NEW COVID-19 subclass 408 visa

The government has recently announced a new stream under the Subclass 408 visa due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Temporary visa holders in Australia, who are unable to depart or apply for another visa, may be eligible for a Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa under the Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) Stream (COVID-19 Event) to assist in critical sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under this stream, the following requirements apply:

  • the applicant must be in Australia on a temporary visa (including Working Holidays Makers not eligible for second or third year and Seasonal Work Programme workers). The temporary visa will expire in the next 28 days or has ceased to be in effect not more than 28 days;
  • the applicant is unable to depart Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • no other temporary visa option is available for the applicant; and
  • the applicant will remain in Australia to assist in the following sectors: healthcare, disability and aged care, childcare and agriculture and has 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.

based on the latest advice from the Department, work rights will be granted on the Subclass 408 only for applicants who are working in critical sectors and the visa can be granted for up to 12 months. Applicants who hold a visa under the Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme can also be granted a Subclass 408 for up to 12 months with work rights.

other applicants such as persons applying for this visa as a last resort (when no other application is available and unable to depart) will not be granted work rights. In this scenario, you may be granted a visa up to 6 months.

Other criterion for the visa remains the same as the other streams for Subclass 408 visa such as health, character, genuine temporary criterion and ability to financially support yourself.

Applicants for this visa are expected to comply with all public health directions while on the Subclass 408.

Further details about this visa and requirements are yet to be released by the Department of Home Affairs, we will provide further updates when available.


Please contact us if you have any questions, we are here to help.