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400 Visa

What is ‘highly specialised work’, for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) (Subclass 400) visa application?

By 3 June, 2024No Comments4 min read

The Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) (Subclass 400) visa permits highly skilled individuals to conduct short-term, non-ongoing, highly specialised work in Australia for up to 3 months (in some cases, up to 6 months).

This article discusses what constitutes “highly specialised work” below.

For further information about 400 visas including other eligibility requirements, the application process, information on the “Australia’s interest” stream, and frequently asked questions see our relevant service page here.

What is highly specialised work?

While not formally defined in the legislation, in general, ‘highly specialised work’ refers to work requiring a high level of specialised skills, knowledge and/or experience which can assist an Australian business.

These skills/knowledge/experience cannot reasonably be found in the Australian labour market, and would not have adverse consequences for the employment, or training opportunities, of Australians.

Examples of highly specialised work

Typical examples of 400 visa applicants are highly specialised workers in occupations falling into the categories of managers, professionals, and technicians and trades workers (i.e. ANZSCO Major Groups 1 to 3). However, this is not exhaustive and provided all other criteria is met, otherwise highly specialised workers in different occupations can be granted a 400 visa.

Examples provided under Departmental policy of highly specialised works may include:

  • an installer or maintainer of recently imported equipment, which requires specific knowledge to install or maintain;
  • a skilled mining engineer advising on a particular procedure or product which is not in use in Australia;
  • a training professional seeking to enter Australia to support the introduction of new products (for example, newly developed software), concepts or methods (for example, innovative business management techniques) to the Australian workplace or the opening of an international business in Australia;
  • an internal auditor of an international company who may be required to audit an Australian subsidiary against company-specific control standards; and
  • a speaker, with a high level of skill and experience, for speaking engagements at seminars on wealth building.

Despite the above, there are excluded occupations which are specifically not considered highly specialised work for the purpose of a 400 visa, which includes:

  • Performing as an entertainer in Australia (under contract or non-profit purposes);
  • Supporting an entertainer in Australia; and
  • Directing, producing or taking another part in:
    • a film, television or radio production that is to be shown or broadcast in Australia; or
    • a theatre production, concert or recording that is to be performed in Australia.

If you are looking for a visa for the above occupations a Temporary Activity (Subclass 408) visa may be more appropriate.

How to address the highly specialised work requirement in a 400 visa application

Information about the highly specialised work should be provided to the Department, ideally via a letter of support from the Australian organisation for whom the highly specialised work is being delivered.

While there are no specific requirements for the form of the letter of support and what should be included, you can see a general guide of the information this letter could address, and other relevant documentary information can be found here.

Where the Department have doubts regarding the “highly specialised” nature of the work, they can request information as set out in the link above.


At Hannan Tew Lawyers we have assisted numerous clients with their 400 visa applications. If you need legal assistance or have an immigration related query, get in touch with our experienced team. Contact us by email at [email protected] or by phone at +61 3 9016 0484.

This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an immigration professional for up to date information.
Brittney McCann

Author Brittney McCann

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