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Australia: all visas to extend your stay despite the COVID

For more than a year now, the COVID-19 pandemic has been present globally and is bringing many changes to our lives. and StudyBird still enlighten you on the different visa options to allow you to extend your stay in Australia.

The COVID-19 pandemic event visa (subclass 408)

In response to the global COVID-19 crisis, the Australian government has introduced a new temporary visa, the subclass 408. This visa is provisional, so it may be subject to change and should be removed when the pandemic ends. This visa allows you to stay in Australia for a few additional months provided you meet certain eligibility conditions.

the stamp 408 is available to anyone whose visa expires in less than 28 days or whose visa expired less than 28 days ago. There are two scenarios:

1- the applicant works in a critical sector

2- the applicant has no other solution in terms of visa

In the first situation, the employer will be able to support your request for stamp 408 with a written letter confirming that you are indeed employed in one of these critical sectors and that no Australian citizen or permanent resident can perform this function. You will therefore be able to access the stamp 408for a maximum period of 12 months, with in particular the condition of working only for this employer.

In the second case, you will have to demonstrate to the government that you are unable to return to your country of origin and that there is no other visa solution to stay on Australian territory. For example, if you are eligible for the second or third Working Holiday Visa, you will need to apply for a new WHV, rather than the 408 visa. Additionally, if you are applying for a stamp 408 before the expiry date of your current visa, you will receive a Bridging Visa A, allowing you to remain in the territory legally while waiting for Immigration to process the visa application. Finally, be careful all the same of the consequences if you do not meet the eligibility conditions: you risk remaining in Bridging Visa for an indefinite period, which means that you will have to leave the territory to reapply for a visa. Another significant risk: a refusal, which could harm future applications, in Australia or elsewhere.

Good news, people in COVID Visa 408 can now count the work done in the health and medical sectors during this period in the 88 days necessary for the 2nd or 3rd WHV.

studybird australia visa extend

The Student Visa (subclass 500)

The Student Visa allows you to study short courses or long courses. Indeed, this visa gives the possibility of living in Australia during all the duration of its studies. It is the optimal solution to extend your adventure by continuing your studies. Everyone can claim it without age restriction. There are courses accessible to all levels of study and you can even start by studying English if you want to improve your skills in the language of Shakespeare. Also, most schools have adapted to the new restrictions, so you will be able to take classes online until further notice.

Regarding the working conditions of the Visa Student, you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight (i.e. 20 hours per week on average) during the course periods, or even more depending on the choice of training. During holidays, there are no limits on working hours.

In addition, if you wish to settle in Australia, certain fields of study may lead you more easily to Permanent Residence. It depends on the field and region you want to study in Australia. The so-called “regional” areas offer more possibilities than the metropolitan areas to access this famous Permanent residence. Find all our articles explaining the student visa procedures and the different options on this link.

Are you looking for an option allowing you to stay after the Student Visa? Have you ever heard of the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) ? This is a work visa whose duration will depend on your level of qualification. The latter is available via two “streams”.

The Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485)

Graduate Work Stream: At the end of your studies, if you have obtained a non-university level qualification preparing for a profession on the long list of professions in demand by the Australian government for at least 2 years, then you will be able to obtain a 18 month Temporary Graduate Visa to live and work without restrictions in Australia.

Post-study work stream: At the end of your higher education in Australia (Bachelor, Master or PhD), you can live 2 to 4 additional years in the territory. The duration of this visa varies depending on the region where you studied and the level of studies. This is a visa that allows you to live and work in Australia full-time, but also to broaden your chances of eligibility for the Sponsorship or access to the program of General Skilled Migration.

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