Australia has introduced a new visa option for those who are unable to depart Australia and also to address workforce shortages rising in critical sectors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new visa option – the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa, is available under subclass 408.
The purpose of the new visa option is to provide a pathway for certain former and current holders of temporary visas to lawfully remain in Australia and to also address the workforce shortages in critical areas like agriculture, aged care and public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Pandemic visa will allow the applicant to:
- remain in Australia if they have no other visa options and are unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
- remain in Australia to assist in critical sectors including healthcare, disability and aged care, childcare and agriculture during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who can apply for this visa?
- The person has to be in Australia; and
- Unable to depart Australia as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic; and
- the holder of a temporary visa that is 28 days or less from ceasing to be in effect; or
- was the holder of a temporary visa that ceased to be in effect not more than 28 days before the application for a Subclass 408 visa is made; and
- Unable to make a valid application for a visa of the same Subclass as the visa or a temporary visa of any other Subclass other than a Subclass 408 visa.
Working holiday makers
To support the critical sectors of health, aged and disability care, agriculture, food processing, and childcare, the Government is providing flexible arrangements with regard to ongoing employment of Working Holiday Makers (WHMs).
WHMs working in these critical sectors will be exempt from the six month work limitation with one employer and will also be eligible for a further visa to continue working in these sectors if their current visa is due to expire in the next six months.
If a WHM is working in the critical sectors of health, aged and disability care, agriculture, food processing or childcare but is not eligible for a further WHM visa and is unable to return to their home country, they can apply Temporary Activity (subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream visa.
What are the fees?
What will the validity be?
The COVID-19 visa may be granted for 12 months for participants in the Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Schemes
More information, please click here.