Yes, but only in limited circumstances. You can, if you are visiting Australia for tourism or doing a business visit. You can, if you are a foreign senior executive or are here on international relations. But there is no option for an Australian family to hire a domestic worker from overseas nor is it possible have your current domestic worker immigrate to Australia with your family.

These are three possible visas that a domestic worker may apply for:


I’m visiting Australia for recreation/business

If you are visiting Australia for tourism or business purposes, your domestic worker will need to apply for a visitor 600 visa on either the tourist or business visitor stream.

Your domestic worker must have the same travel itinerary as you.

Read: Visitor Visa (Subclass 600)


I am a senior executive of an overseas organisation or government agency

A senior executive who is in Australia for work may employ a domestic worker for the Temporary Activity 408 Visa under the Domestic Worker (Executive) stream.

Evidence must be provided that the sponsor/supporter has been unable to find a suitable person in Australia to undertake the duties or that there are compelling reasons for employing the applicant. It is also necessary to provide evidence that the applicant is to be employed in Australia in accordance with Australian standards for wages and workings conditions.


Domestic worker

The domestic worker (applicant) must be:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Employed to undertake full time domestic duties in the private household of the senior executive
  • Have work experience as a domestic worker
  • Has been invited by the sponsor/supporter

No more than three domestic workers can be under the employment in the household of the senior executive.

Details on the duties of the domestic worker must be provided in the application. The domestic worker must also have relevant work experience and references from previous employers will need to be provided. The previous duties that the domestic worker is performed should align with the duties that are required to be performed during their stay in Australia.



Foreign organisation:

  • Foreign organisation is lawfully operating in Australia
  • Senior executive is in Australia on a Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 Visa
  • Senior executive is the national managing director, deputy national managing director or state manager of an Australian office of the organisation

Foreign government agency:

The sponsor/supporter can be a person or the organisation. They must pass the support test if the applicant  is outside Australia will not stay in Australia for longer than 3 months. If the applicant is in Australia and/or there is intent that the applicant to stay in Australia for more than 3 months, they must apply to be a temporary activities sponsor as well as pass the sponsorship test.

Read: Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass 408)


Senior executive

The senior executive must be a national managing director, deputy national managing director or state manager. However the Department of Immigration and Border Protection considers the role over the title, and the two most senior positions or position of state manager within the organisation’s Australian operations are be eligible. An organisation chart must be provided.


Australian operation

The Australian office of the foreign organisation must have significant ties with its foreign counterpart and the foreign organisation has significant involvement in the Australian operation’s day to day activities. For example, if the Australian operation is a subsidiary of the overseas parent company. An Australian company with operations overseas would not be eligible.


Compelling reasons/no suitable person in Australia

Compelling reasons may include:

  • The applicant is an established and permanent member of the senior executive’s current household staff
  • The family composition of the senior executive, such as having young children
  • If the applicant has been previously undertaken duties that are similar to those that will be required of them during their stay in Australia.

If no compelling reasons exist, then it must be demonstrated that it has not been possible to find a suitable person in Australia. The sponsor/supporter is expected to advertise the vacancy for the domestic worker role nationally, if appropriate, with community language newspapers. The ad needs to have been active for at least 4 weeks in the 8 weeks before the time of application. Evidence of this, alongside the responses to the advertising, must be provided.


Australian employment conditions

The applicant is to be compensated at market rate and given work conditions that commensurate with equivalent positions in Australia. If there is no standard, then the applicant must be offered salary, overtime and leave arrangements that are at least the national minimum wage for a full time Australian adult employee. The application should include the employment agreement that details salary, overtime and leave arrangements.

Find: Fair Work Ombudsman


I am a diplomat

If you are a diplomatic or consular representative or a certain representative of international organisations, you may be able to bring a domestic worker into Australia through a Temporary Work (International Relations) 403 Visa under the Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or Consular) stream. This visa also covers other service staff such as driver, cooks, cleaners and gardeners.

There is no need for sponsorship for the application of this visa, but the application must be supported by the Australian Foreign Minister. The application must also have DFAT approval.

Find: DFAT – Private Domestic Workers


Applicant outside Australia

The domestic worker (applicant) must be at least 18 years of age


Applicant in Australia

The applicant is required to be the holder of a Temporary Work (International Relations) 403 Visa – Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or Consular) stream.


Australian employment conditions

The applicant must be employed in in accordance with Australia’s standards for wages and working conditions.

  • The applicable minimum rate of pay will depend on the duties and qualifications of the applicant
  • The applicant can work more than 38 hours per week, provided the additional hours are reasonable and are appropriately remunerated. Penalty rates for working more than an average of 38 hours per week, and for working on weekends and public holidays apply
  • For hours worked that average more than 38 per week, if the person is full time, the rate is 150% of the relevant hourly rate for the first 3 hours and double time (200%) after that
  • public holiday payments under the award are 250% of the relevant hourly rate.

Find: Fair Work Ombudsman



Applicants will be interviewed prior to the grant of their visa to assess that they are genuine temporary entrants, will be in Australia as a domestic worker for the diplomat or consular representative and if they are to be employed in Australia in under Australian employment conditions.