What are your options if you are in Australia, your current visa is expiring soon and you want to stay?
- Covid-19 pandemic Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408)
- Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417 or 462)
- Student visa (subclass 500).
The information provided here has been taken from Australian government sources and our in-house immigration agent. We believe the information here to be correct, however, we encourage you to talk to us first before you make any further applications as sometimes individual cases may be different.
1- You hold a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417 or 462)
OPTION A: you have plenty of time on your visa
- In general, nothing changes for you.
- You cannot freeze your WHV if you have had to leave the country you are not able to come back due to travel restrictions
- Yes, you can still look for jobs if it complies with all restriction measurements.
- If you are working in critical sectors, like health, aged care, or agriculture you can work more than 6 months for the same employer.
OPTION B: your visa is expiring, but you have completed three or six months of specified work in Australia
- You can apply for a second or a third WHV.
- If you applied for the second or third WHV and your first-year visa run out, you can keep working because your bridging visa will come into effect until your application is decided.
- You can apply for a student visa which allows you to study a course that you are interested in, and potentially lead to PR in Australia later.
You can still apply for your second or third year WHV after the completion of your study, which will count as Australian working experience in your studied field, this allows you to have more points when you apply for PR. If you are interested in this option, contact our friendly education consultants from Study Destination now.
OPTION C: your visa is expiring, you’re not eligible for a second or a third WHV and you DON’T WORK in critical sectors for COVID-19
OPTION D: your visa is expiring, you’re not eligible for a second or a third WHV and you WORK in critical sectors for COVID-19
- You can apply for the COVID-19 pandemic Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408) if you meet all the other conditions of 408.
2. You are on the COVID-19 pandemic Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408)
- The visa is free
- It will allow you to remain lawfully in Australia if you have no other visa options and are unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
- It will allow you to remain in Australia to assist in critical sectors including healthcare, disability, and aged care, childcare, and agriculture during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It may allow you to continue working (you might not get full working rights unless you are working in the critical sector; you might not get working rights if you are currently holding a tourist visa).
- To be granted a new visa, you must meet the requirements for that visa, including any age limits, English language, and health and character requirements.
How to apply to the COVID-19 pandemic Temporary Activity Visa?
Connect to your immiaccount. New Application -- Temporary Work /Activity -- Temporary Activity Visa (408). It is pretty straightforward, just a few things to keep in mind:
- PAGE 2 Activity Type -- select “Australian Government endorsed events” Is the applicant eligible for a Visa Application Charge (VAC) concession? -- select YES Give details -- mention the COVID-19 situation and your willingness to work in the critical sectors Select the eligible VAC -- Nil VAC. (This way you will not pay anything for the visa.) Warning window --click Confirm.
- PAGE 12-14 Obviously, if you are employed in the critical sectors, you will need to put in the details of your employer.
- For those applying without working in critical sectors. There is no confirmed information about how to proceed. The Study Destination team encourage you to talk to a registered immigrant agent prior to taking any action.
3. You have a Student visa (subclass 500)
OPTION A: You have plenty of time on your visa
- The Government is taking a flexible approach in relation to student visa conditions where COVID-19 restrictions have prevented conditions being met, such as attendance at class or use of online learning. More information, please refer to Study Destination blog. We updated weekly the most up-to-date information about study visa.
- You can work unlimited hours if your course is considered ‘out of session’. Courses are considered ‘out of session’ during scheduled course breaks or if a student has finished their course as scheduled.
- If you have commenced studying a master by research or a doctorate course, you may work unlimited hours.
- You can work over 40 hours per fortnight if your course has been deferred.
- You can work over 40 hours per fortnight if your course is scheduled as a holiday.
- You can work more than 40 hours per fortnight if you are:
1. employed in the health sector, enrolled in a health-related course (such as nursing or medicine) and are directed by a health official to assist in the effort against COVID-19.
2. employed by registered supermarkets (this temporary measure will cease on 1 May 2020 for supermarkets).
3. employed in aged care by an Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider.
4. employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider.
- Student visa holders do not need to apply for this temporary measure. You should contact your employer.