Short Term Business visitor Visa
(Sub-classes 400, 651 e-visitor or 601 Electronic Travel Authority -ETA)
As at the 23 March 2013, DIAC no longer accepts applications for the following short term business visitor visa (allowing limited work rights) as part of their visa simplification exercise:
- Business (Short Stay) visa (subclass 456)
- Sponsored Business Visitor (Short Stay) visa (subclass 459)
- Electronic Travel Authority (Business Entrant—Short Validity) (subclass 977)
- Electronic Travel Authority (Business Entrant—Long Validity) (subclass 956)
- eVisitor visa (subclass 651).
If you already hold one of these visas, it will still be valid until the date you were given when it was granted.
Applicants who were previously eligible for the visas listed above may now be eligible for one of the following replacement visa sub-classes below:
- Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400) providing limited work rights (see below);
- Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601) – No work rights;
- E-Visitor (subclass 651) – No work rights
The new sub-classes 400 visa (Short stay activity), the electronic subclass 601 ETA - short term business visa and subclass 651 E-Visitor for business purposes) are all intended for genuine business visitors seeking a short-term entry (up to three months maximum at a time) to Australia for business purposes. There is no need for sponsorship but it is recommended that evidence in support is available to support the need for the applicant’s visit if requested (when applying for the 400 visa usually in the source country). The advantage with the electronic visas is that they allow the convenience of on-line application.
For all forms of short term business visa, the visit must also be consistent with the applicant’s personal attributes and business background and generally relate to their existing business activities. There should also be a demonstrated need for the applicant to be in Australia for business purposes including:
- to explore existing or future business opportunities in Australia;
- to attend a conference or meeting relevant to applicant’s occupation or business activities;
- to undertake training relevant to the applicant’s occupation or business activities (this does not include work placements)
However, under these regulations, the Sub-class 400 visa is the only short term business visa which allows the visa holder to undertake work (6 weeks but can be up to 3 months) in limited circumstances; where it is:
- highly specialised in nature and not ongoing or
- an emergency or urgent situation and not ongoing or
- is in Australia’s interest and cannot be done by Australians or Australian permanent residents. or
- to participate in non-ongoing cultural or social events at the invitation of an organisation in Australia
SC 400 (Short stay activity) visa
Not employment visas
Applicants should note that whilst these visa types are very useful – properly used – they are not a work visa – except in the limited situations mentioned above. The aim is to allow genuine business visitors the opportunity to visit Australia to undertake business related activities as well as to have a short holiday. It is not for unskilled/semi skilled labour, or as a way to avoid the more stringent requirements of the subclass 457 visa, especially English language and market salary requirements.
Medical professionals exception to 6 weeks work limitation for the 400 visa
There are special arrangements in place for doctors and nurses who are required to undertake bridging courses to regularise their overseas qualifications. DIAC has confirmed that the 400 visa (without imposition of an 8503 ’No further stay’ condition) is the appropriate visa in these circumstances. Where a longer stay becomes necessary, DIAC will consider applications to extend favourable by way of the 600 visitor visa
Which visa should I use?
The type of short term business visa applicable will largely depend upon the passport held by the applicant and the purpose of the visit. In a departure from the previous visas, if specialised or emergency work (allowable for up to 3 months) that no other Australian can do is intended, then you must use one of the visas on this page and not the Sub-class 600 Visitor visa (Business Stream).
Generally a paper application- based Sub-class 400 visa is for applicants ineligible for the ETA or E-Visitor visas. As a result such applicants will be more labour intensive. It is proably no coincidence that there is no fee payable on the electronic visas applied for on-line, but there is for the paper based application.