Australian Training and Research Visas – Subclass 402

This visa is designed for people who wish to come to Australia on a temporary basis to participate in occupational training, observe or participate in research as a visiting academic, or participate in a professional development program.

There are 3 streams to this Visa, which are:

1. Occupational Trainee stream: for people who need structured work-place based training in order to enhance their skills in their current occupation, their area of tertiary study or their field of expertise.

2. Professional Development stream: for professionals, managers or government officials who are invited to participate in professional development program in Australia. Note that the program must have been arranged by an employer outside of Australia and may last up to 18 months.

3. The Research stream: this is for professional academics, who are invited to visit Australia to observe or participate in an Australian research program at an Australian tertiary institution or research facility.

You may be able to obtain this Visa if you:

1. Are sponsored by either:

  • A training and research sponsor who has lodged their sponsorship application and had that approved;
  • An approved professional development sponsor;
  • An approved visiting academic sponsor (or occupational trainee sponsor for sponsorship applications prior to 24 November 2012);

2. Meet the requirements of the visa for the stream in which you are applying;

3. Have a genuine intention to stay temporary in Australia;

4. Have adequate financial support for yourself and companying family members while you are in Australia;

5. Have adequate arrangements for health insurance;

6. Meet health and character requirements;

7. Be at least 18 years old (there are limited exceptions to this age requirement).


Each of the 3 streams have different requirements. For instance, the Professional Development stream requires that Australian sponsor’s programs:

• Must be designed to develop the skills of the managers, professionals, and/or government officials who participate in the program;

• Must provide skills and expertise relevant to the business and business background of the overseas employers;

• Must be primarily (at least 55%) face-to-face teaching in a classroom or similar environment;

• Must detail, in a training plan or a training agreement, the training modules, proposed timelines for training and a breakdown of training hours;

• Must not last longer than 18 months;

• Can include participation in a course that would lead to the award of a recognised Australian qualification.

In addition, the practical components of a Professional Development program designed for overseas participants:

• Must not adversely the Australian Labour Market;

• Must not exceed 7 hours in any day and 35 hours in any week;

• Must only involve remuneration to the oversea participant that is paid by the overseas employer.


Australian Visa Law can assist both sponsors and visa applicants, work through the maze of requirements and evidence necessary to maximise the opportunity for success in relation to an application under Subclass 402.

Other training visas include:

Subclass 572Vocational Education and Training Sector Visas;

Subclass 576AusAID or Defence Sector Visas.

Other Professional Development Visas include Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate Visas

See also the Special Program visa – subclass 416 – for the Seasonal Worker Program (designed to enhance international relations and cultural exchange by allowing persons to share cultural, social experiences, knowledge and skills in the Australian community through special programs of seasonal work).

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