coronavirus-408visa

Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa for COVID-19 pandemic


The Australian Government on 4 April 2020 introduced a visa pathway to temporary visa holders in Australia who are unable to return home due to COVID-19 pandemic to extend their stay. It is available to those who are working in or have the skills to undertake critical work relating to the supply of essential goods and services in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The visa pathway is through the Australian Government endorsed event stream under the Subclass 408 Temporary Activity (Class GG) visa.

 

Benefit and feature of the visa?

  • FREE! No visa application charge
  • There is no need to have an employer sponsor
  • No English proficiency requirement
  • No minimum level of education qualification or work experience
  • Lawfully remain in Australia for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and able to undertake critical work relating to the supply of essential goods and services in response to COVID-19
  • Spouse/partner and children can be included in the same visa application.

 

Who can apply for this visa?

This COVID-19 event visa is available to any temporary visa holder currently in Australia to apply for:

  • In the period of 28 days before and 28 days after their temporary visa expiries, and
  • unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19, and
  • unable to renew their current or temporary visa and there is no other appropriate temporary visa to apply for, and
  • is engaged in or have the skills to undertake work relating to the supply of essential goods and services in response to COVID-19.

 

The following are some common temporary visa subclasses that we expect its holder may find themselves considering applying for the COVID-19 event visa:

  • Subclass 500 Student visa
  • Subclass 590 Student guardian visa
  • Subclass 485 Temporary graduate visa
  • Subclass 482 Temporary skilled shortage (TSS) visa
  • Subclass 457 Temporary work (Skilled) visa
  • Subclass 417 Working holiday visa
  • Subclass 462 Work and holiday visa
  • Subclass 400 Temporary work (short stay activity)
  • Subclass 407 Training visa

 

Unable to depart Australia

While no specific policy document is yet available, we expect the Government will be taking a flexible approach in determining whether a person is unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19 given the number of flight cancellations and travel restrictions globally.

 

Some example of unable to renew current temporary visa and no other appropriate temporary visa to apply for

  1. Subclass 482 TSS and subclass 457 Temporary work (Skilled) visa – The visa is expiring and the current employer is not providing further sponsorship.
  2. Subclass 500 Student visa – course completed and not undertaking further studies as well as ineligible for subclass 485 Temporary graduate visa.
  3. Subclass 590 Student guardian visa – The visa is expiring due to child turning 18 or conclusion of child’s study in Australia. Note, no further stay condition will need to be waived first.
  4. Subclass 417 Working holiday (WHM) visa – ineligible for 2nd or 3rd WHM visa or on 3rd WHM visa and due to expire.

 

Work associated with COVID-19

The explanatory statement that accompanied the legislative instrument that introduced this COVID-19 event visa stated part of the measure is “designed to allow holders of temporary visas who are engaged in or have the relevant skills to undertake critical work relating to supply of essential goods and services”. Based on that, it does not appear there is a need to be already engaged in the critical work or have an offer to work to meet the requirement for grant of the visa. Instead, it appears so long an applicant have the relevant skills to undertake critical work should be enough.

There is no limitation of the nature of work. All it needs to be is critical work relating to the supply of essential goods and services in response to COVID-19. While undoubtedly it would include work in the areas of agriculture, aged care and public health; it is however not limited to those. We are of the view it could also including working in the supermarkets, essential cleaning services such as public transports, logistics such as deliveries.

 

Other requirements

All applicant will need to satisfy the following standard requirements relating to subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa:

  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Have adequate Health Insurance; and
  • Be able to financially support yourself and any dependents

 

More information

To discuss whether you are eligible, please contact us on 1300 88 63 89 or email mail@proactivelegal.com.au to book a consultation by telephone or video link.

We recognise many would have been affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are here to help by offering 50% discount to our initial consultation fee (normally $440, now $220) for enquiries relating to COVID-19 event visa.

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