Greetings, fellow travellers and visa holders! We’re here to bring you the latest updates on a significant development in the Australian immigration rules—the closure of the Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) known as the Pandemic Event visa.
A Farewell to Pandemic Event Visa
As of 2 September 2023, the Pandemic Event visa will only be available to those who currently hold it. The final curtain falls on 1 February 2024, as the visa closes its doors to all new applications. This was an ad-hoc arrangement for COVID concessions during the hard pandemic period.
But fear not, for we as your registered Migration agent in Melbourne are here to guide you through this transition!
The “Why” Behind the Closure
Introduced in April 2020 to address the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pandemic
Event visas allowed temporary visa holders to stay in Australia during the border closures and eased labour shortages in critical sectors. Now, with Australia’s borders open and temporary visa numbers back to pre-pandemic levels, the visa is no longer deemed necessary.
Countdown to Closure, Contact Your Migration Agent Now!
The extended timeline aims to provide a cushion for both employers and visa holders. This window allows employers to find replacements, and visa holders can explore alternative options or make departure arrangements before their current visa expires.
Now that applications no longer will be applicable you must contact your migration agents at the earliest. We at Global Migration and Education Solutions would be happy to assist you as your migration agent in Melbourne or any other cities across Australia.
What’s Next for Existing Visa Holders?
For current Pandemic Event visa holders, the closure announcement doesn’t alter the expiry date of your existing visa. You might be eligible for a subsequent visa for up to 6 months, applicable until 1 February 2024. This is your chance to explore new possibilities or make solid plans.
Eligibility Criteria for Subsequent Visas
Is your current visa expiring within 28 days or less? It is time you have a call with your registered migration agent because they can be a great help. Further if you have a job or job offer in Australia, you may be eligible for a further visa.
However, keep in mind that applications from this date will incur a Visa Application Charge (VAC) of $405, with an additional charge for each family member included in the application.
Attention, employers! It’s crucial to stay informed about your workers’ visa conditions. Ensure they hold a visa with work rights to avoid penalties. The Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system can be your handy tool to check your workers’ visa details.
Temporary Visa Holders with 90 Days or Less
If you’re a temporary visa holder with 90 days or less remaining on your visa, and you’re working or have a job offer, you can apply for a Pandemic Event visa before 2 September 2023 with a nil Visa Application Charge (VAC).
About Applied Applications
For those who applied for a Pandemic Event visa before 2 September 2023, your applications will be assessed under the rules in place at the time of lodgment, including the period of stay in Australia.
Explore New Horizons
For temporary visa holders no longer eligible for the Pandemic Event visa, it’s time to consider alternative visa options or plan your departure from the Land Down Under.
In conclusion, change is the only constant. As the Pandemic Event visa bids adieu, let’s embrace the evolving landscape and embark on new journeys and opportunities. Stay tuned for more updates, and may your visa adventures be ever in your favour!