The 408 pandemic event visa has been a lifeline for thousands of people, enabling them to remain in Australia lawfully and, in many cases, work whilst they’re here.
We have successfully managed hundreds of subclass 408s since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our eligibility checks are free, so if you’re reading this and wondering whether you qualify, contact us today and chat with a Registered Migration Agent.
Here are some of the questions we’re commonly asked:
Can I switch job on a 408 Covid-19 pandemic event visa?
While on a 408 pandemic event visa, the holder is allowed to switch jobs as long as it’s in the same critical occupation and position that the visa was originally granted for.
If you are changing employers, you must notify the Department and complete a ‘notification of changes in circumstance’ and a letter of offer from your new employer. Once notified, you’ll be able to begin working your new job.
This visa does not allow the holder to take up work that is inconsistent with the work the visa grant was based upon.
What should I do if I’m on a working holiday visa but want to work longer than 6 months with the same employer?
As long as you hold a valid working holiday visa and work in a critical sector, you don’t need to request permission to work longer than 6 months with your employer. Critical sectors include agriculture, food processing, age care, and childcare. If in doubt, though, contact the Department for clarification.
If you’re working in a non-critical sector and want to work longer than 6 months, you’ll need to request permission.
What should I do if I have submitted an application for a 408 event visa, but my working holiday visa is expiring soon and I want to continue working for my current employer?
The 6-month work limit is applied to each visa separately, so once your bridging visa kicks in, the 6-month limit comes into effect again. This means you can work for the same employer for another six months as soon your bridging visa begins.
The subclass 408 pandemic event visas are not affected by the 6-month work limit.
How do I know if my job is classified as a critical sector for the Covid-19 pandemic?
Jobs in agriculture, food processing and health, disability, aged and child care, are classified as critical sectors. However, other job roles are arguably critical too. If you contact us and provide a detailed overview of the role, we can give our professional opinion on whether your application is likely to be successful or not.
Can I count my work in a critical sector as specified work in order to apply for a second or third working holiday visa?
Your work in a critical sector can be counted as specified work only if it meets the pre-existing requirements of the working holiday visa you plan to apply for later. If your job doesn’t meet the requirements, you’ll be unable to count it as specified work in order to apply for a further working holiday visa.
Can I apply for the 408 pandemic visa?
The Covid-19 pandemic visa has been brought in as a last resort option. If you find yourself unable to leave Australia due to the current pandemic, your visa is expiring in the next 28 days, and you don’t qualify for any other visas, you are eligible for a 408 COVID-19 pandemic visa.
It’s also important to make sure your visa hasn’t expired more than 28 days ago.
I’m not working in a critical sector, can I still apply?
Yes. If you contact us, we can establish whether you’re likely to get work rights and for how long. Remember, consults are free of charge and we have lodged hundreds of 408 visas since the pandemic event stream was introduced earlier this year.
Has my visa been granted with work rights?
Your visa grant letter displays the conditions associated with your visa type. It’s important to read it carefully and be fully aware of what you can and can’t do.
How long does the COVID-19 pandemic visa last?
If you are working in a critical sector, you may be given a pandemic visa that permits you to stay in Australia for 12 months, which also applies to critical sector workers who are part of the Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme.
If you are applying purely as a last resort, you’ll be granted permission to stay for a number of months (the length can vary) ensuring you remain in Australia lawfully until you are able to return home.
How much does the COVID-19 pandemic visa cost?
It’s free. However, as part of the application you may have to pay for health checks and police certificates.
I’m on a regional farm but haven’t yet done my 3 months of specified work. I am also currently unable to travel back to my home country. Can I apply for a second working holiday visa or should I go for the 408 visa?
Because you haven’t met the 3 months of specified work criteria, you won’t be able to apply for a second working holiday visa at this time. However, since agricultural work is classed as critical work, you can apply for a 408 pandemic event visa and continue working in Australia.
I am in Australia on a visa without work rights, can I apply for the 408 pandemic visa instead of another visitor visa?
Yes. To apply for this visa whilst currently on a visa without working rights, it is crucial that you compile evidence that you have a relevant skills to work in a critical sector, or have confirmation from a critical sector employer that they are going to employ you. You must have a job offer or an employment contract as the work rights element of this visa is linked to your employer.
My graduate visa is expiring, am I allowed to apply for another one?
As a main applicant you are only able to apply for a graduate visa once. If you’re working in one of the critical sectors, or have skills related to these sectors, you try applying for the 408 pandemic visa with work rights. If you’re working in a different area, get in touch and we can provide some advice as to whether you’re likely to be granted work rights.
Can I work for the same employer for longer than six months with a working holiday visa?
If you’re employed in a critical sector, you don’t need permission to work longer than six months with one employer. If you’ve worked for the same employer for six months while on a WHV, you can also work for the same employer again for a further six months from the date when your bridging visa begins.
Can I add my partner?
Yes. If you get full work rights, your partner will also get full work rights. Obviously they won’t be restricted to any one employer, like the primary applicant. They do not need to wait for their current visa to expire.
If you want to add a partner once the visa is lodged or granted your partner will need to apply for a subsequent entrant 408 visa. Unfortunately the VAC is not free, it will be $310 and $700 ( if you have applied for a temporary visa in Australia before)
If you’re unsure on where you stand, and whether or not you’re likely to be granted work rights, contact us today for a free eligibility check with a Registered Migration Agent.