What is the change? A new regulation will lengthen the maximum period of stay for foreign workers on Temporary Work (Short Stay) visas to six months (from the current duration of three months).

What does the change mean? This change will give employers greater flexibility in employing temporary foreign workers for up to six months at a time.

  • Implementation timeframe: The rule will take effect 23 November.
  • Visas/permits affected: Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay) visas.
  • Who is affected: Companies sponsoring temporary foreign workers through the subclass 400 visa stream.
  • Impact on processing times: As the eligibility requirements will remain the same, processing times for these visas is unlikely to change.
  • Business impact: This will have a positive business impact on companies bringing in foreign workers for projects lasting longer than three months.
  • Next steps: The details of this new regulation, including how immigration authorities will process requests for the maximum six-month period, will be clearer when guidance is issued. BAL will alert clients as details emerge.

Background: In addition to lengthening the duration of subclass 400 visas, the legislation also increases the period of time that the visa is valid before entry, i.e. a subclass 400 visa holder may enter Australia six months from the date the visa is granted, as opposed to three months under current rules.

BAL Analysis: This is a welcome change for employers bringing foreign workers to Australia for temporary work and provides more flexibility for longer stays. Note that the Government has not yet released its policy on how it will adjudicate six-month visa requests. For example, currently, while three months is the maximum duration for subclass 400 visas, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection typically grants six-week visas and only grants three-month visas in exceptional circumstances. Also note that these are consular-issued visas and may be assessed differently based on location.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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