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Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 visa

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in most countries around the world closing their borders and imposing travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. For some people, the border closures and travel restrictions have meant they’ve found themselves stuck outside of their home country unable to get back. In Australia, many visa holders have found themselves in that exact situation, unable to leave the country so, to these people, the Government has introduced measures to support them in line with the country’s health measures.

One of these measures is the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa (Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)) which permits temporary visas holders to remain lawfully in Australia, and continue working if they’re currently employed or capable of being employed in critical industry sectors or if they have no other visa options and cannot return to their home country due to the pandemic travel restrictions.

Who can apply?

If you are an international student, a Work and Holiday visa holder, a TSS 482 / 457 visa holder, who has lost your job, or you hold any other temporary visa, you may also be eligible to apply for this visa if:

  • You’re in Australia (only for onshore applicants)
  • Do not have any other visa options available
  • You’re unable to leave Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Your visa is about to expire in 28 days or less
  • Your visa has expired less than 28 days ago

If you’re working in a critical sector you must:

  • Provide evidence from your employer that you have been working in a critical sector and an Australian citizen or a permanent resident can’t fill the position; or
  • Provide an offer of employment

Critical work sectors include:

  • Agriculture
  • Food processing
  • Health care
  • Aged care
  • Disability care
  • Child care

If your departure is delayed by the pandemic, you must:

  • Explain to the Department why the restrictions prevent your departure

How long can you stay in Australia on this visa?

The length of your stay will be specified on your visa grant letter and it will depend on your current situation.

There are two options for your length of stay:

  • Granted a further stay of up to 12 months if you are working in a critical sector
  • Granted up to three months if you are not working in a critical sector and your departure is currently delayed by COVID-19 travel restrictions

How much it cost?

This visa has no charge to apply or for the subsequent temporary application. You may have to pay other costs such as health checks, police certificates, and biometrics.

Does this visa include family members?

You can include members of your family who are in Australia with you when you apply. You may also add family members before the Department makes their decision.

Providing the correct information is essential to obtain the COVID-19 pandemic event visa. Book a consultation with us today to help you determine if you’re eligible for this visa or to assist you with your visa options.

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