Work in Australia Temporarily during COVID-19

Stay in Australia Temporarily during COVID-19

Work in Australia Temporarily during COVID-19

Temporary Activity visa subclass 408 for Australia allows you to carry out a specific type of work on a temporary basis in Australia, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, this visa is a suitable option for everyone who cannot depart Australia and who would work in some of the critical industry sectors.

General Requirements for Temporary Activity Visa

There are different streams of Temporary Activity visa and they all refer to specific occupational fields, but all streams of visa 408 have in common certain general eligibility requirements such as: 

  •     You have to possess relevant skills for specific work; and
  •     You have to be sponsored or supported; and
  •     You must be a Genuine Temporary Entrant, and
  •     You must meet health and character requirements.

Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement (GTE)

Visa 408 is a temporary visa for Australia and therefore the Department of Home Affairs which decides on your visa application must be satisfied that you only have intentions to stay in Australia temporarily.

By checking if you meet the GTE requirement, various things can be considered such as your particular circumstances, your immigration history, your compliance with visa conditions, and other relevant matters.

We will enlist all streams in this article and briefly explain each one of them below.

Australian Government Endorsed Events Stream

This stream allows you to take part in the events that are endorsed by the Australian Government and you must be endorsed in writing to be able to apply for a visa and later take part in the specific event. 

With the granted visa you can stay in Australia until the event is over or up to 4 years.

COVID-19 Pandemic Event 

During the COVID-19 global pandemic, you might be eligible for this visa stream if you meet certain requirements to be endorsed for the COVID-19 Pandemic Event.  

Australian Government allows those who are employed in a critical industry sector to remain in Australia if they are already in Australia and have no other visa options and/or are unable to depart Australia.

Critical sectors include:

  •     Agriculture,
  •     Food processing,
  •     Health care,
  •     Aged care,
  •     Disability care,
  •     Medical Profession, and
  •     Child care.

In order to apply, you must meet certain requirements:

  • Be onshore at the time of lodging the visa application,
  • Have a current visa that expires in 28 days or less, or not have your last substantive temporary visa expired less than 28 days ago
  • Submit evidence that you have ongoing work in any of the above mentioned critical sectors in Australia and that Australian citizen or permanent resident cannot fill the position, or show that you are not eligible for any other visa type,
  • Have adequate and valid health insurance to cover you during your stay in Australia.  

Special Program Stream

Special Program stream of Temporary Activity visa subclass 408 encourages the exchange of international experience, ideas, and traditions with people of different cultural backgrounds in order to introduce diversity into the Australian community.

You must be coming to Australia to take part in one of the four approved programs:

Cultural enrichment or community benefits program

This program lasts between 3 and 12 months and can include various activities such as learning about Australian indigenous languages and cultures, pastoral care and religious teaching, volunteering and being a part of charity work as well as teaching other languages and cultures.

School language assistants program

This program lets you assist an Australian language teacher at an Australian school for up to 12 months. Your work will mostly consist of helping teachers with language matters.

Youth exchange program

This program allows you to stay in Australia between 3 and 12 months and be a part of a youth exchange program, whereas your home organisation must allow an Australian to have a similar youth exchange experience.

School-to-school interchange program

By applying for this program, you are allowed to work as a voluntary assistant in a school in Australia for up to 12 months. It is mandatory that you have completed your schooling and that you are now in a gap year before starting a job or further your studies or training. 

Religious Work Stream

Religious Work Stream under Temporary Activity Visa 408 allows you to do full-time religious work in Australian religious institutions. This work may include administration, secular work as well as spiritual leadership, theology and religious teaching, providing pastoral care, and other similar jobs.

Research Activities Stream

Research Activities Stream is for academics or students who have the intention to observe or take part in research at an Australian tertiary institution or research institution.

As an academic you can be eligible for this program of Visa 408 if you are:

  • An academic who has made valuable achievements in his field,
  • Work/have worked as an academic at a university or other tertiary institution,
  • You have been invited to observe or take part in an Australian research project at an Australian tertiary institution or research institution.

