A visa 408 is a COVID relief visa issued to those who were in Australia during the lockdown and their current visa expired. In normal circumstances, once your Australia visa expires you must either apply for a new visa and stay in Australia with a bridging visa until your application is reviewed, or leave the country.
However, due to the pandemic, many people couldn’t leave the country and visa 408 was launched to allow people to remain legally in Australia. You must be able to support yourself while on a visa 408, this means you were either working in Australia or have enough financial means to continue your stay.
Visa 408 Checklist
When you apply for a visa 408 you have to prepare the following documents:
- Submit a copy of your passport pages.
- Written statement. You have to provide a written statement of why you are affected by COVID-19, why you cannot apply for another visa, and why you cannot leave Australia.
- Proof of work. You have to provide the dates of your employment and confirmation in which critical sector you worked in (agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, child care or tourism and hospitality). If you hold a visa 403, you have to provide evidence that you are actually working for an employer in the seasonal worker program.
- Financial documents. You must show that you can financially support yourself or any family members that might apply with you. You can submit employment contracts and financial statements from your bank.
- Proof you meet the character requirements. You may be required to provide proof that you are not convicted of any crimes or a part of criminal activities.
- Help documents. Use either form 956 or form 956a to show that someone is helping you with your visa application.
- Family members documents. If you are applying with your partner/spouse or children, then you are required to submit a number of documents such as their identification, birth certificates, proof of relationship, form 1221, form 47a and similar documents.
Am I Eligible for a Visa 408?
You are eligible to apply for a visa 408 if:
- You are in Australia when you apply.
- You cannot leave the country due to COVID-19.
- Your visa will expire in 90 days or less.
- You have a valid visa that expired less than 28 days before you apply for a visa 408.
- You are a genuine temporary entrant.
To determine your intentions to remain temporarily in Australia, the Department of Home Affairs will take into account your personal circumstances, migration history, previous visas, and anything else relevant to your situation.
How Do I Get a 408 Visa?
You have to apply for the visa online via ImmiAccount. You can only apply for this visa while you are in Australia, this visa is not available for applicants who are out of the country.
What Is the Fee for a Visa 408?
There is no charge for visa 408. However, you must make sure to select the option “yes” to the visa application charge concession question in the application and select “NIL VAC”.
408 COVID Visa Processing Time
There are no processing times for a 408 visa application, but the department will try to finalize your application as soon as possible.
How Long Is Visa 408 Valid for?
This visa will be valid for either a year or three months- depending on why you apply for the visa. If you are employed in a critical sector (food, agriculture, tourism and hospitality, etc.), then this visa will allow you to stay for another 12 months.
If your travel arrangements are cancelled because of travel restrictions, this visa will allow you to stay for another three months.
Can I Stay Longer?
You cannot extend a visa 408, but you may apply for a new COVID-19 visa 408 if your current 408 visa is about to expire.
Can My Family Members Apply With Me for a COVID Visa 408?
Yes, you can include your family members for a 408 visa application-provided they are in Australia with you at the time of application.
Can I Work With a 408 Visa?
You can only work if you were previously engaged in work and you will be working in a critical sector:
- Food processing
- Health care
- Aged care
- Disability care
- Child care
- Tourism and hospitality
Can I Get Permanent Residency with a 408 Visa?
No, this visa is only valid for the moment during the global pandemic. It will allow you only to remain in Australia legally while you continue to work or arrange new travel plans. If you want to apply for Australian permanent residency, you must have another substantive visa (all visas with the exception of bridging visas).