URGENT UPDATE : Closure of Pandemic Event 408 Visa for New Applicants

URGENT UPDATE : Closure of Pandemic Event 408 Visa for New Applicants

In a joint media release with the Hon Andrew Giles MP, the Australian government has announced significant changes to the Pandemic Event visa. As part of ongoing efforts to streamline the nation’s visa system and respond to changing circumstances, this update outlines the key changes to the Pandemic Event visa and its application process. These changes are aimed at ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of Australia’s visa system, aligning it with the current landscape.

Closure of Visa Applications
Effective from February 2024, the Pandemic Event visa will no longer be available for new applicants. This decision reflects the shifting circumstances that have rendered the original purpose of the visa obsolete. With the culmination of factors that led to the introduction of this visa, the government has taken a proactive step to close it to new applications. This measure is aimed at providing clarity and certainty within the visa system and better aligning it with the nation’s evolving needs.

Transitional Period for Current Visa Holders
Starting from 2nd September 2023, a transitional period will be initiated for the Pandemic Event visa. During this period, only existing Pandemic Event visa holders will be eligible to apply for certain updates or extensions related to their current visa status. This limited application window recognizes the specific circumstances of those who hold this visa and need to make necessary adjustments. However, this will not extend to new applicants, given the impending closure of the visa category.

Implications for Stakeholders
For individuals who are considering applying for the Pandemic Event visa, it is crucial to be aware of the upcoming changes. The closure of the visa category from February 2024 means that there will be a definitive cutoff for new applications. Those who may have been contemplating utilizing this visa category should ensure that they initiate their application well in advance, taking into account the relevant processing times and requirements.
Furthermore, from 2nd September 2023, a Visa Application Charge of $405 AUD will also be introduced.

The closure of the Pandemic Event visa to new applicants and the implementation of a transitional period for existing visa holders highlight the Australian government’s commitment to maintaining a responsive and efficient visa system. These changes align with the evolving circumstances and ensure that the nation’s visa resources are appropriately allocated to address current needs. Individuals and stakeholders are encouraged to stay informed and take timely action in response to these changes.

For more details and specific information about these changes, please refer to the official media release by the Hon Andrew Giles MP, available at https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/ClareONeil/Pages/closure-of-the-pandemic-event-visa.aspx.

For any inquiries or clarification, please reach out to the team at Sellanes Clark – Lawyers & Immigration Specialists.

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