Australian Government announces key changes to help Temporary Visa holders currently in Australia.
After several weeks of uncertainty, the Australian government has announced a number of changes that will assist temporary visa holders until the coronavirus pandemic has passed.
Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said that whilst these changes are broadly aimed at the 2.17 million people in Australia on temporary visas, the changes are also geared to focus on assisting key industries such as health, aged and disability care.
Working Holiday makers who are working in these key sectors including regional farm work will be exempt from the six-month work limitation with one employer and eligible for a further visa to keep working should their current visa expire in the next six months.
The Government announcement on Sunday also mentioned identified specific visa categories and offered advice for those currently holding these visas in Australia.
Temporary Skilled Visa Holders
The Government identified that there are over 139,000 temporary skilled visa holders in Australia and their skills will be critical as Australia look to recover from the coronavirus pandemic once it has passed. Consequently, those visa holders that have been stood down, but not laid off will maintain their visa validity and business will have the opportunity to extend their visa as per normal.
These Visa holders will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their Superannuation in this financial year.
Temporary Visa holders who have been laid off have been advised to return home in line with their visa conditions.
With more than 565,000 international students in Australia, the education sector has been waiting for some time about what measures will be put in place to support students. At this stage students have been encouraged to rely on family support, part time work where available and their own savings to sustain themselves in Australia. The justification for this is that they can support themselves financially as a part of their application. Students who have been in Australia 12 months or longer and are experiencing financial hardship can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in this financial year.
There will be more to follow on this as there are numerous campaigns on the way to provide a deeper level of support to the international student community.
New Zealanders on 444 Visas
Reciprocal arrangements have been in place for some time between Australia and New Zealand. Subclass 444 Visa holders who arrived before 26 February 2001 will access to welfare payments and the JobKeeper Payment. Subclass 444 Visa holders who arrived after 2001 have access to the JobKeeper Payment. New Zealanders who have been in Australia for more than 10 years can access JobSeeker payments for six months.
International Tourists have been advised to return to their own country as soon as possible.
We will follow any further updates closely with regards to all temporary visa holders however please get in touch with us if you are unsure about anything or want to discuss your migration options.