The following measures in relation to temporary visa holders have been announced by the government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Further announcements are expected in the near future.
Temporary skilled and student visa holders able to access superannuation
Acting Minister Tudge has today announced that temporary visa holders will be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in this financial year to assist in supporting themselves through the coronavirus crisis.
Key information from the statement is as follows:
Temporary Skilled visa holders
These visa holders will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year.
457/482 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.
Students who have been here longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.
- International students working in supermarkets will have their working hours return to the maximum 40 hours a fortnight on 1 May as more Australians are being recruited into these roles.
- International students working in aged care and as nurses continue to have their hours extended to support these critical sectors.
- The Government will also be flexible in cases where Coronavirus has prevented international students meeting their visa conditions (such as not being able attend classes).
International students in their first 12 months are expected by the Australian government to support themselves given their visa application commitment that they had sufficient funds to support their stay in Australia.
Changes for Working Holiday and Seasonal Worker visa holders onshore
- Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme workers can extend their stay for up to 12 months to work for approved employers (ensuring appropriate accommodation needs of workers are met to minimise health risks to visa holders and the community).
- Approved employers under the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme will need to continue engaging with the Department of Education, Skills and Employment on labour market testing to ensure recruitment of Australians first.
- Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) who work in agriculture or food processing will be exempt from the six month work limitation with the one employer and eligible for a further visa to keep working in these critical sectors if their current visa is due to expire in the next six months.
- Conditions will be placed upon visa holders to self-isolate for 14 days before taking up employment in a different region (including termination of visas where there is non-compliance).
- To support implementation of self-isolation arrangements for visa holders and avoid spread of COVID-19, the government is working with states and territories on enforcement and sanction mechanisms.
- Employers will need to commit to providing safe accommodation for agricultural workers that complies with social distancing requirements.
- Arrangement will also need to be in place for a declaration between employers and employees that all protocols necessary to ensure human health and accommodation requirements have been met.
We will endeavour to keep you updated as further developments occur.
Migration Consultant (MARN:0105680)
Please contact us directly if you have any questions regarding the above information.
Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.