Temporary residence

Based on the contribution of Michael Clothier for The Law Handbook 2016 published by Fitzroy Legal Service, as amended by Zouheir Dalati and current to 20 April 2018


Temporary residence is the entry for specified short- or long-term periods to engage in employment or other pursuits in Australia (not business discussion, negotiations, inspections, etc., which come within the visitors’ entry category). It covers:
  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) was introduced on 31 March 2018 replacing the Temporary work (skilled) visa subclass 457. Referred to as the TSS visa, it enables employers to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers where they cannot source an appropriately skilled Australian. It facilitates targeted use of overseas workers to address temporary skill shortages. TSS visa holders can work in Australia in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor under one of three streams:
    • The short-term stream;
    • The medium-term stream;
    • The Labour Agreement stream.
  • Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) is for people who want to come to Australia on a temporary basis under one of the 10 streams described in this visa:

1. Entertainer : to work in the entertainment industry in film, television, or live productions in either a performance or behind-the-scenes role (e.g. directing, producing, and other production roles).
2. Invited participant : for people who are invited for stays of up to three months by an organisation operating in Australia to participate in a specific cultural or social event(s) (e.g. conferences, and sporting, religious and other community events).
3. Researcher:

      • to observe or participate 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 the visa applicant’s field of study.

4. Religious worker: to be a full-time religious worker, serving the religious objectives of a religious institution in Australia.
5. Special program : to participate in an approved special program that provides opportunities for youth exchange, cultural enrichment or community benefits.
6. Sport:

      • to play, coach, instruct or adjudicate under contract to an Australian sporting club or organisation;
      • to participate in a high-level sports training program.

7. 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.

8. Superyacht crew: to be employed as a superyacht crew member on board a superyacht in Australia.
9. Domestic worker (executive): to work full-time in the household of certain senior foreign executives.
10. Australian Government endorsed event: to participate in a government-endorsed event.

  • The Temporary Work (international relations) visa (subclass 403) allows people to come to Australia under one of five streams:
    1. Government agreement stream;
    2. Foreign government agency stream;
    3. Domestic worker (diplomatic and consular) stream;
    4. Privileges and immunities stream;
    5. Seasonal worker program stream.
  • The Working Holiday Makers Program includes the Working Holiday (subclass 417) and Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visas (subclass 417).

The procedures generally involve sponsorship by the interested party in Australia (although no sponsorship is required for working holiday makers). People entering for temporary residence for a period of more than 12 months are often required to undergo health and character checking, depending on their country of origin.

People approved for entry under temporary residence categories may generally be accompanied by their dependents (including same-sex partners). Dependents of temporary residents may usually undertake employment or studies in Australia, depending on the particular temporary residence class. There are many types of temporary residence described in the regulations, all with different criteria that must be met.

For more detailed information, visit the Department’s website and search for the relevant subclass number.

Category: temporary business entrants – 457 visa, business sponsored

On 18 March 2018, the Australian government abolished Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) and was replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.

Further information on these reforms is available at www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/work/457-abolition-replacement see Abolition and replacement of the 457 visa – Government reforms to employer sponsored skilled migration visas.

For additional information see:

Category: working holiday visa (subclass 417)

The aim of the working holiday maker scheme is to promote international understanding by providing opportunities for young people to gain experience of other countries. The scheme makes it possible for young people who are resourceful, self-reliant and adaptable and who wish to holiday and travel in Australia to work to supplement their funds.

To be eligible for entry or stay in Australia as a working holiday maker, a person must (see subclass 417, sch 2 Migration Regulations):
  • be single or married and not accompanied by dependent children;
  • be aged between 18 and 31 years; and
  • be a national of one of the following countries with which Australia has a working holiday maker arrangement: United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Italy, France, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Republic of Cyprus, Canada, Germany, Malta, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan.

