Government Announces Closure of Pandemic Event (SC 408) Visa

408 subclass closer

The Minister of Home Affairs released an announcement on Thursday, 31 August 2023 announcing that the Australian government is closing the Pandemic Event 408 visa.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and Immigration Minister Andrew Giles announced on Thursday that the 408 pandemic subclass visa would be closed to all new applicants from Friday, with only existing visa holders able to apply for short-term extensions.

As the country moves forward in its salvage, the government is shifting its posture. They feel that the main reason for this visa has been addressed. Hence, the push is now to revert to more standard visa procedures, in line with Australia’s evolving needs.

The government used a short time frame to avoid a flood of new applications.

What are the key details I need to know?

  • From 2 September 2023, the Pandemic Event (Subclass 408) visa will only be open to applications from existing Pandemic Event visa holders
  • The visa will be officially closed to all applicants from February 2024
  • Anyone with a valid Pandemic Event visa will remain lawful until their current visa expires
  • All other visa holders will be ineligible for the Pandemic Event visa
  • From 2 September 2023, new applications will receive a six-month visa
  • A Visa Application Charge of $405 AUD will be announce.

Early data this month by the Department of Home Affairs presented that almost 60,000 international students in Australia and temporary workers were using the permit to extend stay in Australia, even though the circumstances that led to its creation no longer existed.

What are my options if I’m a Pandemic Event visa holder?

Switching visas: If you’re thinking of switching to a different visa in Australia. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the necessities and qualifications of the new visa. You can consult with a Registered Migration Agent for advice if you so choose.

News source: https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/controversial-pandemic-visa-scrapped-20230831-p5e126.html

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