The Morrison Government is increasing support for Australia’s tourism and hospitality sector by providing more visa flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic period. More support for the Australian tourism and hospitality sector can be seen.
Covid-19 Temporary Activity Visa 408 Updates
The Government will remove existing work hour caps for Student Visa holders employed in the tourism and hospitality sector. A 40 hour fortnightly limit previously applied during study periods. In addition, temporary visa holders will be able to access the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa for a period of 12 months if they work in the tourism and hospitality sector. This decision adds tourism and hospitality to the critical sectors of agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and child care for eligibility for this visa subclass.
Temporary visa holders working in, or intending to work in, tourism and hospitality will be able to apply for the 408 COVID-19 Visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires and then remain in Australia for up to 12 additional months.
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.
With this visa, visa holders can stay in Australia and remain in Australia to work in the following critical sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- aged care
- child care
- disability care
- food processing
- health care or
- tourism and hospitality
Australian Travel Restrictions
Australia’s borders are currently closed and entry to Australia remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Travel restrictions are subject to change in response to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19.
Australian Travel Exemptions and Exempt categories
Travellers are exempt from the travel restrictions and can enter Australia (without obtaining an individual exemption) in following situations:
- an Australian citizen
- a permanent resident of Australia
- an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident*
- a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia and their immediate family members
- a person who has been in New Zealand or Australia for 14 days or more immediately prior to arrival by air in Australia
- a diplomat accredited to Australia, including their immediate family members (each member of the family unit must hold a valid subclass 995 visa)
- a person transiting Australia for 72 hours or less
- airline crew,maritime crew including marine pilots
- a person recruited under the Government approved Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme
- a person who holds a Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa.
Temporary visa holders must provide proof of your relationship, such as
– marriage certificate,
– evidence of your de-facto relationship
– birth certificate
The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force and decision makers may grant you an individual exemption if you are:
- a foreign national travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
- a foreign national whose entry into Australia would be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority
- providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
- a foreign national withcritical skillsor working in a critical sector in Australia
- a foreign national sponsored by your employer to work in Australia in an occupation on thePriority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
- military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement
- a person who resides on a vessel that seeks safe port at the closest appointed port for reprovisioning or safety reasons for a limited duration, supported by the relevant State or Territory government where safe haven is sought
- a student completing year 11 and 12, with endorsement from the federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) and; support from the relevant Australian State or Territory government health authority and education department. Further information regarding this process can be found at theDepartment of Education, Skills and Employment website.
- a student in your final two years of study of a medical, dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which begins within the next two months.
- travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.
You must hold a visa and an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.
Your request must include:
- traveller details: name, date of birth, visa type and number, passport number
- proposed residential address and phone number in Australia
- your reasons for coming: why you should be granted an exemption
- a supporting statement: setting out how you meet one of the grounds for an exemption
- accompanying evidence.
Compassionate and compelling reasons to travel
The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant you an exemption if you are seeking to travel for compassionate and compelling reasons.
Compassionate and compelling reasons include, but are not limited to,
– needing to travel due to the death or
– critical illness of a close family member.
Source of information:Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.
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