The Effects Of Coronavirus On Temporary Australian Visa Holders

The Effects Of Coronavirus On Temporary Australian Visa Holders Who Stays And Who Goes!

There are over 2.17million people in Australia on a temporary visa. 

However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is making a series of changes to the temporary visa conditions in an endeavor to protect the health and livelihood of Australian citizens! Where does that leave the temporary visa holder?

Temporary Visa Holders Are An Important Part Of The Australia Economy But COVID-19 Changes All That!

Temporary visa holders, from various categories, were welcomed to the nation, on varied conditions; 

  • Skilled visa
  • Student visa
  • Working holiday visa
  • Holiday visa

Much needed health workers

Amongst these temporary visa holders, there are over 8,000 individuals, who arrived on the skilled medical professional, temporary visa, currently engaged in work within the Australian health system, as much needed assets in helping fight the Coronavirus.

Temporary visas are left high and dry!

However, due to the pandemic caused by the novel Coronavirus, apart from some fields, holders of temporary visas are left high and dry!

While Australian citizens, permanent residents and some New Zealanders are supported by the government, via payments such as the JobSeeker and JobKeeper as well as unrestricted work rights, temporary visa holders have none of these benefits.

The following are the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on each temporary visa category.

Holders Of Visitor Visas And Changes Made Due To COVID-19

Visitor Visa Subclass 600

Over 203,000 people are in Australia on a temporary visitor visa. For this category of temporary visa holders, the advice is to return home. Especially if they do not have support from family in Australia. Many have already left Australia and others should follow.

International Students In Australia – Visa Subclass 500

The over 565,000 international students, studying in the fields of vocational education and higher education have been the main contributor to Australia’s economy and tertiary sector. They support over 240,000 jobs on the continent.

Students Hardship

As students entering Australia are expected to support themselves from the first year onwards, through part-time employment and family support, the government expects them to fall back on this system during the Coronavirus crisis. 

However, many are left in financial hardship due to being laid off or stood down.

The following support measures are offered to students left stranded during the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Students residing for over 12 months in Australia may access their superannuation
  • The government is negotiating with international educations sectors to provide relief to students left in financial hardship, already some education institutes are offering students conditional discounts
  • Students unable to attend class due to Coronavirus, and unable to fulfil their visa conditions of class attendance hours, are given a relief
  • International students are now allowed to work up to 40 hours a fortnight 
  • International students studying in aged care and health sector, and working in similar capacities have their work hours extended
  • International students working in supermarkets have their hours extended to support the high demand due to the Coronavirus crisis (after May 1st, their hours fallback to 40 per fortnight, giving more opportunity to Australians to work in these rolls)

Temporary Skilled Visa Holders: Subclass 482 – 457

There are around 139,000 holders of a temporary skilled visa in Australia. Most are on the 2 years or 4-year visa condition. Many were awarded the visa to fill skilled-worker capacities, which although not applicable to some sectors now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be open once the Coronavirus crisis has passed.

What Happens To Skilled Visa Holders Stood Down

If holders of a skilled visa are only stood down and not laid off, their visa continues to be valid, despite the reduced hours. Businesses too are given the ok, to extend their visa under each visa subclass condition. Also, businesses can reduce the work hours of temporary visa holders without them being in breach of visa conditions.

  • They may access up to A$ 10,000 of their superannuation.

What Happens To Skilled Visa Holders Laid Off

Unless they find a new sponsor, they must leave Australia! 

Holders of a 4 years skilled visa, re-employed due to the Coronavirus, can add their previous employment period towards their skilled work experience requirements for permanent residency.

Like this, Read this: Getting Permanent Residency in Australia – Part One

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