The pandemic continues to affect onshore temporary visa-holders and their ability to meet visa criteria for subsequent applications. As a result of this, alongside national labour shortages, the Government extended the COVID-19 Pandemic (Subclass 408) Visa to those who have an employment offer in Australia. Previously, this visa was limited to individuals who could not depart Australia due to border closures, or to those who had an employment opportunity in a critical sector.
This is a temporary visa measure which allows individuals in Australia to remain in Australia for a period of 6 to 12 months.
Evidence of ongoing employment, or an employment offer, must include dates of employment and identify the sector you are to be working in. this can include payslips, a contract or a letter from your employer.
If you are a temporary substantive visa holder and apply for a COVID-19 Pandemic event visa on or after 21 February 2022, you may be eligible for this visa if, at time of application, you:
- were in Australia before 21 February 2022 and are working or intending to work in Australia; or
- arrive in Australia on or after 21 February 2022 and have work rights on your substantive visa; or
- have a job offer from a Commonwealth funded aged care service, even if you do not have work rights on your current substantive visa.
The eligibility requirements for this visa are as follows:
- Be in Australia
- Have 28 days or less remaining of the current visa or the last substantive temporary visa expired less than 28 days ago
- Provide evidence of employment or an order of employment:
in one of the critical sectors if you want to work for 12 months:
- food processing
- health care
- aged care
- disability care
- child care, and
- tourism and hospitality
in any other sector if you want to work for 6 months.
The Government has not yet announced when this initiative will end, and will continue to be in effect until revisited or repealed. It is likely that this will be revisited after the federal election in May 2022.
If your visa is to expire and you are not sure what options you have, please don’t hesitate to contact our migration lawyers to review your eligibility for an interim COVID-19 Pandemic Visa.
Should you have any questions about these arrangements, please contact our immigration visa lawyer.