, ,

NEWS FLASH: Pandemic Event Visa Closure

While this is now old news, we felt that this was still an important change to immigration policy that we would news flash.

The Pandemic Event Visa has officially closed to new applications. As of 2 September 2023, the Pandemic Event visa will only be available to existing Pandemic Event visa holders. 

Why is the Pandemic Event visa closing? 

Now that Australia’s borders are open and temporary visa holder numbers in Australia have returned to pre-COVID levels, The Department of Home Affairs has decided that the Pandemic Event visa will no longer be required. 

Next steps for existing Pandemic Event visa holders and lodged Pandemic Event visa applications

As part of the staged closure: 

  • All visa applications lodged on or after 2 September 2023 will have a stay period in Australia of up to 6 months.
  • All applications lodged on or after 2 September 2023 will incur a Visa Application Charge of AUD405.00.
  • The Pandemic event visa closes to all new applications on 1 February 2024. 
  • At the time of application, you must hold a Pandemic event visa that expires in 28 days or less.
  • Applications lodged before 2 September 2023 will continue to be considered for a period of stay in Australia of up to 12 months. 
  • Your Pandemic Event visa will remain valid until its expiry, or you are granted another visa. 

Next steps for employers preparing for closure 

Employers of a Pandemic Event visa holder should check what their employee’s plans are, including whether they intend to transition to another visa or depart Australia. 

It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that they employ overseas workers with valid visas, otherwise, they risk significant penalties. 

If you found this article useful, give us a call and book your consultation with M Legal today!

Written by Sarah Mathew on behalf of M Legal’s lawyers