As a student you can be eligible if you are:

  • A student or recent graduate of an overseas educational institution,
  • You have been invited to undertake research connected to your field of study at an Australian tertiary institution or research institution.

Other Social and Cultural Activity (Invited Participant) Stream

With this visa, you can go to Australia and be a part of cultural or social activity in the frames of sport, religion, arts, and academic events or conferences. Please, note that this stream of Visa 408 is not for people who have a contract to play/coach an Australian sports team.

If you have any of the below-mentioned circumstances, you might be eligible to apply:

  •     Individual sportsmen or a member of a team, or team staff,
  •     A minister conducting the religious activity and you are a quest of an Australian religious  institution or you are working at a religious event,
  •     University or a tertiary institution invited you to host a lecture or conduct workshops or research,
  •     A public speaker and you are presenting or lecturing at expo, fairs, conferences or seminars,
  •     Entertainer attending a special event without performing,
  •     An artist having an exhibition or promoting visual their visual art,
  •     An author presenting his work at a festival, or
  •     A choreographer conducting dance workshops for the closing performance.

Sporting Activities Stream

Temporary Activity visa subclass 408 Sporting Activities stream is meant for athletes that are active on the national or international level, but also for coaching or adjudicating for an Australian sports team for a season.

You must be an eligible sports trainee, professional player, coach, instructor, or adjudicator and if necessary you need to take part in a full-time structured training and/or have a formal agreement.

When you have this visa you cannot do any work except the sports activity based on which your visa was approved.

Entertainment Activities Stream

Work activities this visa includes are acting in a television or film production, making a cameo appearance, reality TV contestants, comedians, international musicians or live theatre performers, singers, classical musicians, internet video performers, cultural performers, and documentary presenters, journalists, choreographers and many more.

You might receive a visa application charge concession which means you wouldn’t have to pay the standard visa fee in the amount of AUD$ 310 if the supporting/sponsoring organisation meets certain requirements.

Superyacht Crew Stream

Temporary Activity Visa subclass 408 Superyacht Crew Stream allows you to work as part of a crew of superyacht and travel to and from Australia as many times as you want.

The superyacht is a high-value luxury sailing or motor vessel that is used for sport or recreation, which is 24 meters or longer and does not carry cargo.

Staff Exchange Arrangements Stream

Under this stream of visa 408, you can come to Australia as a part of a staff exchange program and work for an Australian organisation.

It is important that there is a reciprocal staff exchange agreement with a suitable Australian organisation and in this way it is ensured that both you and the Australian citizen or permanent resident who take part in the exchange benefit from it.

Dependent Family Members

You can include dependent family members in your visa application who can then travel with you to Australia.

In this case, you must show that you have enough money to support not only yourself but also your family members during your stay in Australia.

Please, note that you would have additional charges for visa application and other fees for gathering your documents and preparing the visa application if you include your family members.

Visa application charge and processing time

Visa application charge for the main applicant is AUD$ 310 for all Temporary Activity Visa 408 streams.

If you apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Event under the Australian Government Endorsed Events Stream you are exempt from paying the visa application charge.

Please, note that you may experience additional expenses such as health checks, police certificates, biometrics, and other costs depending on your particular circumstances.

Processing times are not available for most of streams of visa 408 due to the low number of applications, while for some other streams the average processing times are between 37 and 65 days. However, the processing times can vary depending on many factors, such as how complete and well prepared your visa application is.

Current Travel Restrictions

Although this visa allows you to have multiple entries in Australia during the time of its validity, you should take into consideration travel restrictions that are in place at the moment.

Australian Government has implemented special measures in order to protect Australia’s public health. For more information, we suggest you check out our blog article on this topic.

Contact us

Be free to contact us for more information or schedule a consultation with our registered migration agent here and check if you meet all the requirements for Temporary Activity visa 408 or any other visa type, as well as to guide you through the process. Consultations are open for both prospective sponsors and applicants.

Disclaimer: Please, note that all the information in this article is general and valid at the time of writing the article. We cannot be held responsible for changes that appeared after the article was published. For up-to-date information, please, check the relevant websites or have a consultation with a registered migration agent.

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