COVID-19: Impact upon temporary visa holders

There are approximately 2.17 million people living in Australia on a temporary visa. At the moment, the Australian Government is in the process of making concessions and arrangements to better serve Australian employers, protect the health of the community, as well as safeguard job opportunities during the coronavirus crisis.  

According to the Department of Home Affairs, all employers must still abide by all relevant Australian workplace regulations and laws. Overseas workers still have the same rights as all other employees and are protected by Australian workplace law. 

In line with recent changes that have been made for permanent residents and citizens of Australia, the majority of temporary visa holders with work rights, will be able to access their Australian superannuation to help assist them during the crisis.   

Temporary visa holders that are not able to support themselves under these new arrangements are advised by the Australian Government to return to their home country.   

Temporary Skilled visa holders:   

There are approximately 139,000 temporary skilled visa holders in Australia that are on either a 2-year, or 4-year visa. Visa holders that have been stood down, but not fired or laid off, will still maintain their visa validity. Businesses are able to apply to have their visa extended, due to these disruptions.  

The visa holder will NOT be in breach of their visa conditions, even if their hours have been reduced. Those that are in Australia on a Temporary Skilled visa will be eligible to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year.  

Those that have been laid off due to the coronavirus are advised to leave Australia, if they are unable to secure a new sponsor. Visa holders on a 4-year visa that are re-employed after the pandemic can count the entire time that they have spent in Australia towards permanent residency skilled work experience requirements.   

International Students:   

International students represent a major contributor to Australia’s tertiary sector and economy, supporting over 240,000 Australian jobs. Students that find themselves in financial hardship because of the coronavirus and have been in Australia for 12-months or longer, are able to access their Australian superannuation.   

The Australian Government has also announced that they will be flexible and relax the visa conditions for international students that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak (such as not being able to attend class).   

International students are still able to work 40 hours per fortnight, whilst those that work in the aged care sector, or as nurses will have their hours extended to support the needs of the sector. Furthermore, international students that work for major supermarkets will also have their hours extended to meet the high demand of shelf stocking.  

Working Holiday Makers:   

Currently, there are 118,000 people in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa (or Backpacker Visa). Working Holiday makers that work in critical sectors such as health, aged care and disability care, food processing, childcare and agriculture, will be given some flexibility, in relation to their visa conditions. Working Holiday makers that work in these critical sectors will not be subject to the six-month work limitation with one employer. Furthermore, if their current visa is due to expire within the next six-months and they work in one of these critical sectors, they will be eligible to apply for a further visa. The Australian Government recommends Working Holiday makers that are not able to support themselves over the next six-months to leave the country.   

Visitor visa holders:  

There are approximately 203,000 international visitors in Australia, who could be in Australia for up to three-months. The Australian Government has advised all international tourists to return to their home country.  

New Zealanders on 444 visas:  

There are 672,000 New Zealanders that are currently living and working in Australia on a 444 visa. Those that have arrived in Australia before the 26th of February, 2001 will be able to access welfare payments, as well as JobKeeper payments, provided they have experienced job loss or reduced hours over the past few weeks. However, those that arrived in Australia after the 26th of February, 2001 will only be able to access the JobKeeper payment. New Zealanders on 444 visas, that have lived in Australia for over 10 years will be able to access Job Keeper payments for up to six-months. Those that are unable to support themselves during these trying times should consider returning to New Zealand. 

If you need assistance or advice with your visa application, Results Migration are the best in the field, with a team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Brisbane Registered Migration Agents that are able to guide you through this complex area of law. Call Results Migration on 1800 808 717 or email us on info@resultsmigration.com.au and book your free consultation today! 

  

  

  

  

By |April 9th, 2020|General news|Comments Off on COVID-19: Impact upon temporary visa holders

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