Covid has undeniably changed everyone’s lives, including immigrants in Australia. Suddenly a lot of people found themselves unable to return to their home countries and short of visa options to remain in Australia. As a response, the Australian government included the pandemic as a special event covered by the Visa Subclass 408, also known as the Temporary Activity Visa. But what does that mean? And is the 408 Covid-19 the right visa for you?
What is the 408 visa?
The 408 Visa, or Temporary Activity visa, was created by the Australian Government to allow people to come to Australia to do specific types of work, on a short-term, temporary basis. It has multiple streams, or subtypes, which with their own specific requirements.
The “Covid Visa” relates to the Australian Government Endorsed Events (AGEE) stream. This stream allows applicants to come to Australia to participate in events that are endorsed by the Australian Government. It was traditionally used by athletes and conference speakers, allowing them to remain in the country for the period of the event, for no longer than 4 years.
In order to offer a visa option for those suddenly unable to return to their countries, the Australian Government included the Pandemic Covid-19 as an endorsed event, creating a temporary solution to manage the unexpected circumstances of the Pandemic.
Who can apply?
As an emergency measure, the 408 Covid Visa is available in two circumstances:
- If you have no other visa options and are unable to depart Australia due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
- If you want to remain in Australia to work in a critical sector.
In both cases, you also have to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Apply from Australia
- Maintain adequate health insurance during your stay
- Hold a substantive visa that expires in 90 days or less, or had a substantive visa expired at no longer than 28 days before applying.
What are the critical sectors contemplated?
Initially, the sectors considered critical by the Australian Government were:
- Food processing
- Health care
- Age care
- Disability care
- Child care
However, recently the Australian Government included tourism and hospitality in the list of critical sectors.
For how long can I stay on a 408 Covid visa?
According to the Department of Home Affairs, a 408 Covid visa might allow you to stay for up to 12 months if you are working in a critical sector, or up to 3 months if you are not. The length of your 408 visa will depend on the discretion of your case officer, as it happens with other temporary visas.
The upside is that you can apply for a subsequent 408 Covid visa if you continue to meet the eligibility conditions.
How can I apply?
If you think you might meet the criteria to be eligible for the 408 Covid Visa, Turnstone Migration can help with your application.
We offer special assistance, including assessing your eligibility, assisting with document gathering, and lodging your application, for a professional fee of $550.
To book a consult, just fill out the form below and our team will contact you soon.