408 Visa (COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa)

The 408 Visa lets you stay in Australia if you’re working in a critical industry or can't leave due to travel restrictions.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa 408 may be able to get you an extra 12 months in the country if you're unable to leave Australia due to COVID-19 and if you work in a critical sector.

We've laid out what the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa is, who it's for and the eligibility requirements, including having adequate health insurance in place.

What is the 408 visa for COVID-19?

The 408 visa was introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic as a last resort for those living and working in Australia on temporary visas that are set to expire. If you can't go home due to travel restrictions and you have no other visa options, the 408 can allow you to stay in Australia for an additional 12 months. At the moment, this additional 12 months cannot be extended.

There's currently no charge for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa and depending on your situation, your family members might be able to apply to join you in Australia later as a subsequent entrant.

Who is this visa for?

The 408 visa is for temporary visa holders that are due to expire who cannot apply for any other visa. It's specifically aimed at people working in critical sectors to the Australian government at the moment, including:

  • agriculture
  • health care
  • age care
  • disability care
  • child care
  • food processing

This temporary activity visa can also include members of your family when you apply. You can also add family members to your application at any time before the Australian government makes a decision.

Eligibility for a 408 visa COVID-19 pandemic event

To qualify for the COVID - 19 Pandemic Visa - Subclass 408, you must:

  • Already be in Australia.
  • Have no more than 28 days left on your current visa (You can also apply if your previous visa expired less than 28 days ago)
  • Provide evidence that you have ongoing work in a critical sector and that it can't be done by an Australian citizen or resident.
  • Have the financial means to support yourself and any dependents with you in Australia.
  • Meet the health requirement which may require you to do a health check.
  • Have adequate health insurance - if you don't already have it - to ensure that you are not a burden on the Australian public health care system: Medicare.
  • Meet the government's character requirement e.g have no criminal record.
  • Have paid any debts you owe to the Australian Government.
  • Intend to stay on a temporary basis.
  • Not have had a previous visa application rejected or cancelled.
  • Sign the Australian values statement if you're over 18.

What conditions are there to have this visa?

There are several conditions worth being aware of on this visa. These include:

  • You must remain in Australia and continue your work in one of the critical sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes medical professionals.
  • This is a temporary visa which allows multiple entries. However due to travel restrictions, you may be unable to leave Australia at this time without voiding the visa.
  • This visa only allows a further stay of up to 12 months or for whatever period of temporary stay is deemed necessary, provided you can't get another visa and you are unable to travel home from Australia.

Do you need health insurance for this visa?

Yes. Like all Australian visas, you'll need to have adequate health insurance in place. This is a common requirement set up to prevent Medicare – Australia's public health care system – from having to cope with added financial burden. To make sure your visa is accepted, you can get Overseas Health Cover, which is widely available. If you need to get health insurance, you can begin to compare some affordable policies here.

If your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia, this is usually enough to pass your visa's health care requirement. However, it won't cover you for things like dental care, optical and physio – which is known as extras cover here – so it's still worth having Overseas Health Cover.

Compare OVHC policies for a 408 visa

Name Product Meets condition 8501 Hospital Cover Dental Pregnancy Cover GP Visits Medical Repatriation Price
Medibank Overseas Workers Base Hospital
From $71 per month
From $71 per month.
Allianz Care Australia Budget Working Cover
$20,000
From $70.20 per month
From $70.20 per month.
Medibank Overseas Workers Standard Hospital and Medical
From $104.50 per month
From $104.50 per month.
Allianz Care Australia Standard Working Cover
$20,000
From $103.50 per month
From $103.50 per month.
Allianz Care Australia Mid Working Cover
$20,000
From $151.80 per month
From $151.80 per month.
Medibank Overseas Workers Advanced Hospital and Medical
From $332.50 per month
From $332.50 per month.
Allianz Care Australia Top Working Cover
$20,000
From $285.20 per month
From $285.20 per month.
Medibank Overseas Workers Premium Hospital, Medical and Extras
From $349.00 per month
From $349.00 per month.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Can you extend this visa?

At the moment, no. This is a visa set up purely to help out those in the difficult situation of not being able to leave Australia due to travel restrictions who also work in a critical sector and are unable to go on to another visa.

Depending on how long this crisis goes on for, this situation may change. For now though, the maximum length of time you can get on this visa is 12 months. You'll be told when you receive your visa confirmation how long yours will last for. You can however add family members to your application to join you in Australia later as a subsequent entrant.

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10 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    LauraDecember 19, 2021

    want to fill out the covid19 visa application but I am struggling to know what one to do. The Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) or Temporary Activity and work visa (subclass 408).

    Because for Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) It is asking me what activity I will be doing but I work in the Hospitality sector.
    Temporary Activity and work visa (subclass 408) is asking me to put someone down that is accompanying me. It is just me and it won’t let me go forward without filling it out.
    Thanks
    Laura

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JamesJanuary 13, 2022Staff

      Hi Laura,

      I’m sorry to hear about your struggle with the visa application.

      To get more specific help with your needs, it may be best to reach out to the Department of Home Affairs directly. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions on their website here.

      Best regards,
      James

    Default Gravatar
    ChalyDecember 1, 2021

    I am awaiting Visitor 600 visa after exhausting 485 last October. Can I apply for Pandemic Visa upon receipt of Visitor Visa as I am currently engaged in food processing?
    Thanks

    Default Gravatar
    TamOctober 1, 2021

    Could a student appy for Visa 408 can continuing her work placement which she cannot do while it is lockdown.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JamesOctober 6, 2021Staff

      Hi Tam,

      Thanks for getting in touch. You could apply for the 408 visa provided that you work in a critical sector outlined on this page. For more information, you could also visit the government’s website.

      Best,
      James

    Default Gravatar
    CintiaSeptember 13, 2021

    Hello there. Thanks so much for this information!

    I have a question: Can I move to another State holding a bridging 408 visa if someone offers me a job there (still working in the same critical sector)? Many thanks!

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JamesSeptember 15, 2021Staff

      Hi Cintia,

      That’s a good question. While I can’t immediately see any listed restrictions, I’d highly recommend that you reach out to the Department of Home Affairs first to confirm your options based on your circumstances.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      James

    Default Gravatar
    VishalSeptember 1, 2021

    Good Morning, I have a question if I get COVID visa for 12 months and after that I want to go for student can I apply for student Visa???

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JamesSeptember 9, 2021Staff

      Hi Vishal,

      You can generally apply for a student visa as long as you meet all conditions and eligibility requirements. You must be enrolled in a course of study in Australia and hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), or fall in one of the stated exemption categories. There are a number of other eligibility requirements, and so we’d encourage you to visit the government’s website for more help with your inquiry: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/contact-us/overview

      Best,
      James

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