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Australia Temporary Work Visa Subclass 403 [Explained]

Australia Temporary Work Visa

Subclass 403 requirements, application process, and available streams.
Visa 403 is a temporary work visa that is issued to improve Australia’s international relationships. When you apply for a 403 visa, you have to select the stream that you qualify for. Please note that each stream has its own specific requirements and for some streams, you have to be nominated.

403 Visa Streams

There are six streams available for a 403 visa:

  1. Government Agreement Stream
  2. Foreign Government Agency Stream
  3. Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or Consular) Stream
  4. Privileges and Immunities Stream
  5. Seasonal Worker Program Stream
  6. Pacific Labour Scheme Stream

Requirements for a 403 Visa

Here is a document checklist for a 403 visa application:

  • Passport and ID. You are required to submit a copy of your passport, documents that prove your name change, and a national identity card (if applicable).
  • Proof of good character. You need to show that you are not involved in any criminal activities or convicted of any crimes.
  • Financial documents. You have to provide evidence that you can support yourself and your family members in Australia.
  • Partner documents. If you are taking your partner with you, then please submit their identity documents, character documents, marriage certificate, and proof of registered relationship (if applicable).
  • Children under 18 documents. For children under 18, you must provide a copy of their birth certificate, a parental consent form 1229 or a statutory declaration.
  • Dependent children over 18 documents. If you have any dependent children over 18, provide proof of dependency and dependency form 47a.
  • Help documents. Submit either form 956, or form 956a if someone is helping you with your application.

403 Visa Requirements According to the Specific Visa Stream

Submit the following documents for the visa stream you are applying for:

  • For the government agreement stream:
    • Work documents. You must provide evidence showing you will be working under the bilateral agreement and details of the length you will be spending in Australia.
  • For the foreign government agency stream:
    • Work documents. You have to submit a letter of support from your foreign ministry, a statement showing that your employment in Australia will benefit the country, a statement from an Australian school supporting your intention to work in an Australian educational institution (if you want to work as a teacher).
  • For the domestic worker stream:
    • Work Confirmation. Your supporter must provide you with a confirmation letter that you will be working in Australia- submit this letter with your application.
  • For the seasonal worker program stream:
    • Sponsor documents. You will need a transaction reference number or your sponsor activity sponsorship application ID.
  • For the pacific labour scheme stream:
    • PLS endorsement number. The Department of Foreign Affairs will endorse you to apply for a labour scheme- you must submit the endorsement number you receive by the DFAT.
    • Sponsor documents. You need to provide your sponsor’s temporary activity sponsorship application ID or a transaction reference number.

For a seasonal worker program and a pacific labour scheme stream, you have to be sponsored in order to get the 403 visa- your sponsor must submit the following when they nominate you:

  • Proof they are an official sponsor.
  • Evidence they are a lawful established organisation or government agency.
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Government Agreement Stream

You can apply for this stream if there is a bilateral agreement between your country and Australia. A government agreement stream allows you to work under specific conditions and terms, and you can stay with this visa for up to two years in Australia.

Processing Times for Government Agreement Stream

This visa stream will be processed between 71 days and 5 months. The majority of applications are finished in 5 months.

Foreign Government Agency Stream

This visa 403 stream will allow you to work in Australia in specific fields. For example, you can work as a foreign language teacher or as a representative of a foreign government. With this visa 403 stream, you can stay in Australia for up to 4 years.

Processing Times for Foreign Government Agency Stream

A foreign government agency stream visa 403, is processed within 7 up to 3 months.

Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or Consular) Stream

A domestic worker stream is a 403 visa type that allows you to do domestic work for your employer who has a Diplomatic visa- subclass 995. You have to be over 18 to get this visa stream.


When your domestic stream is issued first, it’s valid for 12 months, after which it will be extended until your employer is posted in Australia.

Processing Times for Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or Consular) Stream

There are no available processing times for this visa 403 stream. However, keep in mind that your application will take longer if you don’t submit all the required documents.

Privileges and Immunities Stream

You can apply for this visa stream if you have certain privileges and immunities under the legislation. Under a privileges and immunities stream, you can work as an international representative and stay up until the date you are posted in Australia with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Processing Times for Privileges and Immunities Stream

A privileges and immunities stream visa will be processed between 65 days up to 4 months- most applications are finished in four months.

Seasonal Worker Program Stream

A seasonal worker program stream, is a work visa 403, that you can apply for if you intend to work temporarily in Australia. To get this visa, you must be sponsored by someone who is a part of the temporary activities sponsorship program.

You may stay in Australia with a seasonal worker visa for up to 9 months.

Processing Times for Seasonal Worker Program Stream

A seasonal worker stream is usually processed in 20 days. Some applications may finish processing a few days less than the average 20.

Pacific Labour Scheme Stream

You can apply for a pacific labour scheme stream if you have an eligible sponsor and you will be working in rural and regional areas in Australia. With a pacific labour stream, you can stay in Australia for up to three years.

Processing Times for Pacific Labour Scheme Stream

A pacific labour scheme is usually processed quite fast- between 9 to 13 days. However, the processing time may take longer if you are missing something from your application.

Application Process for Visa 403

You have to apply for a 403 visa online via the ImmiAccount. Once you log in to your account or open a new one, you can attach the required documents. Please keep in mind that your application will not be processed until the application fee has been paid.


For a seasonal worker and pacific labour stream, you have to be invited first and nominated by your sponsor before you can apply for the visa. You will need the transaction reference number when you lodge your application.

How Much Does a 403 Visa Cost?

A 403 visa costs AUD315. However, the privileges and immunities stream is free of charge. Please keep in mind that you have to pay extra fees for every family member that applies with you.

Can I Bring My Family Members With a 403 Visa?

You can only bring family members if you are applying for one of these visa 403 streams:

  1. Government agreement stream.
  2. Foreign government agency stream.
  3. Privileges and immunities stream.

Is Visa 403 Permanent?

No, this visa is only temporary and its length varies according to which stream you applied for.

Can I Get Permanent Residency With a 403 Visa?

You can’t apply for a permanent resident visa with a 403 visa. Visa 403 is issued only temporarily and for the purpose of strengthening international relationships. Once a visa 403 expires, international representatives leave Australia to return to their own country.

If you do want to apply for a permanent visa, you have to make a separate application either for a permanent work visa or a permanent family visa.




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