COVID‑19 Pandemic and FAQs on Subclass 408 (Temporary Activity) visa

Features of Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)


This visa allows you to come to Australia on a temporary basis to:

  • Work as performer in the entertainment industry
  • Participate activities at the invitation of an Australian organisation
  • Participate or observe in an Australian research project
  • Work in a skilled position under a staff exchange arrangement
  • Participate in high-level sports competitions or sports training programs
  • Participate in approved special program
  • Do full-time religious work
  • Be employed as a superyacht crew member
  • Do full-time domestic work in the household of certain senior foreign executives
  • Participate in a government endorsed event.


Who can apply for this visa?


The Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) is for people who want to come to Australia on a temporary basis to undertake one of the following activities:

  • Entertainer:
    • to work in the entertainment industry in film, television or live productions in either a performance or behind-the-scenes role, such as directing, producing and other production roles.
  • Invited participant:
    • for people who are invited for stays up to 3 months by an organisation operating in Australia to participate in a specific cultural or social event or events. For example, conferences, sporting, religious and other community events.
  • Researcher:
    • to participate or observe in an Australian research project after being invited to do so.
    • to undertake a research activity at an Australian tertiary or research institution related to your field of study.
  • Religious worker:
    • to be a full-time religious worker, serving the religious objectives of a religious institution in Australia.
  • Special program:
    • to participate in an approved special program that provides opportunities for youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefits.
  • Sport:
    • play, coach or instruct or adjudicate under contract to an Australian sporting club or organisation
    • participate in a high-level sports training program
  • Exchange:
    • to work in a skilled position under a reciprocal staff exchange arrangement to:
      • give participants an opportunity to experience another culture
      • enhance international relations
      • broaden participants’ experience and knowledge.
    • Superyacht crew:
      • to be employed as a superyacht crew member on board a superyacht in Australia.
    • Domestic worker (executive):
      • to work full time in the household of certain senior foreign executives.
    • Australian Government endorsed event:
      • to participate in a government endorsed major event.


This visa requires sponsorship if:

  • your stay in Australia is for more than three months
  • you apply in Australia.


There is no nomination required for this visa.


What are the initial criteria to be eligible for this visa?


You must:

  • have the skills to undertake the activity to be carried out in Australia
  • be supported or sponsored
  • meet additional requirements of the relevant stream


Further requirements if eligible?

  • You must satisfy the genuine temporary entrant requirement (GTE) 
  • You must provide evidence that you have functional English language skills to undertake the training
  • You might be asked to provide evidence that you can financially support yourself and your accompanying family members while in Australia
  • You must meet certain health requirements
  • You will be responsible for all health requirements as you will not be covered by Australia’s national health scheme
  • You must meet certain character requirements
  • You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted


FAQ on 408 Visa


I currently hold a visitor visa, should I apply for another visitor visa or a 408 visa?

If you are currently holding any of the visitor visas including ETA subclass 601 visa, eVisitor Subclass 651 visa or Visitor subclass 600 visa and are looking to apply for another visa to extend your stay in Australia and get work rights, the 408 visa might be an option.

The basic difference between a visitor visa and a 408 visa is that a visitor visa does not provide work rights whereas the 408 visa does provide work rights. Therefore, if you are on a visitor visa and want to apply for a 408 visa, you need to show that you hold a skill set that is highly relevant to one of the critical sectors and/or have an employer who is willing to provide you with employment in a critical sector.

If you are unable to provide evidence for either of the above, you may want to choose a visitor visa instead.


I am eligible for a visitor visa and a 408 visa, which visa is the better option for me?

It depends on your situation which visa will work for you but in general, the 408 visa can be a better choice out of the two options, mainly because it provides work rights unlike a visitor visa. You will need to provide evidence that you will remain in Australia to work in one of the critical sectors. 

Also, keep in mind that there is no application fee for a 408 (COVID-19) stream visa application. For a visitor visa you will need to pay an application fee plus you may have to pay a subsequent temporary application charge of AUD $700. This makes a visitor visa a less cost-effective option.


I am a backpacker working with a farmer, can I apply for 408 visa?

If you are currently on a Work and Holiday visa Subclass 462 visa or Working Holiday Visa Subclass 417 visa and are working with a farmer, you may apply for a 408 visa depending on your situation.

Initial Working Holiday visas are usually granted for a 12 month period. Completing 3 months of ‘specified work’ on the initial visa you will have access to a second working holiday visa. If you complete 6 months of ‘specified work’ during the second working holiday visa period, you can apply for a third working holiday visa.

A Working Holiday Visa can either be Subclass 462 or Subclass 417 depending on the nationality of the applicant.


The following industries and areas are approved as ‘specified work’:

  • Cultivation of plants and animals in regional Australia
  • fishing in regional Australia
  • pearling in regional Australia
  • tree farming and felling in regional Australia
  • mining in regional Australia
  • construction in regional Australia
  • bushfire recovery work in declared bushfire affected areas only, after 31 July 2019


If you fulfil the requirements of specified work, it is preferable that you apply for a second or third working holiday visa. If you have not done enough work or have not worked in an area or industry specified under the category of ‘specified work’, you might not be eligible for a further working holiday visa. In this case, if you are currently working with a farmer, you might be eligible to apply for 408 visa. Farming/agriculture is considered as a critical sector and if the farmer is willing to continue to provide you work, you may apply for 408 visa.


Contact No Borders Migration today for further details on how we can help you with visa application including eligibility requirements, processing times and visa application.


I am currently on Graduate 485 visa, can I apply for 408 visa?

After completing their studies, many students may apply for a Graduate 485 visa. If your 485 visa is expiring soon and you are currently working in a critical sector, you may be eligible for 408 visa. 


I am not working in a critical sector, am I eligible for the 408 visa?

The 408 visa will allow you to lawfully remain in Australia if you have no other visa options and are unable to depart Australia due to the Coronavirus travel restrictions. If you have no other visa options but you do not work in a critical sector, you may be eligible for the 408 visa until you are able to depart Australia again. However, you may not be granted work rights. 

I am applying for 408 visa as a last resort, will I get work rights?

If your current visa is expiring soon or it has already expired in the last 28 days, and you do not have any other visa options but are unable to leave Australia due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the 408 visa. In this case you may not get work rights.



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