COVID19 Updates – New Rules for Temporary Visa Holders

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New arrangements for International Students, visas 482/457 and Working Holiday temporary visa holders

After a week of announcements in which were put in place measures to help Australian citizens cope with the COVID19 crisis, The Government release the arrangements and changes to temporary visa holders.

This was done in order to protect the health and livelihoods of Australians, support critical industries, and assist with the rapid recovery post the virus.

The changes will affect mainly 482/457 and Working Holiday Visa holders and International students in Australia.

Student Visa Holders

The government is aware of the contribution that international students have in the Australian economy.

As part of their visa application, international students have had to demonstrate that they can support themselves completely in their first year and for that reason will still be encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work where available and their own savings to sustain themselves in Australia. 

Students who have been here longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation the same way as Australian citizens or residents and access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year.

The 40-hour per fortnight restriction on work hours for international students will be relaxed to allow them to work more hours, if they are in the aged care or nursing sector.

Lastly, the Government will also be flexible in cases where Coronavirus has prevented international students from meeting their visa conditions (such as not being able to attend classes).

Working Holiday Visa Holders

The government announced that to support the critical sectors of health, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing, and childcare, some limited flexibility will be provided to working holiday visa holders.

In particular, who are working in these critical sectors 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.

Temporary Skilled visa holders

482 and 457 visa holders who have been stood down (told to hold until the situation improves), but not lost their job, will maintain their visa validity and businesses will have the opportunity to extend their visa as per normal arrangements. 

Employers 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.

The visa holders that lost their job due to coronavirus should leave the country in line with their visa conditions

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.

For updates and news on migration, borders, studies, and much more, visit our live news section!

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