All visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia.
It is recommended that delegates allow a minimum of 3 months to apply for their visa before arriving in Australia.
Passports need to be valid for at least 6 months when entering Australia.
Visa options for Conferences, Seminars or Expos
All visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia (other than New Zealand passport holders who will normally be granted a Special Category visa on arrival, provided they meet health and character requirements; and permanent residents of Norfolk Island who may be granted a Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa on arrival).
The information below is current as at 23 November 2016. Australian law may change after this time resulting in a change in visa options. Please check the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website for further information: http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/
This page is a general guide to the most common visa options for those traveling to Australia to participate in a conference, trade fair, seminar, or expo.
The appropriate visa will depend, among other things, on your purpose for visiting Australia.
The passport which you hold determines whether you are eligible to apply online, or need to lodge a paper based application.
Depending on your eligibility, you may be able to apply for one of the following visas:
If you are planning to visit Australia to attend a business event such as a conference, seminar, trade fair or expo as a participant or an attendee (that is, you will not be working, entertaining, or being paid to contribute), you may be eligible for one of the following Visitor visas:
- Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (subclass 601). Who can get this visa
- eVisitor visa (subclass 651). Who can get this visa
- Visitor (Business Stream) visa (subclass 600).
For requirements and eligibility see: http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/600-
You must not be intending to:
- work for or provide services to a business or organisation in Australia or
- sell goods or services to the Australian public.
While you must not be paid by an organiser for your participation in the event, you may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses such as accommodation and meals.
Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)
Note: To apply for a Temporary Activity visa you must make an online visa application through ImmiAccount. If you do not already have an ImmiAccount you will need to create one. To login to ImmiAccount or to create an account refer to the Department’s website: http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Immi
As a speaker, presenter, exhibitor, or other contributor
Activity type: Invited for other social/cultural activity
If you have been invited to participate in the event by an Australia organisation and you are contributing to the event, for example: as a speaker, presenter, or exhibitor, you may be eligible for the Temporary Activity visa as an ‘Invited Participant’.
If you apply from outside Australia and intend to stay in Australia for three months or less, you do not need to be sponsored for this visa. However, you must provide a letter of invitation from the individual or organisation in Australia responsible for the event, which identifies:
- you (as the visa applicant) and any family members travelling with you
- the event/s, activity or work you will be involved in
- the duties in relation to event/s, activity or work you will be involved in
- the date/s, location/s of the event/s activity or work.
It is a requirement that there is nothing adverse known to the Department about the individual or organisation inviting you, unless it is reasonable for the Department to disregard that information.
To apply for this visa as an ‘Invited Participant’, please select the following Activity type: Invited for other social/cultural activity on page 2 of the online application form.
Further information about the specific requirements of the Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) is available on the Department’s website: http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/408-
Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400)
If you intend to work at the event in a role other than those listed above, you may be eligible for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa. This visa allows you to undertake highly specialised, short-term work, for example: as an installer, construction worker, or site supervisor – where you have specialist skills or proprietary knowledge required for the event.
To apply for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa, you must make an online visa application through ImmiAccount. If you do not already have an ImmiAccount you will need to create one. To login to ImmiAccount or to create an account refer to the Department’s website: http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Immi
Further information about the specific requirements of the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) (subclass 400) is available on the Department’s website: http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/400-
Note: If you will be taking part in film, television or other productions that will be broadcast in Australia, you should apply for the Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa (subclass 420). See: http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/420-
Things to consider before lodging an application
Health and character requirements
All visa applicants must be assessed against Australia’s health and character requirements. These requirements are designed to protect the safety and security of the Australian community.
As part of the visa application process you may be required to undertake a medical examination, chest x ray and/or other health checks.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the department) will advise you of the applicable health checks (if any), based on your individual circumstances.
Information on which health checks may apply to you is available on the department’s website.
As part of the visa application assessment process the onus is on you to satisfy the character requirements set out in Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958. Further information on the character requirement is available on the department’s website. See: http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Char
If you are unsure whether you satisfy the character requirements because of prior criminal convictions, you should lodge a paper-based application at the Australian visa office nearest to your current place of residence, at least four months prior to the event start date.
Contact information for Australian visa offices is available on the department’s website.
For information on countries subject to travel sanctions, please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website. Nationals of these countries may not be permitted to travel to and enter Australia.
Biometrics may need to be collected at an Australian Visa Application Centre for visitors and business people lodging a visa application from the countries listed on the department’s website.
If you lodge your application online, the department will advise you in writing if you need to provide your biometrics.
Invitation and registration to attend the event
Although this is a separate process to lodging your visa application, when assessing whether you meet the criteria for the grant of a visa, the department may take into account whether you are registered or were invited to attend the event.
Confirmation of registration, or a copy of your letter of invitation, should accompany visa applications. For online subclass 400 and subclass 600 applications, information about documents that need to be attached will be provided as part of the application process.
Methods of submitting your visa application
You can either apply online (if eligible) or lodge a paper application.
ImmiAccount is a single point of entry into the department’s online visa services. ImmiAccount accepts all online applications including eVisitor visa (subclass 651), Visitor e600 visa and Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400).
ImmiAccount does not accept applications for Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
More information about ImmiAccount is available on the department’s website.
To check if you are eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (subclass 601).
To check if you are eligible to apply for an eVisitor visa (subclass 651).
To check if you are eligible to apply for an online Visitor e600 visa.
To check if you are eligible to apply for an online Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408).
To check if you are eligible to apply for an online Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400).
To attach documents to your online visa application, you will need to login to your ImmiAccount.
If you are not eligible to apply online you can lodge a paper application.
To lodge a paper application for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400) you will need to complete Form 1400 Application for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa.
The document checklist for the Subclass 400 visa lists what documents you may need to provide with your application.
To lodge a paper application for a Visitor (Business Visitor stream) visa (subclass 600) you will need to complete Form 1415 Application for a Visitor visa – Business Visitor stream.
The document checklist for the Visitor visa (subclass 600) – Business Visitor stream lists what documents you may need to provide with your application.
For information on where and how to lodge a paper application
Cut-off date for lodging paper based applications
You should apply for a visa at least two months prior to the intended date of departure, and four months prior if there are any character or health concerns.
More information about visa processing times is available on the department’s website.
Obligations of visa holders
On arrival at Australia’s border you must identify yourself, present your travel documents, and complete an Incoming Passenger Card (IPC). The IPC requires visitors to declare their health status and any prior criminal convictions.
If you do not meet immigration clearance requirements, you may be refused entry to Australia.
More information on immigration clearance processes at Australia’s borders is available on the department’s website.
You must comply with your visa validity and visa conditions while in Australia. When you receive your Australian visa you are issued with a visa grant notice that explains the conditions of the visa including period of validity and entry requirements. You are advised to carry this visa grant notice when travelling for your own reference.
Your visa may be cancelled if you breach any of the conditions.
If your visa expires while you are still in Australia, you become an unlawful non-citizen. Unlawful non-citizens are liable to be detained and removed from Australia.