Residence categories

If you are coming to Australia temporarily, you have a number of different options that may allow you to work during your visit.

Australia's temporary residence programme is designed to allow overseas people to come to Australia for specific purposes that result in some benefit to Australia. The focus is on the areas of skilled employment, social/cultural and international relations.

Exchange

The purpose of an exchange is to allow a temporary stay of skilled people (other than executives, managers or specialists) wanting to come to Australia to broaden their work experience and skills under reciprocal arrangements which allow Australian residents similar opportunities overseas.

To apply for this visa, you must have a letter of invitation from the organisation offering the position. You may not change employer or occupation without prior permission.

Foreign Government Agencies

The purpose of this visa is to allow a temporary stay of foreign government officials to conduct official business on behalf of their government in Australia.

For stays of up to three months, or in cases involving directors of the British Council, Alliance Francaise, Goethe Institute or Italian Cultural Institute, a statement of support is required from the Foreign Ministry. In all other cases, a sponsorship is required unless entering under the provisions of a bilateral agreement. You may not change employer or occupation without prior permission.

Special Programme

The purpose of a special programme is to allow a temporary stay of people under approved programmes to broaden their work experience and skills; this generally involves youth exchanges.

To apply for this visa, a letter of support is required from the supporting organisation.

Educational

The purpose of this visa is to allow a temporary stay of staff for educational and research institutions or organisations to fill academic, teaching and research positions unable to be filled from within the Australian labour market.

For this visa, a letter of appointment is required for stays of up to three months. Sponsorship is required for stays of more than three months. You may not change employer or occupation without prior permission.

Visiting Academic

The purpose of this visa is to allow a temporary stay of people whose presence in Australia will contribute to the sharing of research knowledge.

For this visa, a letter of invitation is required from the institution involved. You may not receive a salary from the host institution in Australia.

Entertainment

The purpose of this visa is to allow a temporary stay of people involved in a wide range of social and cultural events and activities; (including models and mannequins) taking into account the need to protect the employment of Australians in the industry.

Sponsorship is required for this visa regardless of the period of stay unless you are coming in under a bilateral agreement. You may not change employer or change times or places of engagements in Australia without prior permission.

Sport

This visa allows a temporary stay of amateur or professional sports people to engage in competition with Australian residents and to improve general sporting standards in Australia through high calibre competition and training.

Sponsorship and/or a letter of invitation may be required depending on the activity and the length of stay in Australia. You may not change employer without competition or training programme prior permission.

Medical Practitioner

This visa allows a temporary stay of suitably qualified medical practitioners where there is a demonstrated need to employ practitioners from overseas.

Sponsorship is required regardless of the period of stay. You may not change employer without prior permission.

Media and Film Staff

This visa allows a temporary stay of correspondents and other professional media staff members posted to Australia by overseas news organisations, and photographers and film and television crews making documentaries or commercials for exclusive overseas consumption.

A letter of support is required for this visa for stays of up to three months, or if the Organisation is not represented in Australia, or if entering under a bilateral agreement. Sponsorship is required in all other cases for stays of more than three months. You may not change employer without prior permission.

Public Lecturer

This visa allows a temporary stay of professional lecturers or subject lecturers invited to make public presentations.

A letter of invitation is required for stays of up to three months or if entering a bilateral agreement. Sponsorship is required in all other cases for stays of more than three months. You may not change employer without prior permission.

Domestic Worker (Diplomatic/Consular)

This visa allows a temporary stay of domestic staff for diplomats and consular staff posted to Australia on advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

A letter of support is required from DFAT. You may not change employer or remain in Australia after the permanent departure of your employer.

Domestic Worker (Overseas Executive)

This visa allows a temporary stay for domestic staff of certain holders of visas in class 457 long-stay temporary business entry. A visa in this class may only be granted where it can be shown that the entry of domestic staff is necessary for the proper discharge of representational duties.

Sponsorship is required for this visa if the employer is sponsored. If the employer is not sponsored, an acceptable employment contract must be supplied. You may not change employer or remain in Australia after the permanent departure of your employer.

Religious Worker

The purpose of this visa is to allow for a temporary stay of religious workers, including ministers, priests and spiritual leaders to serve the spiritual needs of people of their faith in Australia.

Sponsorship and a written undertaking is required for this visa regardless of the period of the stay. You may not change employer or occupation without prior permission.

Occupational Trainee

This visa allows for a temporary stay of persons undergoing training in Australia compatible with their employment history.

For this visa, a nomination must be provided regardless of the period of stay unless the training is being provided by the Commonwealth. You may not work in Australia other than in relation to your training.

Permission in writing to change employers can only be obtained from the nearest State, Territory or Regional office of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in Australia.