When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe, most countries had no option but to close their borders. With that, new travel restrictions were launched, and some people got stuck in other countries. Even so, several countries have made visa arrangements to take care of emergencies. For countries like Australia, there’s a visa specifically for Covid-19, known as the Covid 408 visa.
If your stay in Australia was affected by the covid-19 pandemic, you may benefit from this visa. Since it’s a new arrangement, you may want to know something more about this new visa and check whether you qualify for it. Well, we are right here to clear your doubts and answer all your questions.
What’s COVID 408 Visa?
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Australian government has launched flexible temporary visa arrangements in line with the country’s health measures. The Temporary Activity (subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream visa (COVID-19 Pandemic event visa) has been put in place to manage the unexpected circumstances that have arisen due to Covid-19 pandemic. This is a temporary measure that’s subject to the ongoing review and will be terminated as soon as the pandemic ends.
Who Qualifies For This Visa?
While the Covid-19 visa has been launched to take care of emergencies brought about by the pandemic, not everyone qualifies for it. You must meet certain requirements for you to apply for this visa. The Covid-19 pandemic visa is available to:
- Those who are in Australia
- Applicants who are unable to leave Australia due to Covid-19 pandemic
- Applicants who have 28 days or less remaining on their current visa or their temporary visa has expired less than 28 days ago
- Those who aren’t eligible for any other visa based on their intended activities
- Applicants who have evidence from their employer that they have ongoing work in a critical sector and that an Australian citizen or a permanent resident can’t fill the position
If you meet any of these requirements, you can benefit from the Covid-19 pandemic visa. In case you feel you need some special considerations, you can always contact the immigration department for further direction.
Which Are The Critical Sectors?
Critical sectors as highlighted in the Covid-19 pandemic visa include agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, and childcare. Anyone working in one of these sectors and doesn’t qualify for any other visa and isn’t able to return to their home country can apply for the Covid-19 pandemic event visa.
Also, seasonal worker program visa holders with visas due to expire within 28 days are eligible for the Covid-19 pandemic event visa. However, those working in critical sectors and are applying for the Covid-19 pandemic event visa must provide evidence of work when submitting the visa application.
Visa Of Last Resort
Temporary visa holders may only apply for the Covid-19 pandemic event visa only if there’s no other visa option and they’re not in a position to leave Australia due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Obtaining this visa will allow you to stay in Australia until the pandemic subsides so that it’s practical for you to travel back to your country.
In case you have any questions regarding eligibility for the Covid-19 pandemic event visa, you can always visit the Australian immigration department for further direction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s what most people would like to know about the Covid-19 pandemic event visa.
When can I apply for the Covid-19 pandemic visa?
You may only apply for the Covid-19 pandemic visa if you’re unable to leave Australia due to the pandemic and your visa is due to expire in the next 28 days and you don’t qualify for any other visa option. Additionally, your visa shouldn’t have expired more than 28 days ago.
Can I apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa if I am not working in a critical sector?
Well, you can still apply for the Covid-19 pandemic event visa if you’re not working in a critical sector, but only there isn’t any other visa option available to you.
How do I know if my visa has been granted with work rights?
Only those people who are working in critical sectors will be permitted to work upon receiving their Covid-19 pandemic event visa. All other applicants won’t be allowed to work on their Covid-19 pandemic event visa.
Work permission in Australia is controlled and managed through mandatory condition 8107. Applicants working in critical sectors and indicate their work activities in their visa will be allowed to continue working once the Covid-19 pandemic event visa is granted.
However, for those who apply for the visa as a last resort to lawfully remain in Australia until the pandemic is over, no work permit will be granted. Under the condition 8107, those who go-ahead to work on this visa when they’re not supposed to would be engaging in an activity that’s not per the visa grant. As such, actions will be taken to cancel the visa.
For how long am I allowed to hold the Covid-19 pandemic event visa?
If you’re applying for the visa because you’re working in a critical sector, you may be given a visa that allows you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months. This also applies to those who’ve been in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme and are continuing to work in a critical sector.
However, those applying for the visa as a last resort, will be granted the permission to stay in Australia for six months to ensure they remain lawfully in the country while they’re unable to travel back home.
How much do I need to pay for the Covid-19 pandemic event visa?
You’re not required to pay any fee to apply for the Covid-19 pandemic visa neither do you have to pay for subsequent temporary application charge. Even so, you’ll have to pay for health checks, police certificates, and biometrics.
That’s basically what you need to know about the Covid-19 pandemic event visa. For more information, you can always check Australia’s immigration website.
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