On 2 March 2022, the Australian government announced changes to the subclass 408 Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) COVID-19 Pandemic event, which included expanding the visa beyond key sectors to allow work in all sectors.
Temporary visa holders with work rights will be able to access the Pandemic event visa for nil Visa Application Charge (VAC) for a period of 6 or 12 months if they work in any sector of the Australian economy.
The length of stay granted to applicants under the revised Pandemic event visa arrangements is based on meeting certain eligibility requirements.
Applicants applying to work in:
- The Commonwealth Aged Care sector may be granted a visa of up to 12 months to remain and work in that sector.
- A key sector (aged care, agriculture, child care, disability care, food processing, health care and tourism and hospitality) may be granted a visa of up to 12 months to remain and work in any of those key sectors.
- Any other sector may be granted a visa of up to 6 months to remain and work in those sectors.
The new arrangements will only be available for Pandemic event visa applications made on or after 21 February 2022 by:
- Temporary visa holders who were in Australia prior to 21 February 2022; as well as
- Temporary visa holders who arrive in Australia after 21 February 2022 and have work rights or a job offer from a Commonwealth funded aged care service at time of application.
Applicants will need to provide evidence at time of application that they are employed in Australia or have a job offer to work in Australia.
Applicants will only be eligible for this visa if they apply within 90 days of their substantive visa expiring, or if their last substantive visa has already expired, within 28 days after it expired.
Those who apply on or after 21 February 2022 will no longer be eligible for visa grant on the grounds of being unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Contact our Australian immigration specialists to prepare and lodge your Australian 408 COVID-19 Pandemic event visa application with the best chances of success.