COVID19 Pandemic Visa – All you need to know
The Australian Government introduced the COVID19 Pandemic Visa (subclass 408) as a new measure to assist Temporary Visa Holders who cannot return to their home country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
What is the COVID19 Visa?
Due to the COVID19 pandemic, many temporary visa holders found themselves confused and worried about what to do next. Some temporary visa holders may find themselves nearing the end of their visa and are uncertain about their options. Others may be unable to leave Australia due to the unavailability of flights to their home country.
In response to these concerns, the Australian government has introduced the Temporary Activity (subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Event (‘AGEE’) stream visa (‘COVID19 Pandemic event visa’).
Who is it for?
To apply for this visa, you are:
- in Australia and unable to depart Australia because of the COVID19 pandemic; and
- unable to make a valid application or meet the requirements for any other visa to stay in Australia; and
- a holder of a temporary visa that is 28 days or less from ceasing to be in effect;
- a holder of a temporary visa that expired not more than 28 days before the application for a Subclass 408 visa is made
You must also meet the health and character requirements, have adequate health insurance, be able to support yourself and any dependents and be a genuine temporary entrant.
Applying due to work in critical sector
A COVID19 Pandemic Visa can be available for Temporary Visa Holders currently employed or can be employed in critical sectors.
This visa will be also granted to working holiday visa holders working in essential industries but have not completed the three or six months job needed to qualify for a second or third working holiday visa, and are not able to leave Australia. It allows working holiday makers in Australia to remain legal and, if they wish, to continue working until they can return to their country.
It could also be a valid option for TSS 482/457 visa holders who have lost their jobs.
Critical Sector Professions:
The Australian Government has announced that the current critical sectors includes the following:
- food processing;
- health care;
- aged care; and
- disability care.
Applying due to not being able to return to home country
You could be eligible for the 408 visa if your current visa is expiring soon or has already expired in the last 28 days, and you do not have any other visa options or are unable to leave Australia due to COVID19. You may not be granted work privileges in this case. For that reason, make sure to contact us to review your case and eligibility.
What do I need to apply?
Applicants can attach in their application a high-quality scanned copy of their:
- Passport page containing biographical information
- Health insurance covering the time of their stay in Australia
- Letter from the applicant’s proposed employer stating the potion and the workplace in the critical sector
In case you are applying for a COVID without a profession in the critical sector you will need to provide specifics of why you can not apply for another sort of visa
How much is the visa application?
There is no fee if you are applying for the COVID19 Pandemic Visa.
After you apply:
After your application, the government may ask you to:
- Provide more details about your application;
- Take a police check;
- Provide biometric data; or
- Take part in an interview with a government official.
If you need to take character tests or health checks (including x-rays), provide more details, or if your application is incomplete, the visa processing may take longer. Your visa application could be denied if you do not have the documentation required.
Duration of the visa
The visa length will depend on your circumstances. The probable periods are:
- Up to 12 months if you are or have been employed in a critical sector;
- For others, up to 6 months (the length will depend on how soon you might be able to return home)
Am I allowed to work under this visa?
If you receive the COVID19 Pandemic Visa, you can work in areas of critical need such as agriculture, health, aged and disability care, and childcare.
Can I extend my visa with the COVID19 Visa?
You can extend your visa if you fall into the eligibility criteria of the visa. For that reason, if you are unable to leave Australia due to the pandemic and your visa is due to expire in the next 28 days or has expired less than 28 days ago and you don’t qualify for any other visa option, you may be able to apply for this visa.
Can I apply for a COVID19 visa from a Working Holiday Visa?
Working holiday makers working in critical industries who have not completed the 3 or 6 months of specified work needed to apply for a second or third Working Holiday Maker visa and are unable to leave Australia may qualify for this visa.
Feel free to contact us if you want to check your eligibility
Can I apply for a COVID19 visa from a Student Visa?
If you fall into the eligibility criteria of this visa, you may be able to apply for it. It may be worth considering other visas before applying for the 408 visa as it is a last resort option.
Can I apply for the COVID19 visa if I’m not working in a critical sector?
If you are not working in a critical sector you can apply for this visa if:
- You are in Australia and are unable to return to your home country due to travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19
- if you are in possession of a valid visa which will expire in 28 days or
- If you have a visa that has already expired for less than 28 days you will be able to apply for this visa.
Can I work with the 408 visa?
If you have applied and were granted the 408 visa with work rights, you will be able to work during the duration of your visa. It is worth noting that when applying for the 408 visa, only those who are working in critical sectors will be most likely granted permission to work.
I didn’t finish my regional work on a working holiday visa. Can I apply for the 408 visa?
A COVID visa may be available if you worked in a critical sector and have not completed the 3 or 6 months of the specified employment needed to qualify for a second or third Working Holiday Maker visa and are unable to leave Australia.