COVID-19 pandemic (AGEE stream)
The Australian Government endorsed event stream has been adapted to assist temporary visa holders stuck in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is no application charge for the COVID-19 pandemic stream.
The requirements to obtain a 408 visa under the COVID-19 pandemic stream are:
- You either:
- Hold a temporary visa which is expiring in 28 days or less
- Do not hold any visa and your temporary visa expired 28 days ago or less
- You are in Australian and are unable to leave due to the pandemic
- You are not able to apply for any other Australian visa
If you are eligible to, it is preferable to apply for another visa of the same kind you currently hold.
Duration of the COVID-19 pandemic visa
The duration of the visa depends on your circumstances. The different possible periods are:
- Up to 12 months if you work in a “critical sector”
- Up to 12 months if you have been in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Program or the Pacific Labour Scheme, working in agriculture or another “critical sector”
- Up to 6 months for all others (the length will depend on how soon you might be able to return home)
Importantly, this visa is only an option if you have no other visa options.
What is a critical sector?
Critical sector is a broad term referring to a number of industries which are in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The critical sectors include:
- Food processing
- Health care
- Aged care
- Disability care
It is expected that the definition of this will continue to change as priorities develop.
You will need to provide a letter from your employer to confirm that you are working in a critical sector.
Issues applying for the Visa 408 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic visa
Those who do not hold a substantive visa and have had a recent refusal or cancellation (that is, those affected by section 48 of the Migration Act) will not be able to apply for this visa.
If your current visa is affected by a no further stay condition 8503, 8534 or 8535, you will need to request a waiver of this in order to apply for the 408 COVID-19 pandemic stream.
Seasonal Worker Program visa holders will have this automatically waived for the 408 COVID-19 pandemic stream.
What are the initial criteria to be eligible for this visa?
- have the skills to undertake the activity to be carried out in Australia
- be supported or sponsored
- meet additional requirements of the relevant stream
Further requirements if eligible?
- You must satisfy the genuine temporary entrant requirement (GTE)
- You must provide evidence that you have functional English language skills to undertake the training
- You might be asked to provide evidence that you can financially support yourself and your accompanying family members while in Australia
- You must meet certain health requirements
- You will be responsible for all health requirements as you will not be covered by Australia's national health scheme
- You must meet certain character requirements
- You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted
What is the application process?
Visa applications must be made online.
Applicants and agents can access online services by creating an account in ImmiAccount. Once you have gathered documents that support your application, create an account and apply using our online application system ImmiAccount.
After you have applied for your visa you might be required to do the following:
- attend an interview
- provide additional information
- provide biometric information
- provide police certificates.
Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete. If you do not provide the documents requested, your visa application could be refused.
Note: If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa.
For more information on the Visa 408 click here: https://www.workvisalawyers.com.au/services/temporary-activity-training-specialist-visas/temporary-activity-visa.html