Want to pursue education in Australia? Want to travel and work in Perth? All was well until the uncalled-for coronavirus arrived. Although, specific safety-related changes have been implemented. This post is carefully curated to update you on temporary visa changes in Australia. Keep reading to know more and take decisions accordingly. If further queries arise, contact Migration lawyers Perth for local news and updates.
Visa Amendments – Highlights
The Covid crisis has led to certain alterations in the options available for temporary visa holders in Australia. These have been regulated as a precautionary measure by the acting Immigration Minister of Australia. The measures are as follows;
- There is an estimate of around 2.17 million temporary visa holders residing in Australia. Immigrants without financial support are advised to depart Australia and return back.
- Temporary visa holders are not allowed to re-enter Australia due to the existing travel ban unless conditions apply.
- Usually, there’s no government financial aid for these visa holders. However, it may be available to certain New Zealand citizens. Even some temporary visa holders are allowed to access their superfund if needed.
- Those unable to return to their country of nationality due to Covid may apply for a subclass 408 visa. This will allow them lawful residence in Australia until the crisis dissolves.
General Requirements for all Australian Immigrants post-Covid
Non-compliance with the following rules may lead to a visa application decline/rejection. The conditions go as follows;
- Meet all the visa eligibility requirements.
- Meet health requirements. Your medical chart should state a negative Covid report.
- Comply with Australian laws
- Must be able to sustain oneself while in Australia
- Comply with general Covid regulations such as social distancing to avoid visa cancellation
With the pandemic in action, the Government of Australia has made some necessary changes for its temporary visa holding immigrants. These changes are a result of measures to aid;
- The Australian economy
- The health response to the Covid crisis
- Safety and health of the Australian population
Below enlisted are the changes that have been incorporated by the Government. These changes are, however, subject to periodic revisions. Consulting temporary visa lawyers is recommended to keep yourself updated. Please note, the following is accurate as of the 4 April 2020 announcement. It was made by the Acting Minister of Immigration in Australia.
- Visitor Visas
Australia has an inflow of around 203,000 international visitors. The Government is recommending them to return to their own countries. Especially, those visitors without family or financial support are requested to follow along. They are allowed to depart from Australia. They can consult their respective home country consulates/embassies for help regarding their return. Other general conditions that were applicable on visitor visa holding immigrants are still in place. The 8101 no work condition is still in place whereby an immigrant on a visitor visa cannot work in Australia.
- Subclass 444 special category visa
A 444 visa allows visit, work, study and living benefits as long as the applicant retains his/her New Zealand citizenship. The temporary visa doesn’t offer them the same rights as an Australian citizen. In the post Covid scenario, there have been changes implemented on 444 as well. New Zealand entries before 26 February 2001 will have access to welfare benefits such as the JobSeeker payments. Employees will have access to the JobKeeper payments. New Zealand entrée after 2001 can keep accessing their JobKeeper payments. If they have resided in Australia for ten or more years, they can access their JobSeeker payments for six months.
- Temporary skilled visas
Under this, condition 8607 is still applicable. 8607 requires the holders to get a new approval and new visa grant in case of a job change. Temporary working visa holders who have been stood down but not laid off are allowed to maintain their visa validity. Businesses can extend their visa as per normal requirement. Businesses can reduce the hours of these visa holders without the existence of a breach of visa conditions. Temporary skilled visa holders who have been stood down can access up to $10,000 of their Australian superannuation. This is necessary to aid them with financial support.
Visa holders who have been laid off and are unable to secure a new sponsor are encouraged to depart Australia. There might be a re-employment opportunity for a four-year visa holder. They might achieve a way to access permanent residence through consideration of their pre-working experience in Australia.
- Working holiday visas
To aid critical sectors of health, aged and disability care, childcare agriculture and food processing, the Government has allowed for some flexible provisions. A working visa holder employed in any of the above-mentioned critical sectors is exempted from the six-month working limitation. They can also apply for a new visa if their existing visa expires within the next six months. The holders who have no sustenance capacity are advised to leave Australia and return back to their homeland.
- International Students
As per pre-existing visa conditions, students have to provide evidence that they can support themselves entirely in the first year. They are advised to depend on part-time work, savings and family support for sustaining themselves in Australia. Students residing for twelve months or more facing a financial crisis can access their Australian superannuation fund. The Government has also indicated possible flexibility in cases of a breach of visa conditions due to the pandemic. Generally, an international student can work up to 40 hours per fortnight. However, students working the critical sectors such as nursing and aged care are allowed a working time extension.
Seek professional assistance
If you are seeking answers regarding other aspects of visa amendments made in Australia, consult a professional. Talking to Immigration lawyers Perth may come in handy as they are equipped with local laws and updates. They can provide guaranteed assistance and appropriate advice. Make your visa application process effortless. Cut down on time-consuming hours of research figuring out visa changes through an expert visa lawyer. Covid has undoubtedly led to unwanted developments regarding immigration in various countries. The assistance from experts will surely help you in this regard.