A clever visa if you follow the rules …

Australia’s 400 visas

When the Australian government quietly changed the terms of the electronic Business Visitor visas on 23 March 2013, few people seemed to notice. If you were lucky enough to hold one of these visas, you will have work rights for up to six (6) weeks during the life of the visa so long as the work is : writing

  • non-ongoing
  • highly skilled and
  • to the benefit of Australia.

Generally, scant regard was paid to the conditions of the visa!

Non-ongoing work was a joke with many workers on rotational contracts popping in and out of Australia – some four (4) weeks on, four (4) weeks off over a period of years. And we won’t even consider whether or not they paid any tax!

Withdrawn as well was the 456 visa, which was a cumbersome paper application with roughly similar conditions. It too allowed six (6) weeks of work rights over the life of the visa – but oddly enough some visas were granted for a year at a time – and, you guessed it!  People popped in and out, working on rotation or similar and still not paying Australian tax!  It couldn’t last – and it didn’t.

The 400 visa introduced gives up to three (3) months work rights – and in special circumstances – six (6) months !

It has to be applied for AND granted while the applicant is offshore.

But it does let specialists work in Australia for a full three (3) months;

  • without having to sit for English tests,
  • without restricting occupations and,
  • without meeting Australian salaries or qualification standards.

AND the good news is … it is RENEWABLE!

Not renewable while the visa holder is onshore – but case officers are understanding if you can justify a timetable e.g for a small part of a project to finalise their tasks, and will grant another visa if they can see good reason.

Getting a six (6) months visa initially is pretty difficult in most jurisdictions, and if you try, be prepared to lodge very comprehensive and provide detailed submissions if you really need someone for a longer period and can afford a bit of time for the application to be processed.

With 400 visa applications, we encourage lodging “an overwhelming body of evidence” and in fairness, when we do, the visa grants pop right back.

We do hear many complaints around town about difficult questions from case officers, however, in all honesty, we find, if we lodge full and complete applications addressing everything possible, then the Immigration’s response will be quick and positive. And we get a good turnaround when we request urgent processing – when there is good reason. But it is best to apply with some time up your sleeve.

The visa validity is three (3) months from first entry and you get three (3) months to enter Australia initially – so try to give a bit of time for processing.

If you are currently offshore, allow yourselves sufficient application time, if you would like to explore applying for this clever visa, Australian Visa Subclass 400!

Or you may wish to engage our expertise to prepare and lodge a full and comprehensive submission for you.  Get in touch at info@isa.com.au.  We are always happy to help!