National

Government introduces temporary visa changes

Government introduces temporary visa changes
The Morrison government has made temporary changes for those people on temporary visas currently in Australia to help assist with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working holiday visa

There are about 118,000 people in Australia on a working holiday visa – or backpacker visa – which will be given some flexibility for the next six months.
There are about 118,000 people in Australia on a working holiday visa – or backpacker visa – which will be given some flexibility for the next six months. (AAP)
This is focused on supporting the critical sectors of health, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing, and childcare.
Those who are working in these critical will be exempt from the six-month work limitation with the one employer and eligible for a further visa to keep working if their current visa is due to expire in the next six months.

Temporary skilled visa holders

Around 139,000 temporary skilled visa holders – on either a two-year or four-year visa – fill skill shortages, a shortage that may still be present when the crisis has passed.
Those 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 conditions.
These visa holders will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year.
Tops tips for minimizing coronavirus transmission. (9News)
Those visa holders who have been laid off due to COVID-19 should leave the country if they are unable to secure a new sponsor.
Should a four-year visa holder be re-employed after the pandemic, their time already spent in Australia will count towards their permanent residency skilled work experience requirements.

New Zealanders on 444 visas

There are 672,000 New Zealanders in Australia on a subclass 444 visa.
Those who arrived before February 26, 2001 will have access to welfare payments and the JobKeeper payment.
Those who arrive after 2001 have access to the JobKeeper payment, but do not have access to JobSeeker payment.
New Zealanders should consider returning to New Zealand if they are unable to support themselves through these provisions, work or family support.

Others

There are another 185,000 other temporary visa holders in Australia, about half of them temporary graduate visa holders.
They will also be able to access their Australian superannuation is needed for support.

Coronavirus: what you need to know

How is coronavirus transmitted?
The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.
How can I protect myself and my family?
World Health Organisation and NSW Health both recommend basic hygiene practices as the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.
Good hygiene includes:
  • Clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or your elbow;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
  • Apply safe food practices; and
  • Stay home if you are sick.
For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the9News appand set notifications to on at theApp StoreorGoogle Play.You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App StoreGoogle Playand theGovernment's WhatsApp channel.

With AAP.
© AAP 2020