Temporary Activity Subclass 408 Visas: entertainment visa and an invited participant visa - which one?
The Temporary Activity Subclass 408 Visa is the current a short stay visa, most relevant to the entertainment industry. The 408 visa has multiple ‘streams’ which have different requirements, including a 408 Entertainment stream or 408 Invited Participant stream. Determining the most appropriate ‘steam’ to apply for, depends upon the activities the talent is undertaking in Australia.
For the entertainment, sport and media industries, the main factor to determine which visa is appropriate, is whether the purpose of the visit is to perform/play, or partake in promotional activities (although there is a specific sport stream).
An entertainment visa would usually be the most appropriate visa for say, bands on tour, a TV producer working on a reality TV series, or a film crew making a documentary. Although a music artist or actor coming to Australia for a promotional visit, that does not involve 'formal' performances, may likely fall under an invited participant steam of the 408 visa.
It is important that the correct stream is applied for, particularly due to the fact the:
For visits where the activity is a speaking tour, a modeling assignment, or the like the correct talent visa is the 400 Short Stay Specialist Visa, which requires the same documents and similar submissions as the 408 visas but with some minor differences and steps involved.
Other 408 Visa Streams
While these are usually the most appropriate streams for the entertainment, sports, and media industries, there is also a specific sporting stream which in particular circumstances covers applicants that are elite players, coaches, instructors or adjudicators, or partaking in high level training.
There are other streams of the 408 visas that cover superyacht crews, academics/researchers, religious workers, people visiting under “special” government programs and a number of other niche areas such as government endorsed events eg for the Commonwealth Games a specific 408 visa applies for visiting athletes, coaches and support staff.