In response to the extraordinary circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian government has made new arrangements for applying for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa. The Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream (COVID-19 Pandemic event visa) provides an opportunity for certain people to lawfully remain in Australia if they are unable to depart the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they have no other visa options.
COVID-19 Pandemic event visa Eligibility
Applicants for this visa must meet the following specific requirements:
- Are in Australia;
- Are unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19;
- Have 28 days or less remaining on their current visa or their last temporary visa expired less than 28 days ago;
- Are not eligible for any other visa based on their intended activities; or
- Have evidence from their employer that they have ongoing work in a critical sector and that an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident cannot fill the position. Critical sections include agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, and childcare.
Applicants working in critical sectors must provide evidence of their ongoing employment in that sector with the application. Others who are applying for this visa because they are unable to depart Australia will need to explain why they cannot apply for another visa, why they have not been able to depart Australia before their current visa expires, and what actions they are taking to arrange their departure from Australia once they are able to do so.
Not everyone will be granted work rights on the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa. Those who are working in critical sectors will be permitted to work once they are granted the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa but can only continue working in a critical sector. However, those who apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa as a last resort to remain in Australia will not be permitted to work at all while holding this visa. Critical sectors workers will be granted a visa that allows them to remain in Australia for up to 12 months while those not working in a critical sector will be granted a visa that allows them to remain in Australia for up to 6 months until they are able to return home.
The COVID-19 Pandemic event visa is a temporary measure only and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. It is anticipated that it will be closed to applications at the end of the COVID19 pandemic.
If you require further information about this visa or any other immigration matter, please feel free to contact us.