News report | | 20/02/2024 | ±3 minutes reading time

The Pandemic event visa introduced by the Australian authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic has been abolished. This visa allowed travellers who were already in Australia to stay longer and work in the country. Since 1 February 2024, the pandemic event visa is no longer available.

Strict entry rules during COVID-19 pandemic

During the pandemic, Australia has introduced strict restrictions and kept its borders closed to foreign travellers. To be allowed in the country, travellers needed special permission, which was mostly granted to Australian nationals or permanent residents (and their immediate family members). Special permission was also granted to people who were employed in a crucial sector in Australia and to travellers with an urgent reason to travel to the country, such as a seriously ill family member.

Special COVID-19 Australia visa

Besides introducing entry restrictions, Australia also put some exit restrictions in place for people who were already in Australia. Australian nationals and permanent residents were only allowed to leave Australia under very specific conditions. Strict lockdowns were also imposed in several Australian territories, which prevented travellers with temporary visas from leaving Australia. Travellers who caught the coronavirus were sometimes forced to stay in Australia beyond the validity period their visa due to quarantine rules.

To solve these issues, a new visa was introduced in April 2020 for people staying in Australia on a temporary visa. The visa allowed these individuals to legally stay in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. This visa was part of the Temporary Activity visa category (subclass 408), but was better known as the Pandemic event visa. Travellers who were not eligible for an extension of their existing visa or for another Australia visa could apply for this Pandemic event visa to stay longer in Australia as a result of COVID-19 measures.

Economic reasons behind the Pandemic event visa

The Pandemic event visa was more than just a way to compensate for the COVID-19-related travel restrictions. In fact, it was introduced by the Australian authorities for economic reasons too. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia was faced with a severe labour shortage, especially in agriculture and healthcare. Thanks to the Pandemic event visa allowing holders to work in Australia, the shortage was mitigated.

End of the Pandemic event visa

Now that Australia’s borders have been open for some time, the number of applications for temporary visas has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. Since the Pandemic event visa is no longer needed, the Australian authorities have suspended the visa as of 1 February 2024. Applications for Pandemic event visas submitted before 1 February 2024 will be processed, but no new applications will be accepted. For temporary stays in Australia, travellers will therefore need to apply for another visa, such as the eVisitor visa.

The eVisitor visa for holidays and business trips

The eVisitor is the most requested visa for Australia among British travellers. The visa is valid for 12 months and is suitable for vacations, business trips, visiting friends or relatives, or for a transit in Australia. During its validity period, holders of this visa may travel to Australia multiple times and stay in the country for up to 3 months each time. The cost of the visa is £24.95 per person. The eVisitor visa is thus much cheaper than the Pandemic event visa, which cost 405 Australian dollars.

The Pandemic event visa could only be applied for if the applicant was already in Australia. On the contrary, the eVisitor visa can only be applied for from outside Australia. You can easily apply for the eVisitor visa for Australia online using a digital application form. Once granted, the visa will be emailed to you, usually within 5 days. is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Australia visa. acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (0 AUD per visa, via However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 0 AUD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £24.95 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Australia visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.