Case study – Subclass-408 visa (COVID-19 Pandemic event visa)

Posted on 1 June 2020

Blog Post

We, I-Migration, hope you are all well in these difficult times and we are here to support you with any matters related to Australian visas and migration pathways to Australia.

To respond to COVID-19, the Department of Home Affairs has introduced flexible and temporary visa arrangements that support Australia’s public health measures. One of the notable visas for this is the ‘Temporary Activity (subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream visa (COVID-19 Pandemic event visa)’. This visa is being utilised to manage the extraordinary circumstances that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic event. The measure is temporary in nature, will be subject to ongoing review, and will be wound back appropriately in line with the end of the pandemic.

Who is eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa?

The applicant must:

  • be in Australia

  • be unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19

  • have 28 days or less remaining on their current visa or their last temporary visa has expired less than 28 days ago

  • be ineligible for any other visa based on their intended activities, and

– if seeking work rights

  • 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.

We recently lodged a Subclass 408 (AGEE) stream visa (COVID-19 Pandemic event visa) on behalf of one of our clients, who met all the above-mentioned criteria, and received a job offer from an aged care centre in Melbourne. The client was in Australia with a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) and her original plan was to return to her home country just before the WHV expired. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and border closures both in Australia and her home country, she was unable to depart.

Luckily, she received a job offer from an aged care centre in Melbourne as a Lifestyle Assistant. Our client was able to apply for the 408 visa in the AGEE stream, as she was ineligible for any other visas such as Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) and the industry that she will be working in is classified as one of the critical sectors, ‘aged care’. In addition, due to the shortage of local labours in the ‘aged care’ industry, it also satisfied the requirement that an Australian citizen or permanent resident cannot fill the position.

What are the ‘critical sectors’?

  • Agriculture

  • Food Processing

  • Health Care

  • Aged care

  • Disability Care

  • Childcare

If her visa application is successfully granted, she will be given working rights to work in this role for a short period of time (until the intended time declared in the application but for a period of less than 12 months).

If you meet all the criteria mentioned above, but do not have ongoing work in a critical sector, you may still be able to apply for this 408 AGEE stream visa. However, you would not receive work rights upon grant of the visa. The good news is that there is no application fee for this specific stream.

Consider this visa as your very last option to stay in Australia lawfully. So, if you are not sure about your eligibility for any Australian visas, please book an appointment with one of our Registered Migration Agents to discuss in further detail. We’ll keep you posted with any updates on this case!

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