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Final Closure of the Pandemic Event Visa in Australia | What To Do Next


March 4th, 2024 at 12:57 am

Final Closure of the Pandemic Event Visa in Australia | What To Do Next

According to a recent declaration from the Australian Government, the Pandemic Event visa (Subclass 408) would no longer be available to new applicants beginning September 2, 2023. The Department of Home Affairs introduced this visa in 2020 to allow temporary visa holders to work in Australia to address the country’s labour shortfall amid the COVID epidemic. However, with the reopening of borders, the government intends to impose strict measures to reform the flawed immigration system.

“We’ve brought wait times down, and we’re working to make sure our migration system is working again for all Aus­tralians after a decade of mess and mismanagement under the Liberals.” Hon. Andrew Giles MP

The closure of visas for the Pandemic Event is expected to ensure appropriate migration system management. This decision is consistent with the goals of re-establishing a regular flow of temporary migrants into and out of Australia, as well as creating well-regulated visa pathways. If a PEV visa holder chooses to stay, they need to ensure that they remain legally present in Australia. Furthermore, if an applicant is unable to achieve the eligibility requirements for a future visa, he should investigate other visa options that allow him to stay or work in Australia.

“The Pandemic Event visa was a critical component of Australia’s visa system during the pandemic. Many people with temporary visas assisted Australia at this time. We’re giving folks who have a Pandemic Event visa the opportunity to look at other visa options or leave Australia.” Hon. Andrew Giles MP

If you do not want to stay in Australia, make plans to leave as soon as feasible. However, if you wish to remain in Australia, you must investigate alternative visa choices. If you’re looking for additional alternative visas, this blog post will provide you a complete review of the various possibilities accessible. But before we get into the facts, let’s find out why the government is closing the Pandemic Event visa.

Why is the government closing Pandemic Event Visas?

In April 2020, the Pandemic Event visa (Subclass 408) was introduced to allow international students and other temporary migrants to stay in Australia despite COVID-19 travel restrictions. However, with the opening of Australia’s borders following the epidemic, this visa is no longer required. The news of the Pandemic event, visa closure allows visa holders to plan for the expiration of their current visa.

“Under the Liberals, our migration system did not function for anyone. There was no plan for how the borders would be reopened.” Hon. Andrew Giles MP

How will the Pandemic Event Visa expire?

The government has declared that the Pandemic Event visa will be closed in stages. The Department intends to close it in phases. Starting September 2, 2023, only current holders of Pandemic Event visas will be eligible to apply for the visa. The application fee is AUD $405. However, the Pandemic Event visa will be unavailable to all candidates after February 1, 2024.

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Things to Do After the Closure of Pandemic Event Visa

If you are currently living in Australia on a Pandemic Event visa, you must have been surprised to learn that this visa will be closed permanently. I understand your feelings. All you have to do is take the appropriate actions based on your specific circumstances and conditions. Here, I’ve discussed the important actions that must be taken.

1. To Pandemic Event Visa Holders

A Pandemic Event visa allows you to stay in the nation for a set amount of time. However, if you apply for a Pandemic Event visa before February 2024, you may stay in the nation for up to six months. If you apply before September 2023, you can stay in Australia for a year.

Workers with a Pandemic Event visa from Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) can schedule their departure and recruit replacements if their visa expires within the next year. Once the Pandemic Event visa is closed, the PALM programme will return to its original purpose of facilitating circular labour mobility. Remember that only people with Pandemic Event visas that have 28 days or less remaining as of September 2, 2023 can apply for extra visas. To file a fresh application, visa holders must have a job or a job offer.

2. For other visa holders.

If you currently hold a visa that is not tied to a Pandemic Event visa (such as a student, temporary graduate, or guest visa), you should consider other options for remaining in Australia or make plans to depart. Remember that you can no longer apply for a Pandemic Event Visa.

However, if you want to apply for another Pandemic Event visa before February 2024, you must meet the visa requirements and conditions. Schedule an appointment with a professional now.

Eligibility Criteria for Pandemic Event Visas (Subclass 408)

Do you already have a Pandemic Event visa (Subclass 408) and want to apply for a second one? If so, you must complete the following eligibility conditions when submitting your visa application:

  • You must have a valid Pandemic Event visa that will expire within the next 28 days at the time of application. However, if your visa expired 28 days ago, you can still apply for a second one.
  • You must provide documentation of a job offer at the time of application. Proof of employment must include the length of the position, the industry in which you now work or wish to work, and a synopsis of your responsibilities.
  • A pay stub, job offer letter, or employment contract can all serve as proof of employment.
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After we’ve discussed your eligibility for a second COVID visa, let’s look at the various options available to you after the Subclass 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa is closed.

Options to Consider Following the Closure of Pandemic Event Visas

You are probably aware that the government has closed the Pandemic Event visa application process. So, if you are unable to apply for a subsequent Pandemic Event visa, you must consider other visa choices to live or work in Australia for job. There are several possibilities accessible; however, I have listed some of the most popular ones here. Consider the following visa options:

  • Employer-sponsored visa.
  • Employer Nominated Visa
  • General Skilled Migration.
  • Regional Employer-sponsored visa

Let’s go over them in further detail for a better understanding.

1. Employer-sponsored visa.

Employer-sponsored visas are the greatest choice following the closing of the pandemic event visa, as both streams require work offers in any industry of Australia. Also, Employer-sponsored visas allow you to stay in Australia and continue working for your existing employer, or change employers.

In this instance, you may also apply for a Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482). This visa stream allows you to stay in the nation for two to four years, depending on your visa type. Furthermore, if you meet the eligibility requirements, you can obtain permanent residency after two years in the nation.

2. Employer Nominated Visa.

Employer Nominated Visa (Subclass 186) is a permanent visa with three visa streams: Temporary Residence Transition (TRT), direct admission, and labour agreement stream. A direct admission path requires at least three years of work experience in your specified occupation.

However, the Temporary Residence Transition category requires at least two years of work experience. However, if you intend to apply under the labour agreement, you must have necessary qualifications, work experience, and English language skills. To obtain an employer-nominated visa, you must submit two applications: one for the nomination and one for the visa.

3. General Skilled Migration Visas.

You can also select General skilled migration visa streams. The general skilled migration programme is based on a point exam, and you must score at least 65 points to be eligible for these visa streams. Furthermore, you must submit an expression of interest (EOI) to the Department of Home Affairs, who must then ask you to apply for a relevant visa. This implies you can’t apply for this visa stream unless you get an invitation letter from the Department.

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4. Regional Employer-sponsored Visa

Are you currently working in regional Australia on a Pandemic Event visa? If so, you may choose to apply for a Regional Employer-Sponsored visa to extend your stay in the nation. A skilled employer-sponsored regional visa (Subclass 494) is the best option in this situation. After three years in the nation, you can apply for permanent residency through Skilled Provincial Permanent Residence (Subclass 191). Furthermore, this visa stream allows you to live, work, or study in Australia’s remote areas for up to five years.

Additional information for you.

So there you have it: everything you need to know about the Pandemic Event Visa closure. You also understand the different options available to you for staying or working in Australia. So, what comes next? You should consider applying for any of the above-mentioned visa based on your circumstances and conditions.

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