THE NEW VISA EXPLAINED
The Department of Home Affairs has opened up a new visa opportunity, which is aimed to help those whose visas are expiring in the next 28 days. This visa might look very tempting at first but we break down everything you need to know so you know exactly who can apply.
This visa is called “COVID-19 Pandemic event for Subclass 408 (temporary activity) Visa” and it is a special new visa option contained within the Subclass 408 (temporary activity) Visa “family”.
The ‘COVID-19 408’ visa provides a pathway for temporary visa holders to lawfully remain in Australia, and who would otherwise be required to leave Australia. But be careful! It is not for everyone as you will be requested to work in certain areas and meet very specific requirements.
Requirements for this visa:
- You must hold a visa that is 28 days or less from its expiry date or,
- Have held a visa that is no more than 28 days from ceasing to be in effect.
- You are unable to apply the same temporary visa that you hold or have held, or any other temporary visa other than the Subclass 408 visa.
- You must be part of the response to workforce shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to areas including, but not limited to, agriculture, aged care and public health.
- You must have substantially complied with the conditions of your last visa.
- You must have health insurance.
- You cannot perform as an entertainer.
WORKFORCE SHORTAGES AND WORKING RIGHTS
This is where it gets tricky as the visa mentions you need to work as part of the ‘response to workforce shortages during the COVID-19’ but there is not an official list where you can see which occupation meets these criteria.
This infers that you don’t have a qualification to work in Aged care or Public Health you will have to undertake work on approved farm or agricultural centre, which is often reported to be physically challenging and poorly paid for many workers – which means its not a hugely attractive option for many people.
This is why most working holiday holders people end up moving on to a Student visa where they can work with fewer restrictions and stay longer in Australia without having to do farmwork.