408 Temporary Activity Visa – Overview

Changes to the temporary activity visa framework

As of 19 November 2016, the Subclass 420 Temporary Work (Entertainment) Visa was abolished and replaced with the Subclass 408 Temporary Activity Visa.

The new framework has been designed to simplify the process of applying for a temporary visa.

What are the main changes I need to know about?

  • 408 Visa lodgement is now online only
  • A reduction in visa fees - $280 per applicant
  • Nominations are no longer required for the 408 visa
  • Sponsorship status is only required if a person wishes to import applicants for a period of  more than 3 months
  • The fee structure for visa application charges has been altered
  • Concessions for charitable and not-for-profit organisations have changed
  • Removal of the bulk discount

408 Visa Application Process

The Department of Immigration’s new online-only portal (ImmiAcount) makes it easier for Members to lodge their own applications.

LPA has reviewed the immigration service we provide to Members. To ensure we continue to provide a high quality service, we will be making some changes to how we assist Members in obtaining visas in an efficient and timely manner.

These changes will require each Member to:

LPA will continue to provide immigration support to Members. If a Member requires LPA to act on its behalf, LPA will require:

  • Access to the Member Immi Account
  • Form 956A
  • Letter of invitation
  • Personnel list
  • NEB Statement
  • Tour itinerary with all dates and cities and towns on the tour
  • Contracts
  • Relevant passport pages, and
  • Travel/health insurance documents.

LPA will continue to provide the following services:

  • Undertake union consultation on behalf of Members
  • Review each application to check and amend where necessary
  • Upload documents required by DIBP, such as contracts, travel/health insurance documents etc
  • Liaise with the DIBP and track applications
  • Support with character unit checks and DIBP queries regarding applicants
  • An immigration helpline on (03) 8614 2000

Timelines for approval

Visa approval can be a lengthy process, especially if applicants have health or character issues to disclose.

Members are advised to send information well in advance of the arrival date. Failing to meet the below deadlines may delay visa approval and result in an applicant being denied entry into Australia.

Required LPA processing time

Citizens of low-risk countries (see below for a list): 6-8 weeks​

Citizens of other countries: 10-12 weeks​

Low risk (ETA) Countries:

Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (SAR of China), Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Republic of San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, The Netherlands, United Kingdom - British Citizen, United Kingdom - British National (Overseas), United States, Vatican City.

Sponsors can also use the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO), which is a free online facility that allows a person or Sponsor to check a visa’s status or the visa entitlements of a visa holder.

VAC Exemptions

The following organisations are exempt from paying the Visa Application Charge (VAC):

  • An agency of the Commonwealth, a State or Territory
  • An agency, Embassy or Consulate of a foreign government
  • A charity registered by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
  • An approved “government funded organisation”
  • An organisation supporting an applicant for a “government funded event”

IMPORTANT: The VAC exemption criteria for charities and not-for-profits have been restricted. Organisations that were VAC-exempt under the old regime may no longer receive the concession.

Any one of the above criteria being met will be sufficient for VAC-exempt status. For example, if an organisation is a registered charity, it does not need also to show that it is a “government funded organisation”.

An organisation will be VAC-exempt if it is a charity listed on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Register.

Government funded organisations and events 

If an organisation is not a registered charity or an agency as described above, it must pay the VAC unless it can be classed as a
“government funded organisation” or is supporting/sponsoring the applicant for a “government funded event”.

These organisations are named in a legislative instrument, updated quarterly.

The Minister’s agreed definitions for the above are as follows:

  • ‘Government funded organisation’ – the organisation must receive at least 50 per cent of its revenue for their day-to-day operations, in the most recently completed financial year, by way of Commonwealth or State and Territory Government funding; or 
  • ‘Government funded event’ – an organisation is supporting or sponsoring the applicant only for a particular event (or events), and that event (or events) has received Commonwealth or State and Territory Government funding:
    • amounting to at least 50 per cent of the projected costs for conducting the particular event (or events); or
    • of $2,500,000 or more to conduct the particular event (or events).

For further information, please contact Kitsa Daskalakis, Immigration Services Co-Ordinator on (03) 8614 2000.