COVID-19: Flexible and temporary visa arrangements in Australia

To respond to COVID-19, the government has introduced flexible and temporary visa arrangements that support Australia’s public health measures.

The Temporary Activity (subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream visa (COVID-19 Pandemic event visa) is being utilised to manage the extraordinary circumstances that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic event. The measure is temporary in nature, will be subject to ongoing review and will be wound back appropriately in line with the end of the pandemic.

Who is eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa?

The COVID-19 Pandemic event visa is available to people who are:

· in Australia
· are unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19
· have 28 days or less remaining on their current visa or were their last temporary visa has expired less than 28 days ago
· are not eligible for any other visa based on their intended activities or
· have evidence from their employer that they have ongoing work in a critical sector and that an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident cannot fill the position.

What are the critical sectors?

The Government is making announcements about critical sectors.
Currently, the critical sectors are
• agriculture,
• food processing
• health care
• aged care
• disability care and childcare.
These sectors will be subject to ongoing review with new sectors being added if required, or removed if the Australian labour market is fulfilling the need

How long will my visa be valid for?

The validity period on the visa will vary depending on the individual circumstances following these general principles:
· Applicants who have been on the Seasonal Worker Program or Working Holiday Maker program and are working in critical sectors will be granted a visa for up to 12 months.
· Applicants working in critical sectors will be granted a visa for up to 12 months.
· All other applicants will be granted a visa for up to six months with the validity period dependant on the individual circumstances such as when they may be able to return home.

Can I work on a COVID-19 AGEE Pandemic event visa?

Permission to work will be limited to people working in a critical sector such as agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, and childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These sectors may be updated from time to time in response to needs identified during the COVID-19 period. While holding a COVID-19 Pandemic event visa, you are only permitted to work in critical sectors.

People who are working in critical sectors will be given permission to work on their COVID-19 Pandemic event visa. All other people holding this visa will not have permission to work. Permission to work is managed through mandatory condition 8107. Workers in critical sectors who indicate their work activities in their visa application will be given permission to engage in those work activities when the COVID 19 Pandemic event visa is granted. People applying for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa as a last resort to remain lawfully in Australia until their departure will not be granted permission to work. Under condition 8107 a person who is granted a subclass 408 visa for the purpose of remaining lawfully in Australia until they are able to return home and who then work, would be engaging in an activity that is inconsistent with the purpose of the visa grant. Consequently, action could be taken to cancel that visa.

Visa of last resort

Other temporary visa holders may apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa only where there is no other visa option and it is not possible to leave Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow you to remain lawfully in Australia until it is safe and practical for you to return to your home country.

If you need to know further about this visa option please contact at First Class Migration team. You can also email us at to help you evaluate what is the best visa under your conditions. Remember that there are various visas and opportunities to choose from before your visa expires. The Puravida team is here to support you in whatever you need!

The text and source of information of this article belong to First Class Migration Australia.


An Argentina passionate about travelling, cooking, interested in sustainability and always learning new things. After having travelled and lived in Australia, she is now studying a master's degree in Sydney and sharing her experience with all those who want to come!

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