Special Purpose visa

Sunday 5 November 2023

This article provides information about the Special Purpose visa in Australia. The Special Purpose visa is a temporary visa that is automatically granted to individuals who have a 'prescribed status'. This visa allows individuals to enter and stay in Australia while holding their prescribed status.


The process for obtaining the Special Purpose visa is automatic and does not require a separate application. Individuals who have a prescribed status are granted this visa upon entering Australia.

Prescribed Status

Having a prescribed status includes being a member of certain foreign armed forces, a person on board a ship of a foreign armed forces, an airline or airline positioning crew member, or the accompanying spouse or dependent of an eligible person with a prescribed status.

Benefits of the Special Purpose Visa

With the Special Purpose visa, individuals can enter and stay in Australia temporarily while holding their prescribed status. They can also undertake their regular work as part of their military duties while in Australia or arrive as an airline crew member. Work conditions for airline crew members can be found in the Crew Travel Authority.

Duration of Stay

Individuals can stay in Australia temporarily as long as they have a prescribed status, unless their visa is ceased for another reason. Airline crew members, aircraft safety inspectors, and airline positioning crew members should refer to the Crew Travel Authority for more information.

Visa Cost

There is no application fee for the Special Purpose visa.

Visa Processing Time

There are no specific processing times available for the Special Purpose visa.

Conditions and Obligations

With the Special Purpose visa, individuals must comply with all Australian laws and legal obligations attached to their prescribed status. The visa is only valid as long as the prescribed status is maintained. Individuals are recommended to have health insurance to cover any unforeseen medical treatment while in Australia.

Family Inclusion

In some limited circumstances, the partner or dependent relative of an eligible person with a prescribed status may be eligible for a Special Purpose visa. Eligibility criteria can be found on the website.


Individuals can enter and depart Australia as many times as they want as long as they hold the prescribed status.

Visa Label

The Special Purpose visa may not be linked to the individual's passport as it is based on the prescribed status. Therefore, no label will be provided in the passport.

Additional Information

For more information about the Special Purpose visa, including eligibility criteria and visa options for staying longer in Australia, individuals can explore their visa options on the website.

Note: The content provided in this article is based on the available information and may be subject to change. It is recommended to refer to the official Australian immigration services website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

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