I'm an Italian citizen enrolled in a PhD programme at an Italian university, and I have to travel to Australia for a 6 months period, approximately planned from October 2017 to March 2018, to the University of Western Australia, Perth.

Which kind of visa should I apply to? From what I've read on the government website, student visas are for who will be enrolled at an australian university, but that's not my case. I will only be visiting the australian institution, without any other formal ties (but I can obtain an official invitation letter, of course).

I've also asked information about this issue to the professor who is going to supervise me during the visit, but we are already approaching May and I'm afraid it will be too late at some point, so I'm asking here.

1 Answer 1


The visa requirements will depend on what you will be doing in Australia. You mentioned that you will have no formal ties to the university, but you will have a supervisor there.

If you are performing research in Australia as part of your PhD, then the Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa may be appropriate. Note that this is a sponsored visa, so the university will need to sponsor you.

  • Thank you! Yes, I'm going to do research, I should have clarified it better in the question. What do we mean exactly by "sponsor" here? I have a vague idea of what this means, something like "hey, yes, we want this guy to come to Australia", right? Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 10:23
  • Update: the link you posted says a requirement is to "intend to stay in Australia for three months or less", so it does not apply to me, because I need to stay there for 6 months (at least). Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 10:26
  • The 3 month limit only applies to the "Invited Participant" type. Other types (such as researchers) have a 2 year limit. See the "How long your visa lasts" section in the "Visa holders" tab for more details.
    – molypot
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 13:22
  • Sponsor means the organisation (approved by the government) that is inviting you to come to Australia to undertake the activity covered by the visa and is responsible for your stay. In your case, it would be the University of Western Australia. As a major university, they should have experience with these kinds of arrangements.
    – molypot
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 13:25

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