What is the COVID-19 Pandemic visa? Am I eligible to get this visa?

The Australian Government has added COVID-19 Pandemic as a new event for the Government Endorsed Event stream under the standard Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass408) program vide the Migration (LIN 20/122: COVID-19 Pandemic event for Subclass 408 (Temporary Activity) visa and visa application charge for Temporary Activity (Class GG) visa) Instrument 2020 dated 3 April 2020. COVID-19 Pandemic visa allows you to stay and continue working in Australia when you cannot leave Australia due to travel restrictions and have no other visa option to maintain your lawful status in Australia until you are able to return to your home country.

Otherwise, the usual purpose of sc408 visa is to allow you to come to Australia on a temporary basis to participate in various short stay activities for various streams such as entertainment, research, events, religious worker, special programs, sports, staff exchange, superyacht crew, domestic worker etc. Further, under Government Endorsed Event stream you are allowed to participate in a government endorsed major event generally specified by a legislative instrument.

Conditions for COVID-19 Pandemic visa

  • You must be in Australia while lodging the visa application.
  • You must be unable to leave Australia due to travel restrictions.
  • You must have 28 days or less remaining on your current visa or if your last substantive visa has expired not more than 28 days ago.
  • You must be unable to apply for another visa.
  • You must be in Australia to be granted the visa.

Eligibility for Applicants

  • Intend to stay in Australia temporarily
  • Have adequate financial support
  • Have adequate arrangement for health insurance
  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused

Work Conditions

This visa allows temporary visa holders to continue working in critical sectors in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Critical Sectors for Covid-19

  • Healthcare
  • Disability and Aged Care
  • Childcare
  • Agriculture
  • Food Processing

Eligible Applicants

  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa holders (Subclass 482) or Temporary Work (Skilled) visa holders (Subclass 457)
  • Working holiday makers (Subclass 417 and Subclass 462)
  • Subclass 403 visa holders in the Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour scheme workers (in Agriculture only)

Advantages of COVID-19 Pandemic visa

  • Stay in Australia lawfully.
  • Work in critical sectors for Covid-19.
  • Include dependents members in your application.

The Government has relaxed the requirements to apply for this visa to make it more accessible and accordingly, you do not need written endorsement from the Government to apply for this visa. The Department is accepting Covid-19 Pandemic visa applications from 4 April 2020.

It is strongly advisable to apply for this visa if your current visa has expired or is expiring soon to stay lawfully in Australia. If you do not do so, your status will be considered as unlawful which may affect your eligibility to be granted a future visa. It is also important to know that if you continue staying in Australia without a valid visa, you may face some serious consequences.

If you facing issue of visa expiry or are stuck in any other migration related matter, Discuss Your Situation with us or call us on (02) 4626 100 to speak to one of our Registered Migration Agents who can help you with your visa application.


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