400 Visa457 visaBusiness VisitorTSSVisitor

Setting up a business in Australia? What visas do you need for your foreign employees?

By September 15, 2019 October 23rd, 2019 No Comments

Foreign companies looking to establish a business in Australia often require non-Australian employees to travel to Australia to help set up their business and bring specific, proprietary knowledge of the business to Australia. Depending on the purpose with which the employee is coming to Australia and the duration of stay, there are likely to be three main visa options that are suitable, including the:

  1. Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa;
  2. Subclass 400 visa; and
  3. Subclass 600 Visitor visa (and it’s streamlined equivalents – eVisitor / ETA visa).

TSS visa

What is this visa for?

The TSS visa is the work visa to Australia.  It is an employer-sponsored visa that permits the visa holder to work for their sponsoring employer in their nominated occupation.

Some of the key criteria regarding this visa including the type of documents required and some frequently asked questions (FAQ) can be found here.

How long is this visa for?

This visa valid for up to 4 years depending on the position.

If the position correlates to an occupation on the:

  • Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) – you may get a TSS visa for up to 4 years that can be continually renewed;
  • Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) – you may get a TSS visa for up to 2 years, that can only be renewed once onshore.
How long does it take to obtain this visa?

The processing times for this visa from lodgement to finalisation is about 3-4 weeks.

We generally recommend allowing for at least 1 month to prepare all the documentation leading up to lodgement.

Subclass 400

What is this visa for?

The 400 visa generally allows for individuals to come to Australia to undertake “highly specialised work” that is “not on-going” for a short duration of time.

It can be used by technical installers of foreign equipment, individuals providing specific technical knowledge (i.e. procedures/products not generally in use in Australia, supporting the introduction of a new product or concept/method in Australia, company-specific knowledge), individuals participating in tenders etc.

You can also find some information about the key criteria and some FAQs here.

How long is this visa for?

This visa is typically valid for 3 months but can be granted for up to a maximum of 6 months where sufficient reasons are provided.

This visa may be appropriate where an individual is required to come to Australia for 6 months or less and a TSS visa is not suitable.

How long does it take to obtain this visa?

The processing times for this visa varies as although these applications are lodged online, they are typically processed by the Australian Embassy/Consulate/High Commission that is responsible for the country or area that the visa applicant is residing.

On average, the processing times from lodgement to finalisation are about 1 month.

eVisitor / ETA / Visitor visa

What is this visa for?

The Visitor Subclass 600 visa is the conventional tourist visa to Australia. There are different streams under this visa including for the visa holder to participate in “business visitor activities”. Business visitor activities include:

  • making general business or employment enquiries;
  • investigating, negotiating, signing or reviewing a business contract; and
  • taking part in a conference, trade fair or seminar.

It does not permit the individual to provide work for or services to a business/organisation, or to sell goods or services to the public.

This visa is typically used where someone is required to participate in business meetings, undertake negotiations, or make business enquiries. It does not permit work.

The eVisitor visa is a streamlined version of the Visitor visa for citizens of certain European countries, to come to Australia for either tourism or “business visitor activities”.  The ETA is the same but for nationals of certain Asian countries, the US and Canada.

We encourage you to read more about the “business visitor activities” by reading here.

How long is this visa for?

The Visitor visa (and eVisitor and ETA visas) is typically valid for 1 year, permits multiple entries, and allows for stays of up to 3 months per entry.  In certain circumstances, applicants for a Visitor visa can request a longer validity period and/or longer duration of stay.  Applicants for an eVisitor/ETA cannot make such a request.

How long does it take to obtain this visa?

The processing times for the Visitor visa varies as although the application is lodged online, they are typically processed by the Australian Embassy/Consulate/High Commission that is responsible for the country or area that the visa applicant is residing.

eVisitor and ETA visas are usually granted on the same day that they are applied except in certain situations.

Next Steps

If you’re an Australian business looking to sponsor a foreign national for the first time, or a foreign company looking to establish an Australian presence, please feel free to contact us by email at [email protected] or phone +61 3 9016 0484 for an obligation free discussion.

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

Leave a Reply