People can come to Australia for a temporary stay for a range of purposes, for example, visiting Australia for tourism or attending a conference, or for more specific purposes, such as medical treatment, study, skilled work, working holidays or other specialist activities. There are six main categories of temporary residents, which can cover stays of more than three months in Australia.
Visitor visas are mostly used by people visiting Australia for holidays, tourism and recreation, or to see family and friends. People may also use Visitor visas for certain short-term business activities that do not entail working in Australia.
Working Holiday Maker Program
The Working Holiday Maker Program allows young adults to have an extended holiday and engage in short-term work and study.
The Student visa program enables international students to come to Australia to study full-time in a registered course.
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa
Allows a business to sponsor a skilled overseas worker if they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill a skilled position.
Other temporary visas
Other temporary visas include visas that allow people to undertake short-term, non-ongoing highly specialised work, enrich social and cultural development, strengthen international relations or provide training opportunities of benefit to Australia.
New Zealand citizens
Under the 1973 Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, New Zealand citizens can enter and leave Australia freely and live in Australia indefinitely on grant of a Special Category visa (subclass 444).
See Temporary visas granted by main visa category and type, 2020–21 for a summary of these profiles, which provides information on the size and composition of the Student visa program, Temporary Resident (Skilled) visa and Visitors for 2020–21.
The graph below shows the change in Temporary Migration over the past 10 years, as a broad overview of the main visa categories.
Source: Department of Home Affairs
Note: Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa excludes Independent Executives. Other temporary visas exclude Transit visa (subclass 771), Border visa (subclass 773) and Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988).