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Options for temporary work visa holders in Australia during COVID-19

Posted on May 25, 2020
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Australia temporary work visa

The current Coronavirus pandemic has forced many governments across the world to take swift decisions to protect their citizens and immigrants living in their countries. The Australian government is trying its best to protect the interests of immigrants especially those on Australian temporary work visas.

During the coronavirus outbreak, the Australian government has made numerous improvements to temporary visa holder arrangements to protect the community’s health, safeguard work prospects for Australians, help critical industries and assist with the rapid recovery post the pandemic.

As regards COVID-19, all temporary visa holders will have to follow public health advice.

Wherever possible, it is crucial that temporary visa holders maintain legal status. Irrespective of the visa status of a person, if they’re sick, they can access the government’s health system.

 Temporary visa holders who are unable to support themselves will be urged by the government to return to their home countries.

If this is not possible, they can access some portion of their Australian superannuation if they are eligible.

As a Temporary Skill Shortage visa holder, what are my options if I have been furloughed or if my work hours have been reduced?

You have the option to maintain your visa validity and businesses can extend your visa as per normal arrangements.

Employers have the option to reduce your work hours without the risk of breaching the visa conditions or violating employer obligations.

If you have been furloughed or had your work hours reduced but are still employed, you can access up to 10,000 dollars of your Australian superannuation.

What are my options if I have lost my job due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

You should find another job within 60 days or plan to leave the country if it is possible.

What should I do if I cannot find another job?

The best option for you is to find ways to depart from Australia.

What is my option if I cannot return to my home country?

If you cannot return to your home country, you must maintain your valid visa and contact the health department whenever necessary.

You can apply for a bridging visa to stabilize your visa status and can leave the country when travel restrictions are removed.

You can contact the Department of Home Affairs’ Status Resolution Service (SRS) for help. The SRS officers will explain the visa options available to you and help you plan your departure from Australia. They will provide information on other services you can access.

My bridging visa is about to expire what should I do?

If you are unable to depart before the expiry date, you should apply for a new bridging visa.

I have a bridging visa and want to leave Australia, what should I do?

You can contact the immigration department’s Status Resolution Service who can help you with your return, booking of plane tickets, help you with your travel documents and assist you in reaching your destination country.

Can I work while staying on a Bridging visa?

You can work if the conditions of your visa allow you to. You can work if you cannot meet your living expenses and will also have access to up to 10,000 dollars of your superannuation for the 2019-20 financial year.

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