COVID-19 Update – Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408)

What is a Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)?

A temporary activity visa (subclass 408) lets you stay in Australia to take part in an approved special program. OK, you might be wondering, how does this relate to the COVID-19 situation?

On 3rd of April 2020, The Australian government, through a legislative instrument, decided to include COVID-19 pandemic (as defined by WHO) as an eligible event for this visa.

So, if you are in Australia and affected by COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply for this visa in order to:

  • remain in Australia if you have no other visa options and are unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • remain in Australia to serve in critical sectors including healthcare, disability and aged care, childcare and agriculture during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who is eligible for a Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408) under the COVID-19 scheme?

As with all other Australian visas, there are several eligibility criteria you must meet. The eligibility criteria include:

  • You must be in Australia at the time of application; and
  • You’re unable to depart due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Your visa is expiring within 28 days OR Your visa has expired less than 28 days ago; and
  • You can not make a valid application for your current visa; and
  • You can not make a valid application for any other visa (other than subclass 408)

Sounds like a lot? Yes, it is.

As you can see, just because you are in Australia and your visa is expiring does not mean you automatically become eligible for this visa.

For example, if you’re on a visitor visa, and have a “No further stay” restriction (i.e. condition 8503), then you may become eligible. In contrast, if you don’t have the condition 8503 imposed and can apply for another on-shore visitor visa, then you are not eligible for the 408 visa under this scheme. Also, let’s not forget the time limitation too (28 days before OR after visa expiry).

There are also a few other eligibility criteria you must meet. Please visit the DOHA website for more information.

How to apply for a Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408)?

First of all, you must make sure you meet the above eligibility criteria. Once you determine your eligibility, you can visit the department’s website and apply under the ‘Australian Government endorsed events’ stream. Please note, as a COVID-19 pandemic applicant, you don’t need an endorsement letter.

For more information, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

How much does this visa cost?

The Temporary Activities Visas (subclass 408) for COVID-19 pandemic applicants is free of charge. However, you must consider the cost of living and health insurance during your stay.

If you are in Australia and unable to leave due to COVID-19, give us a call to discuss your options. Our Registered Migration Agent will review your situation and work with you to achieve the best outcome for you and your family.

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