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COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa

Subclass 408

The COVID-19 pandemic event visa – subclass 408 allows you to remain in Australia 

  • if you have no other visa options. Also, this visa enables you to stay if you cannot leave Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • to work in the following critical sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • agriculture
    • food processing
    • health care
    • aged care
    • disability care
    • child care, and
    • tourism and hospitality
COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa - Subclass 408

If you are a visitor to Australia and cannot support yourself, you should make arrangements to return home.

The COVID-19 pandemic event visa is granted for up to 12 months if you work in a critical sector. However, if you are not working in critical sectors, the visa will be granted for up to 3 months only. 

There is no Visa Application Charge for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa application. The applicant must select ‘yes’ to the ‘visa application charge concession question’ and then select the ‘Nil VAC’ option in the application. However, you may incur additional charges for health checks and police certificates.

Eligibility to obtain the COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa - Subclass 408

To be able to apply for this visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • apply online while staying in Australia
  • maintain a proper health insurance plan during your stay in Australia

Applicants working in the critical sectors mentioned must:

  • provide proof of evidence from your current organisation’s employer or an offer of employment, and that an Australian citizen or permanent resident cannot fill your position
  • hold a substantive visa that expires within 90 days or less, or your previous substantive visa expired 28 days or less ago

Applicants who plan to leave Australia but are delayed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions must:

  • inform the Australia Department of Home Affairs as to why the restrictions prevent your departure
  • hold a substantive visa that expires within 90 days or less, or your previous substantive visa expired less than 28 days ago

Due to COVID-19, the visa demand and processing time has significantly been affected. Therefore, you may experience a delay depending on several factors. Also, the focus to grant visa applications is based on the critical areas that support the Australian Government’s response to COVID-19.

Therefore, until the decision to grant or not to grant the pandemic event visa is made, the applicant is provided with an associated bridging visa that helps maintain law status in Australia. This bridging visa comes into effect if the applicant’s substantive visa expires before finalising the applicant’s COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa.

If you wish to extend your stay upon nearing visa expiration

You cannot stay in Australia longer by extending this visa. However, you may be eligible for another COVID-19 Pandemic event visa if:

  • you wish to continue working in a critical sector in Australia, or
  • the COVID-19 travel regulations restrict you from travelling out of Australia upon expiry of your visa