Australia has announced few key measures for Temporary Visa Holders in view of Covid-19
Australian Government has announced to implement a few key changes to temporary visa holder arrangements during the Covid-19 crisis in order to safeguard the health and livelihoods of Australians, support critical industries, and assist with the rapid recovery post this pandemic. The concerns of the Temporary visa holders in particular is being addressed by the government on priority.
An Overview of Temporary Visa Holders in Australia
There are nearly 2.17 million temporary visa holders in Australia at now. This includes the skilled people invited due to skills shortages, full fee-paying international students, people who came to Australia to meet family and friends; or the individuals travelled here for work and holiday.
These living in Australia temporary are also the key part of Australian economy and society. For instance, more than 8,000 skilled medical professionals on temporary visas supporting the health system of the country at this crucial juncture. Hence, there was a crucial need to make some immigration changes keeping in mind the temporary visa holders.
Also read- Impact of Covid-19 on Australia Immigration
Key Visa changes Announced for Temporary Workers in Australia
Find below the new measures announced by the government which will be applicable to major classes of temporary visa holders. The current condition will be studied periodically and further changes will be announced, if required.
Changes for Temporary Skilled visa holders
At now nearly 139,000 temporary skilled visa holders in Australia, on either a 2 year or 4 year visa. The skill shortage may still be present even after this situation is passed. As a result, those visa holders who have been stood down, but not laid off, will uphold their visa validity and companies will have the chance to extend their visa as per normal provisions.
The Businesses can also lessen the hours of the visa holder without the person being in breach of their visa condition. Moreover, such visa holders will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation current financial year. However, the visa holders who have been laid off in view of Covid-19 pandemic should leave the country in accordance with standing visa conditions if they are unable to get a new sponsor. However, the reemployment of the 4-year visa holder after the Covid-19 pandemic, shall be based on their time already spent in Oz and will count towards their permanent residency skilled work experience requirements.
Also read- Australia Skilled Visa programs, process and requirements
At now, approximately 565,000 international students in the land down under, chiefly studying in the higher education or vocational education sector. They too are the key contributors to Australia's tertiary sector and economy, and are supporting 240,000 jobs in the country.
Now, to sustain and support their in Australia, the international students are encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work where available and their own savings etc.
As part of their visa application process, foreign students have had to show that they can support themselves entirely in their 1st year. The foreign students who have been here for more than 12 months and who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation. The Government will also be supportive in cases where Covid-19 has prohibited foreign students meeting their visa conditions (such as not being able appear in classes), i.e.
- Foreign students are able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight.
- Students working in aged care and as nurses have had these hours extended to support these critical sectors.
- Foreign students working in the major supermarkets had also had these hours extended to help get stock on shelves during the high demand. From 1 May, their hours will return to the maximum 40 hours a fortnight as more Australians are being recruited into these roles.
Visitor visa holders
As per the report, close to 203,000 foreign visitors are there in Australia, normally on a visa lasting 3 months or less. The foreign tourists needs to return to their home country as hastily as possible, predominantly those without any family support. Many are already planning the same.
Working holiday makers supporting critical sectors
In Australia nearly 118,000 people staying on a Working Holiday visa (or backpacker visa) - a visa which provides regulated work rights. Moreover, in order to support the critical sectors of heath, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing, and childcare, some limited flexibility in rules will be provided. Hence, the Working holiday makers who are working in these critical sectors in particular, will be exempt from the 6 month work limitation with the one employer and entitled for a further visa to keep working in these critical sectors if their present visa is going to expire in the next six months.
However, those working holiday makers, who do not have the self-confidence to withstand themselves over the next 6 months should plan to leave the country.
Also, another 185,000 other temporary visa holders are there in the land down under and about half of them are temporary graduate visa holders. They will also be able to access their Australian superannuation if required for support. Further details will be updated soon by the relevant minister in charge.
Have plans to immigrate to Australia 2020- Here is what you need to do
Australia has imposed some temporary travel restrictions, however, once the Covid-19 crisis is over, Australia's immigration programs will be back on track in terms of inviting new applicants and processing the applications on priority. Australia is facing skill shortage, and hence, people with skill and talent are always welcomed in Australia.
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Disclaimer- The source of the information shared on this page is the official website of Australia Immigration, i.e. www.homeaffairs.gov.au and the same is subject to change/update based on the latest or new guidelines, issued by the Government of Australia in this regard. To know the latest status of shared information, you may write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.