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I will apply for an Australian temporary worker visa (457) soon and my contract is for 6 months. I also plan to do some traveling around the country before and after the contract, so I will need a visa to cover the extra days. Is it possible to request those extra days during the application?

  • I requested my bonus two weeks in a letter I attached to my file, but I don't know yet whether it has worked. – la femme cosmique Feb 15 '17 at 14:16
  • @lafemmecosmique my other plan is to 'pad' the stay with two tourist visas, but not sure if that's legal – JonathanReez Supports Monica Feb 15 '17 at 14:28
  • They encourage you to do that, at least they did on the phone. However the website states that short tourist holidays may also be permitted if they fall outside the timeframe of the work. Definition of short isn't given. – la femme cosmique Feb 15 '17 at 14:43
  • Update for me, I asked for 2 weeks of holiday before a 2 month temporary work visa (400, not 457, though) and I was granted clearance for a full 3 months. I think that the time allocated comes in chunks -- so you may be granted a full 6 months and have to get extra time on your own using an ETA or tourist visa. You are allowed to do that but afaik you have to leave the country if you plan to switch from one clearance type to the other (e.g. ETA --> 400-class work visa). But I might be wrong, so this isn't enough for an answer. – la femme cosmique Feb 24 '17 at 11:33
  • @lafemmecosmique I'm confused. So in order to use your 457 after the 400 you will have to fly out the country? Or can you do an implicit switch? It sounds like you were granted exactly the thing I was looking for. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Feb 24 '17 at 11:35
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I have a semi-answer.

Anecdodal part: I applied for a 400 Temporary Highly Skilled Work Visa for some work I will be doing for a period of about 2 months. I asked for an extra two weeks in my application for tourist activities (NB: my personal time is before the work begins, not after). According to the website for 400-class visas:

Combining a holiday with your intended work or activity may be allowed if the holiday is of short term duration and secondary to the main purpose of your visit. You must indicate in your visa application if you intend to combine your work or activity with a holiday, as the period of stay considered will generally be only for the period that allows you to undertake the work or activity.

Alternatively, you can consider applying for a Visitor visa to have your holiday in Australia. To do this, you may first apply for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400) to undertake the work or activity and then a Visitor visa (once you are in Australia) for your holiday.

In my case, since my holiday was short and since it all fell within the lower 3 month boundary, I was granted the extra time. One should note that I also requested extra time in case my work is delayed, and that my tourist holiday was for before the work (normal and potential extra) began. Basically my model was 2 weeks of holiday before 2 months and maybe + 2 weeks of work.

I was just today granted a three month duration visa which takes effect on the day that I land in Australia.

Also note that the case for you may be different because your contract is 6 months, and so your tourist time will push you further along than 6 months.

In your case, it would seem that you can apply for the visitor visa during your work time in Australia, from Australia, if it is not granted already by your visa application.

I added a letter of clarification for the ECO in terms of my dates of work, including the proposed 'extra time' for the work, and the 'extra time' for tourist activities. In my case it seems to have worked, however I am from a country which constitutes 'low risk' (i.e. I am from a country which is able to get an ETA).

As your visa (457 rather than 400) is generally granted for a longer period of time, it's possible that the ECO will take your circumstances into account if you let them know that you are seeking extra tourist time (and the dates of said tourist time). I would encourage you to explain the circumstances in a letter.

If they do not grant the visa including the proposed tourist time, I would encourage you to apply for a visitor visa whilst in Australia as per the guidelines above. Note that you cannot switch from an ETA to another type of visa while already in Australia.

I have heard anecdotally that it's possible for you to enter on an ETA and then leave Australia, flying back to activate your new working visa before you work. But I can't seem to find any sources which confirm this, and you should call the embassy to ask.

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