions on your 400 visa which prevent you from doing this.

  4. Zack


    If the workers are asked by Australian local company to perform highly specialised work (like foreign made equipment commissioning) and they are paid by their foreign employed company, is there requirement for their wages? Does the national minimum wage requirement still apply?

    Also if the work is delayed by unexpected issues, are they able to apply for extension? or they have to leave Australia and re-apply again?

    Best regards,

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Jack,
      If the workers are asked by Australian local company to perform highly specialised work (like foreign made equipment commissioning) and they are paid by their foreign employed company, is there requirement for their wages? Does the national minimum wage requirement still apply? This is an employment law question – not migration law related.

      Also if the work is delayed by unexpected issues, are they able to apply for extension? or they have to leave Australia and re-apply again? You can only be here during the validity period of the visa so you may need to apply for a new visa.


  5. Nayab


    My company is providing consultancy service (highly specialized) to Ausi company. and for that i need to be there in 3 weeks time. If i apply for 457 it will take 2-3 months. So is that possible to go on 400 visa and then convert it.

    Is that possible to escape from No further stay condition?


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Nayab,
      400 visa is not appropriate if the role is an on-going role. If you need to apply for a 457 visa, then it sounds like that it is an on-going role – in which case, it would probably be best to apply for a 457 visa and start work when this is granted.
      Whether a NFS condition is placed on your visa is discretionary.

  6. Victoria

    Is it is possible for the applicant of a 400 visa to be paid by an Australian organisation if they are doing short-term (less than 3 months), highly specialised, non-ongoing work?

  7. Raj

    We have a contractor from overseas on Visa 400 performing non-ongoing work for three months, the project is taking longer than expected and he needs to stay for additional two months. Can we reapply for the same visa as I gather this visa can’t be extended? Also if yes, does he need to leave the country for a day and then come back?


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Raj,
      Applicant needs to be outside of Australia at the time of lodgement. Department is probably less likely to grant the visa given the work already completed.

  8. Murray

    I am currently working on the class 400 visa. What are the tax implications, I understand about the superanuation but what is the situation with income tax, will I have to pay Australian tax? or will I pay Tax in my country(UK) from the income earned here?

    If I do pay the tax in Australia is it possible to claim it back?

    Many thanks,

  9. Chetan


    I need to go to Australia to cover the Indian cricket tour and then stay on for the cricket World Cup immediately afterwards. Its a stay of four and a half months but the subclass 400 visa is only for three months.

    Can I apply for an extension? Or do I have to reapply? If I do reapply, do I need to wait for the first visa to expire before application?

    Also, how long do I need to stay out of Australia (say go to New Zealand) during the re-application phase?


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Chetan,
      It may be possible to apply for an extension while you are in Australia. Really depends on your circumstances so can’t confirm without completing an assessment.

  10. Om

    I had applied for a sub class 400 Visa with a special request for multiple entries along with my friend. Both of us had applied for the same visa. I have been granted 6 weeks stay with multiple entries and my friend has been granted 12 weeks stay with single entry. Is there any logic or reason for the same? May I request the authorities to grant me a 12 weeks stay?

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Om,
      These conditions are just determined by the case officer and are at their discretion. You’d need to lodge a new visa application if you want to change the period that it allows you to remain in Australia.

  11. ChloeKim

    Hi there,
    If I successfully attained 400 and applied de facto visa while I am at Aus, would it be allowed to convert this and keep working on my bridging visa?

    Also, what sort of highly skilled occupation will be allowed? I hope web developer can be counted on.

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi ChloeKim,
      If you lodge an onshore partner visa, then your bridging visa should give you full work rights. You can work in any occupations.


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