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Updates to the COVID-19 Pandemic Event (Subclass 408) visas

Highlights:

  • With the new changes, temporary visa holders are able to apply for 6 months or 12 months to work.
  • Apply for the 408 visa up to 90 days before existing visa expires.
  • Temporary visa holders who arrive in Australia after 21 February 2022 and have work rights or a job offer from a Commonwealth funded aged care service at time of application.

Temporary visa holders with work rights will be able to access the COVID-19 Pandemic Event (Subclass 408) visa incurring no Visa Application Charge for a period of 6 or 12 months if they work in any sector of the Australian economy.

Presently, the COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa is available with no Visa Application Charge for 12 months for any person working in, or with an offer to work in agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, child care, and tourism and hospitality.

The new arrangements will only be available for Pandemic Event visa applications made on or after 21 February 2022 by:

  • Temporary visa holders who were in Australia prior to 21 February 2022; as well as
  • Temporary visa holders who arrive in Australia after 21 February 2022 and have work rights or a job offer from a Commonwealth funded aged care service at time of application.

Temporary visa holders working in, or intending to work in, any sector of the Australian economy including Commonwealth funded aged care will be able to apply for the Pandemic Event visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires and then remain in Australia for up to 12 additional months if working or intending to work in a key sector (including agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, child care, and tourism and hospitality) or 6 months if working or intending to work in  any other sector.

Removing sector limitation for eligibility for the COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa will provide further support to Australian businesses and a means to retain temporary migrants who are working, or are able to work in a range of sectors across the economy. These settings are subject to ongoing review.

(from The Hon Alex Hawke MP, Australian Government)

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