The subclass 401 visa program

The subclass 401 visa allows for the temporary entry of skilled workers participating in a staff exchange program between an Australian and an overseas organisation, sportspeople or religious or domestic workers. The visa can be granted for up to two years and has four separate streams described below.

Exchange stream

The Exchange stream is intended to allow skilled workers to participate in a reciprocal staff exchange program to promote international understanding and co-operation. Applicants must have the necessary skills and experience for the position (please note that the stream is not intended for casual employees or contractors) and the exchange must benefit both the applicant and the Australian citizen or permanent resident who will be working with the overseas organisation.  

Sport stream

The Sports stream enables sportspeople to participate in competitions or sports activities with Australian residents. The categories covered by this stream include sporting competition judges, players, coaches and instructors and individuals or teams and their support staff taking part in competitions or sporting events.

The requirements for this stream depend on the type of sporting activity. Contracted players, coaches or instructors must have a contractual arrangement in place, must have an established reputation and the national Australian sporting body must provide a letter of endorsement. Support staff must have a contractual arrangement in place, judges must have a written invitation identifying the events and competitors must be registered in the sporting event they are going to compete in. 

Religious worker stream

This stream allows for the entry of full-time religious workers who have the necessary qualifications or experience and who will be serving the sponsoring religious organisation's objectives.

Domestic worker stream

This stream provides for the entry of certain domestic workers employed by Senior Executives of overseas organisations who hold Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visas or those who hold Temporary Work (International Relations) (Privileges and Immunities stream) subclass 403 visas.

Applicants require to be over 18 and sponsors must have been unable to find a suitable Australian worker (Labour Market Testing requires to be completed).

How can I apply for a subclass 401 visa?

Obtaining a subclass 401 visa involves a three stage process, namely sponsorship by an approved sponsor, a corresponding nomination application and finally a visa application.