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department of home affairs expands eligibility for subclass 408 visas (COVID-19 pandemic event for temporary activity)

28 March 2022
kian bone nicole brown
Read Time 2 mins reading time

The Department of Home Affairs has made modifications to the eligibility criteria for subclass 408 temporary visas concerning the visa holders who are applying for this visa through the “pandemic stream”.

subclass 408 visas – what has changed?

Previously, only applicants who worked or had an offer to work in key sectors (agriculture, food processing, healthcare, aged care, disability care, childcare, tourism, hospitality) would be able to access a SC408 visa for a duration of 12 months and without incurring any application charges.

As of 16 March 2022, this sector-based barrier to eligibility has been largely removed. Applicants from key sectors will still be able to access this no charge, 12-month visa coverage, however applicants from sectors of employment other than these key sectors now may also be able to access a SC408 temporary visa at no charge – albeit for a lesser period of 6 months.

Notably, eligibility for a SC408 visa still requires that the applicant either currently holds a relevant temporary visa that permits work that is 90 days or less from expiring, or has previously held a relevant temporary visa without work rights that was effective not more than 28 days before their application. Applicants must also be in Australia and they must have arrived before 21 February 2022 – the latter is important as these changes in eligibility will only apply to applications made on or after 21 February 2022. Applications made before 21 February 2022 must satisfy the requirements of the previous Instrument (refer: LIN 20/229).

eligibility in brief

In summary, to be eligible per the new criteria, applicants must:

  • have arrived in Australia before 21 February 2022
  • have an employment contract or offer of employment in Australia
  • hold a visa that permits them to work in Australia that is 90 days or less from expiring; or a visa without work rights that was effective no more than 28 days before the date of application

subclass 408 visas – impact on employers

These changes effectively provide support for a broader range of Australian businesses. Businesses from sectors other than those considered key or critical may find these eligibility changes beneficial from their perspective moving forward, given they may provide businesses greater ease in bolstering their workforces as part of their post-pandemic recovery processes. Contact our migration team today to discuss the latest changes.

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department of home affairs expands eligibility for subclass 408 visas (COVID-19 pandemic event for temporary activity)

28 March 2022
kian bone nicole brown

The Department of Home Affairs has made modifications to the eligibility criteria for subclass 408 temporary visas concerning the visa holders who are applying for this visa through the “pandemic stream”.

subclass 408 visas – what has changed?

Previously, only applicants who worked or had an offer to work in key sectors (agriculture, food processing, healthcare, aged care, disability care, childcare, tourism, hospitality) would be able to access a SC408 visa for a duration of 12 months and without incurring any application charges.

As of 16 March 2022, this sector-based barrier to eligibility has been largely removed. Applicants from key sectors will still be able to access this no charge, 12-month visa coverage, however applicants from sectors of employment other than these key sectors now may also be able to access a SC408 temporary visa at no charge – albeit for a lesser period of 6 months.

Notably, eligibility for a SC408 visa still requires that the applicant either currently holds a relevant temporary visa that permits work that is 90 days or less from expiring, or has previously held a relevant temporary visa without work rights that was effective not more than 28 days before their application. Applicants must also be in Australia and they must have arrived before 21 February 2022 – the latter is important as these changes in eligibility will only apply to applications made on or after 21 February 2022. Applications made before 21 February 2022 must satisfy the requirements of the previous Instrument (refer: LIN 20/229).

eligibility in brief

In summary, to be eligible per the new criteria, applicants must:

  • have arrived in Australia before 21 February 2022
  • have an employment contract or offer of employment in Australia
  • hold a visa that permits them to work in Australia that is 90 days or less from expiring; or a visa without work rights that was effective no more than 28 days before the date of application

subclass 408 visas – impact on employers

These changes effectively provide support for a broader range of Australian businesses. Businesses from sectors other than those considered key or critical may find these eligibility changes beneficial from their perspective moving forward, given they may provide businesses greater ease in bolstering their workforces as part of their post-pandemic recovery processes. Contact our migration team today to discuss the latest changes.