Are you looking to sponsor an individual for an individual to enter into Australia for occupational training or personal development? Perhaps you would like to sponsor an individual to come into Australia to do specific work for a specific project, including and not limited to inviting a sports coach, speaker, researcher, entertain or religious worker. A Temporary Activities Sponsor is able to sponsor an individual for the following visas:

  • International Relations visa (subclass 403)
  • Training visa (subclass 407)
  • Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)

Read: An introduction to the Training visa (subclass 407)

Read: Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass 408)

What are the requirements to become a Temporary Activities Sponsor?

  • The Temporary Activities Sponsor must be an individual or organisation
  • No adverse information
  • Capacity to comply with sponsorship obligations


Applicant is an individual or organisation

The applicant must be:

  • An Australian organisation lawfully operating in Australia
  • A government agency
  • A foreign government agency
  • Sporting organisation lawfully operating in Australia
  • Religious institution lawfully operating in Australia
  • Foreign organisation lawfully operating in Australia


Australian organisation lawfully operating in Australia

  • Partnership
  • Company
  • Joint venture
  • Not-for-profit organisation
  • Unincorporated association
  • Incorporated association
  • Cooperative

The applicant must satisfy all registration requirements as under Australian laws regarding how the applicant’s organisation is structured and conducted. For example, the registration of an ABN for tax purposes and registration of a business name. Individuals, sole traders, and sole proprietors are not considered Australian organisations for the purposes of this application.


Government agency

An agency of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory government


Foreign government agency

  • An organisation operating in Australia that is conducted under an official foreign national government including foreign tourist and media bureaus, trade offices and other foreign government entities
  • A foreign diplomatic or consular mission in Australia
  • An organisation conducted under an official international organisation that is recognised by Australia and is operating in Australia, such as an agency of the United Nations or the International Organisation for Migration


Sporting organisation lawfully operating in Australia

An Australian organisation, a government agency or foreign government agency that administers or promotes sport or sporting events.  This includes national sporting bodies, sports training organisations, individual sports clubs and event organisers.

A foreign government agency or government agency can be considered a “sporting organisation” by promoting an interest in sport.


Religious institution lawfully operating in Australia

  • It’s activities reflect that it is a body instituted for the promotion of a religious object, and
  • It’s members believe in a supernatural being, thing or principle, and
  • It’s members accept the canons of conduct which give effect to that belief, but which do not offend against the ordinary laws, and
  • The religious institution meets the requirements of s50-50 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, and
  • It’s income is exempt from income tax under s50-1 of that Act

Read: The 408 Visa for Religious Workers


No adverse information

There must be no adverse information known about the sponsor or a person associated with the sponsor, or it must be reasonable to disregard the information.

Read: ‘Adverse information’ and ‘associated with’

Examples of circumstances in which it would be reasonable to disregard adverse information could include the applicant:

  • Having developed practices and procedures to ensure the relevant conduct was not repeated, and
  • Having complied with sponsorship obligations on all other occasions and the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) can be confident that the breach was a one time occurance, and
  • Has disassociated themselves from the overseas employer or agents involved in preparing fraudulent applications, or the sponsor may have introduced additional quality control measures, and
  • Has the capacity to comply with their sponsorship obligations, and


Capacity to comply with sponsorship obligations

The applicant should be able to provide information that demonstrates that they are able to comply with sponsorship obligations. This could come in the form of information on their financial status, registration status and existing number of employees.

The DOHA will assess the applicant using the following:

  • Evidence that the applicant has been trading or operating for a reasonable period of time (this depends on the type of organisation and industry, however, 12 months may be generally taken to be reasonable, and
  • Evidence that the applicant has an established reputation, or if it is a new organisation, has the management expertise and stable finances to show that it will continue to operate over the length of the sponsorship and past the sponsorship period, and
  • The capacity of the applicant to meet its sponsorship obligations, for example, in relation to record keeping and payment of the salary of any sponsored persons

Universities, government sponsors, ASX listed and well known businesses will not generally be required to demonstrate their financial status in showing that they possess the capacity to comply with sponsorship obligations

The DOHA may pay special interest to:

  • A first time sponsor
  • Businesses that are not well known
  • Businesses that have less than 20 employees
  • Businesses that have been trading for less than 12 months
  • Situations in which there is reason to believe the sponsor is no longer of good financial standing

Start up businesses will have to put in a little extra effort and evidence that they are able to satisfy sponsorship obligations through showing evidence of genuine intention to engage in business activities. This could be in the form of capital investment, business premises and the hiring of staff.

Shelf companies are unable to satisfy this requirement and cannot successfully apply to be a Temporary Activities Sponsor.

Sponsorship obligations for the different visas are similar but not entirely the same. We will explore the sponsorship obligations in a later edition.


Extending the validity of an approval

Those who are already sponsor who wish to renew their sponsorship will need to apply for a variation of their existing sponsorship. They must continue to meet all the requirements as set out above.

If approved, the variation starts from the date of approval and not from the time their initial sponsorship was meant to expire. That means that if the sponsor applied for a further year, this year starts from the date of the approval of the variation application. As such the sponsor should not apply too early.

If the sponsorship validity has already expired, then the sponsor is not applying for a variation of approval, but a new sponsorship.


Related articles

Read: Training 407 Visa: What Types Of Training Are Eligible?

Read: Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass 408)