Lifeline for Temporary Visitor Visa Holders
The Australian newspaper is reporting that special welfare payments and visa extensions will be offered to non-residents who lose their job and are stranded in Australia, unable to return home, due to the Coronavirus.
There are an estimated 1.5 million people currently on temporary visas without access to government services.
Reports suggest that the government is looking at a form of support payment and are devising a plan to place highly skilled temporary migrants into high demand regions, such as health, aged care, agriculture, and other essential services.
This welfare assistance may also include partner visa and humanitarian visa holders.
Currently, no temporary or provisional visa holders have access to welfare support, except people on a special category visa, who arrived before February 2020.
The aim of the government is to ensure businesses can continue to operate, people can keep their jobs and visa holders can support themselves as the full impact of the COVID-19 unfolds.
Migration Council of Australia CEO, Carla Wilshire welcomed the move but called for the government to go further and make emergency and basic income support available to all visa holders who lose their jobs.
If you wish to apply for an exemption, please contact us to discuss your circumstances or book a consultation.