When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe, Australia had no options but to close their borders. To tackle immigration emergencies that arose from the border closure, Australian Government specifically arranged Covid 408 visa. This is a flexible temporary visa arrangement, which 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 is eligible?
This visa is a temporary solution to take care of emergencies brought about by the pandemic. Therefore, you must meet certain requirements for you to apply for this visa and those are:
- Currently living in Australia
- Unable to leave Australia due to Covid-19 pandemic
- Must have 28 days or less remaining on their current visa or the temporary visa has expired less than 28 days ago
- Not eligible for any other visa based on their intended activities
- Demonstrate evidence from their employer to have ongoing work in a critical sector and that an Australian citizen or a permanent resident can’t fill the position
Special considerations may apply from case to case. If you feel you want to further discuss your situation, you can contact our immigration agents.
Critical Sector Eligible for the Visa
Critical sectors highlighted in the Covid-19 pandemic visa include agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, and childcare. Therefore, anyone working in one of these sectors, who 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 (read more).
- Seasonal worker program visa holders which visas due to expire within 28 days can also be eligible for the Covid-19 pandemic event visa.
- Working holiday makers employed in critical sectors who have not completed the 3 or 6 months of specified work required to apply for a second or third Working Holiday Maker visa, and are unable to leave Australia, may be eligible for a Cover 408 Visa.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When can I apply for the Covid-19 pandemic ? You may only apply for this 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? You can still apply for the Covid-19 pandemic event visa if you’re not working in a critical sector, ONLY IF you can prove that there isn’t any other visa option available to you and you are unable to leave Australia.
- 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.
- 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? Covid-19 pandemic visa is free of charge. However, you’ll have to pay for health checks, police certificates, and biometrics.
- I haven’t completed the 3 months of specified work required to apply for a Second Working Holiday visa and I’m worried that my visa will expire. I’m unable to return to my home country due to travel restriction. I’m currently working at a farm in regional Australia. Can I still apply for the Second Working Holiday visa? Since you have not met the requirement for the Second Working Holiday visa, you are not qualified to apply. However, as you are currently working in one of the critical sectors, you can apply for the 408 visa and continue working.
- I currently hold a visitor visa or other visa without work rights can I apply for the 408 instead of another visitor visa? As you will be applying for the COVID-19 visa from a visa without work rights it is absolutely essential that you accompany the application with compelling evidence that you either have a skill set highly relevant to a critical sector or have a critical sector employer actively willing to engage you on visa grant. If you need assistance in preparing your COVID-19 submission please do not hesitate to contact us.
- My Graduate visa expires soon. Can I apply for a new Graduate visa? You can only apply for Graduate visa only once as a main applicant. However, if you are currently working in a critical sector for COVID-19 or have an ongoing skills related to critical work or essential services, you may be eligible to apply for the 408 visa.
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