Temporary Skilled & Work Holiday Visa Changes
Temporary Skilled visa holders
There are around 139,000 temporary skilled visa holders, on either a 2 year or 4 year visa. They were provided the visa to fill a skills shortage – a shortage that may still be present when the crisis has passed.
Consequently, 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 condition.
These visa holders will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year.
Those visa holders who have been laid off due to coronavirus should leave the country in line with existing visa conditions if they are unable to secure a new sponsor. 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.
Working holiday makers supporting critical sectors
There are about 118,000 people in Australia on a Working Holiday visa (or backpacker visa) – a visa which provides conditional work rights.
To support the critical sectors of heath, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing, and childcare, some limited flexibility will be provided.
In particular, working holiday makers 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.
In general, working holiday makers that do not have the confidence to sustain themselves over the next six months should make arrangements to leave the country.
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 if needed for support.
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Note: this update, or any previous updates on this page, do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Please call our office to seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content on this page