408 VisaTemporary Activity visa


408 Visa

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government established the Pandemic Event Stream of the 408 Visa to provide flexible temporary arrangements for visa holders in Australia.

You may be able to apply for the 408 (Pandemic Stream) Visa if you:

Are in Australia;

Have a visa that is expiring / expired;

Have no other visa options.

In addition to the above, you can only apply for this visa for two reasons – either:

a.) For work in a Critical Sector

You must have 90 days or less on your current visa or your last substantive visa expired less than 28 days ago (Note: Substantive visas do not include Bridging Visas.)


b.) To extend your stay because you cannot depart Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

You must have 28 days or less on your current visa or your last substantive visa expired less than 28 days ago.

408 Visa

Common Questions 

The duration of the visa depends on your circumstances. The different possible periods are:

  • Up to 12 months if you work in a “critical sector”
  • Up to 12 months if you have been in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Program or the Pacific Labour Scheme, working in agriculture or another “critical sector”
  • Up to 6 months for all others (the length will depend on how soon you might be able to return home)

Importantly, this visa is only an option if you have no other visa options.

Critical sector is a broad term referring to a number of industries which are in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The critical sectors include:

  • Agriculture
  • Food processing
  • Health care
  • Aged care
  • Disability care
  • Childcare
  • Tourism
  • Hospitality

It is expected that the definition of this will continue to change as priorities develop.

You will need to provide a letter from your employer to confirm that you are working in a critical sector.

Those who do not hold a substantive visa and have had a recent refusal or cancellation (that is, those affected by section 48 of the Migration Act) will not be able to apply for this visa.

If your current visa is affected by a no further stay condition 8503, 8534 or 8535, you will need to request a waiver of this in order to apply for the 408 COVID-19 pandemic stream.

Seasonal Worker Program visa holders will have this automatically waived for the 408 COVID-19 pandemic stream.

  • You must satisfy the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement 
  • You might be asked to provide evidence that you can financially support yourself and your accompanying family members while in Australia
  • You must meet certain health requirements
  • You will be responsible for all health requirements as you will not be covered by Australia’s national health scheme
  • You must meet certain character requirements
  • You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted

Visa applications must be made online.

Applicants and agents can access online services by creating an account in ImmiAccount. Once you have gathered documents that support your application, create an account and apply using our online application system ImmiAccount.

After you have applied for your visa you might be required to do the following:

  • attend an interview
  • provide additional information
  • provide biometric information
  • provide police certificates

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including xays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete. If you do not provide the documents requested, your visa application could be refused.

Note: If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa.

If you are currently holding any of the visitor visas including ETA subclass 601 visa, eVisitor Subclass 651 visa or Visitor subclass 600 visa and are looking to apply for another visa to extend your stay in Australia and get work rights, the 408 visa might be an option.

The basic difference between a visitor visa and a 408 visa is that a visitor visa does not provide work rights whereas the 408 visa does provide work rights. Therefore, if you are on a visitor visa and want to apply for a 408 visa, you need to show that you hold a skill set that is highly relevant to one of the critical sectors and/or have an employer who is willing to provide you work in a critical sector.

If you are unable to provide evidence for either of the above, you may want to opt for a visitor visa instead.

The 408 visa will allow you to lawfully remain in Australia if you have no other visa options and are unable to depart Australia due to the Coronavirus travel restrictions. If you have no other visa options but you do not work in a critical sector, you may be eligible for the 408 visa until you are able to depart Australia again. However you may not be granted work rights. 


Our Services

Palmer Migration & Education Services will assist you throughout the entire process to ensure that you successfully obtain the 408 Visa. 

Lower chance of refusals

Our expert team ensure your application is completed correctly and accompanied by all appropriate documents and fee's

Save Money

We get it right the first time, having your visa application rejected is an emotionally and costly setback

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Smart planning your journey

Planning and preparation are vital for effective results. Good advice during the early stages of your application will help eliminate costly errors, time and money