Announced with minimal notice on 31 August, the Australian Government informed that the Subclass 408 COVID Pandemic Event Visa would be closing to new applicants from 2 September 2023. For many expats and temporary residents, this comes as sudden news that could significantly impact their future plans in Australia. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the changes, the implications for current visa holders, and alternative pathways for those looking to extend their stay.
What is the Subclass 408 COVID Pandemic Event Visa?
The Subclass 408 COVID Pandemic Event Visa served as a temporary safety net for those who were unable to depart Australia due to the pandemic. It provided a legitimate means to remain in the country, fulfilling various roles that supported Australia during this trying period.
The Changes Explained
Starting from 2 September 2023, only current Subclass 408 visa holders will be eligible for renewal. However, this window will also close come February 2024. Moreover, the cost for visa ‘renewal’ is set at AU$405.00 in Government lodgement fees, and the new visa will be valid for merely 6 months from the grant date.
Implications for Current Visa Holders
For those currently on a Subclass 408 visa, the time to act is now. You must consider alternative visas to extend your stay, lest you find yourself in a predicament that mandates an abrupt departure from Australia.
Alternatives to Consider
- Skilled Visas: Skilled visas such as the Subclass 482 or the Subclass 186 could offer a more permanent solution.
- Student Visas: Returning to study may provide a pathway to extend your stay.
- Partner Visas: If you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident, this could be an option to explore.
The abrupt closure of the Subclass 408 COVID Pandemic Event Visa leaves many in a precarious situation. With renewal options closing soon, it is imperative to act promptly to ensure a stable future in Australia. Migration Expert is here to guide you through this complex landscape.
Don’t navigate these intricate immigration pathways alone. Book a telephone consultation to speak with a registered Australian migration consultant and explore your options for a secure future in Australia.