In all cases, applicants must:
  • lodge an online application for a visa to enter Australia for a working holiday (or paper form 1150) and pay the prescribed fee; and
  • satisfy the Minister for Home Affairs (“the minister”) that:
    • they have sufficient funds for a return fare and to support themselves in Australia for the initial part of the proposed holiday period; and
    • the prime intention is to holiday in Australia and that any work performed will be incidental to that purpose and will not exceed six months with the same employer; and
    • they will have reasonable prospects of obtaining temporary employment to supplement holiday funds; and
    • formal studies, other than a short-term non-formal course, will not be undertaken while in Australia; and
    • they will depart Australia at the end of the temporary stay.
Working holiday makers may apply for a second 12-month working holiday visa if they can show that they have worked at least three months in particular primary industries (e.g. fishing, pearling, butchering and forestry) or are doing seasonal harvest or building construction work in regional Australia. Such work must be paid; it cannot be as a volunteer.

Where to lodge applications

Citizens of the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Italy, France, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Korea, Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Estonia aged between 18 and 31 years may apply for working holiday maker visas at any overseas Australian processing office overseas.

Japanese, Maltese, Hong Kong, Cypriot, Korean and Taiwan citizens must apply in their own country in accordance with Australia’s working holiday agreement with those countries.

Applications for people who have entered Australia previously on a working holiday visa must be sent to the Cairns Second Working Holiday Centre.

Category: work and holidays (subclass 462)

This visa is for tertiary educated people aged between 18 but have not turned 31 years of age at the time of lodging their application, who are interested in a working holiday of up to 12 months in Australia from the following countries: Argentina, Austria, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Uruguay, Vietnam.

The subclass 462 visa allows applicants to supplement the cost of their holiday through periods of temporary or casual employment.

Currently, the work and holiday visa arrangement is in place for people from Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, the USA, Uruguay and Vietnam.

Citizens of Iran who are currently in Australia on a work and holiday visa may also be eligible to apply for further work and holiday visas.

A second 12-month visa may be granted, on similar grounds to the working holiday visa (subclass 417), to applicants who have done specified work in northern Australia. The approved industries for specified work include:
  • plant and animal cultivation;
  • fishing and pearling;
  • tree farming and felling;
  • tourism and hospitality.

Category: Student visa (subclass 500)

The Educational Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework protects the interests of overseas students and Australia’s reputation for delivering quality education services. The framework sets out the standard, role and responsibilities for education institutions that teach overseas students. It also provides tuition and financial assurance for students.

There are seven streams within the subclass 500 student visa. Each stream is based on the education sector of a student’s principal course of study.

Another subclass is the student guardian visa (sub-class 590). This is a temporary visa for people who need to come to Australia to care and support a student visa holder who is younger than 18 years old, or a student visa holder over 18 years old who needs care and support due to exceptional circumstances.

The seven streams within the subclass 500 student visa are:

Independent ELICOS sector

For international students undertaking ELICOS (English language intensive courses for overseas students) as a stand-alone course, and not as a pre­requisite to commencing another course (e.g. a degree).

Schools sector

For international students undertaking a course of study at a primary or secondary school.

Vocational education and training (VET) sector

For international students undertaking a course of study at a technical or trade college, resulting in the award of a certificate I, II, III or IV, diploma or advanced diploma.

Higher education sector

For international students undertaking a course of study at university resulting in the award of a bachelor degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma or master by course work.

Masters and doctorate sector

For international students undertaking a course of study at university resulting in the award of either a master’s degree by research, or a doctoral degree.

Non-award foundation studies and other sector

For international students undertaking a foundation, bridging or other course that does not result in the award of a degree, diploma or other formal qualification.

Foreign Affairs or defence-sponsored sector

For more information visit their website.

Other categories

Applicants are considered for temporary residence for diverse purposes such as limited staff appointments to universities, representatives of news media, staff of travel agencies and service personnel for training. The Migration Regulations also provide that overseas firms who are successful tenderers may send their own technicians to Australia to install and service machinery and computers.

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