COVID-19 & Visa Changes for Temporary Visa Holders

During the coronavirus outbreak, the Australian Government is making a number of changes to temporary visa holder arrangements to protect Australians ‘health and livelihoods, support vital industries, and assist with the rapid post-virus recovery.

All were temporarily accepted to Australia for different reasons including filling in skills shortages; studying as full fee-paying foreign students; visiting family and friends or working and going on vacation.

Visa changes

 Temporary visa holders who cannot help themselves under these conditions are highly advised to return home within the next six months. It’s time for these people to go home and preparations will be made as soon as possible.

Visitor Visa Holders

 International visitors, particularly those without family support, should return to their home country as quickly as possible.

Student Visa Holders

Students who have been in Australia for more than 12 months and are in financial distress will be entitled to use their Australian superannuation.

International students can work as many as 40 hours per fortnight. Those hours had also been extended for foreign students working in the critical sectors such as supermarkets to help get products on the shelves during high demand.

From 1st May 2020, as more Australians are recruited into those positions, their hours will return to the usual 40 hours a fortnight.

Temporary Skilled Visa Holders

 There are approximately 139,000 temporary skilled visa holders, either on a 2 to 4 years visa. They were granted the visa to fill a shortage of skills – a shortage that could still be present at the time of the crisis.

Consequently, visa holders who have been laid off by the employers will have to find another employer in 6 months to maintain their visa sponsor, or else will be required to depart Australia. Whereas, those employers have been only Stood off will be able to maintain the validity of their visa as normal. Businesses will also be able to reduce the visa holder’s hours without the individual violating their visa status.

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