When businesses need to hire temporary specialists for a short term defined time period, the recent extension of the maximum period of stay for Subclass 400 (Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity)) visas has been extended from 3 to 6 months. There are important considerations to examine and meet in order to qualify.

The Subclass 400 visa is for people who want to travel to Australia to:

• Do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work (non ongoing is perhaps the number one consideration in the eyes of the DIBP;
• Participate in non-ongoing cultural or social activities at the invitation of an Australian organisation; or
• In limited circumstances, participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests.

The normal stay period allowed is up to 3 months, but up to 6 months may be granted if a strong business case for the necessity of the work is made. The decision regarding the length of the stay period to be granted is determined by the individual case officer examining the application. Relevant information they will review includes the following:

• The importance of a project to the local community;
• Evidence that specialist expertise from overseas is required;
• The number of Australians being employed on the project;
• Time available for an Australian to be trained to do the proposed work over a longer period; or
• Remuneration paid in accordance with Australian wages and conditions.

This last is a key consideration on the issuance of a longer stay on a subclass 400 visa.

This change does increase the utility of subclass 400 visas for businesses. Jobs that are ongoing, non-specialized or require a stay longer than 6 months will still best be served by the 4 year subclass 457 visa.

If you have questions about bringing in foreign workers for you business for the short term or long term click here to contact Pierre or Mike at Yangwha

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