Visa options for Conferences, Trade Fairs, 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).
If you are planning to visit Australia for a business event such as a conference, trade fair, seminar or expo, you may be able to apply for one of the following visas.
The appropriate visa will depend, amongst 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:
- Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400)
- Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (subclass 601)
- eVisitor visa (subclass 651)
- Visitor (Business Stream) visa (subclass 600).
The Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400) is the appropriate visa for those intending to undertake one or more of the following roles/activities:
- People involved in the organisation or delivery of the event
- Speakers, presenters or delegates who are being paid (including appearance fees) for their participation eg. professional motivational speakers or VIPs paid to attend as delegates
- A role/activity that would normally be remunerated
- Independent journalist, correspondent or reporter for an overseas news organisation who will not be taking part in film, television or other productions that will be broadcast in Australia
- Exhibitors engaged in retail activities (sale of goods or services directly to the general public).
More information is available on the department’s website. See: www.border.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.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/420-
If you are planning to visit Australia to participate in a business event such as a conference, trade fair or seminar or expo, and you are not being paid by an organiser for your participation in the event, you may be eligible for an ETA (subclass 601), eVisitor visa (subclass 651) or Visitor (Business Stream) visa (subclass 600), as long as you:
- do not work for or provide services to a business or organisation in Australia
- do not sell goods or services to the public
You may also be eligible for one of these visas if you are undertaking a genuine unpaid volunteer role, but only if an Australian resident would not otherwise be paid to do that type of work (you can be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses such as meals and accommodation).
More information on ETA, eVisitor visa and Visitor (Business Stream) visa is available on the department’s website.
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: www.border.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 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.