COVID-19 Update on Temporary VISA Holders
By Paolo Coniglio, 08.04.2020
The Australian Government is making a number of changes to temporary visa holder arrangements during the Coronavirus crisis in order to protect the health and livelihoods of Australian, support critical industries, and assist with the rapid recovery of the virus spread.
Student VISA Holders
Students are encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work where available and their own savings to sustain themselves in Australia.
As part of their visa application, international students have had to demonstrate they can support themselves completely in their first year of study. Students who have been in Australia longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian Superannuation.
Visitor Visa Holders
International tourists should return to their home country as quickly as possible, particularly those without family support.
Working Holiday Makers
Working Holiday Makers who are currently employed in one of the critical sectors affected by Covid-19 (Health, Aged and Disability Care, Agriculture and Food Processing) will be exempt from the 6-month limitation of working with one employer and eligible for a further visa to keep working in these sectors. However, Working Holiday Visa Makers who re-locate from one rural site to another will need to self isolate for 14 days.
New Zealand Working Visa Holders on 444 Visa
New Zealanders and Australians have reciprocal arrangements whereby they can each stay and work in each other’s country.
New Zealanders who are on 444 visas and arrived before 26 February 2001 will have access to welfare payments and the JobKeeper payment.
444 visa holders who arrived after 2001 have access to the JobKeeper payment. Those who have lived in Australia for 10 years or more, will have access to JobSeeker payments for six months.
Temporary Skilled Visa Holders
Temporary skilled visa holders who have been stood down, but not laid off, will maintain their visa validity and businesses will have the opportunity to extend their visa as per normal arrangements. Businesses will also be able to reduce the hours of the visa holder without the person being in breach of their visa condition.
These visa holders will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year.
Those visa holders who have been laid off due to Coronavirus should leave the country in line with existing visa conditions, if they are unable to secure a new sponsor. However, should a 4-year visa holder be re-employed after the Coronavirus pandemic, their time already spent in Australia will count towards their permanent residency skilled work experience requirements.
This blog and attached resources are of general nature designed for informational and educational purposes only. They should not be construed as professional financial advice for your individual business. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.