As the Australian government has been announcing many financial support packages to eligible residents, citizens and other visa holders, we have been asked for advice by many of our customers if they were eligible for one or more of the support packages, so it was logical for us to try and assist the community during this hard time. We tried as much as possible to include accurate data to those who are currently experiencing sudden financial hardship and need financial support to continue their stay in Australia as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
We have summarised below the latest updates from different reliable sources, but please refer to the latest updates published by the Government as this article cannot be used as a reference.
Student and Training Visas
At the moment, the Government is not providing any financial support packages to claim for International Students (visas subclasses 500, 590) or for training visa (subclass 407) holders. However, students being employed at one of the major supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths can extend their working hours in order to assist meeting the demand of essential items to the Australian community. The same applies for those working at aged care facilities.
Students and trainees who are currently facing financial hardship due to loss of employment or reduction in working hours are encouraged to contact their embassies, universities or overseas family to seek financial support. Those who have been in Australia for longer than 12 months can request early access to their Australian superannuation to help them through these hard times.
Students who have been here longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.
Temporary Visa Holders
Visa holders such as the TSS 482 and 457 visas are also not included in the Government financial support scheme, which is also extended to other temporary visa holders such as Short Stay Activity (400 visa), Temporary Activity (408 visa), Training Visa (407 visa) and International Relations Visa (403 visa).
Those visa holders will however be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation if they meet certain eligibility criteria that it available on the ATO website, the media release is also here.
Temporary visa holders will be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in this financial
Visitors are also not included in the Government’s financial support packages released so far, including the following subclasses: 600 (Visitor Visa), 601 (electronic travel authority) or 651 (eVisitor).
Since visitors are not allowed to work legally in Australia, they are urged to contact their relevant embassies or consulate to arrange for support or travel back home. Other service providers are also available such as the International Organization for Migration or Homeward Return Program.
Temporary partner visa holders (820 and 309), including those who have already applied for permanent partner visas (801 and 100) are not eligible for the JobSeeker or JobKeeper support announced by the Government.
Current subclasses 820 and 309 visa holders could be eligible in certain situations to apply for Centrelink support for a limited range of benefits including Family Tax Benefit, Dad and Partner Pay, Parental Leave Pay, and Low Income Health Care Card. Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa holders are not eligible for any of these government support packages.
Permanent visa holders usually should wait for 2 or 4 years after arriving in Australia before claiming any benefits, however, due to Covid-19 circumstances, the waiting periods have been waived for certain payments and benefits like Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Austudy, Parenting Payment Single and Partnered, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.
Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) 188 visa holders are also not eligible for the government support packages introduced due to COVID-19 outbreak.
Skilled Visa Workers
If you currently hold one of the recently introduced Regional Visas Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) or Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa, you may meet the definition of Australian resident for social security purpose.
However, Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) and Skilled-Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) are not eligible for the support packages.
Working Holiday Visas
Holder of a Working Holiday visas are currently not eligible for financial support by the Australian Government.
However, working holiday visa holders working in certain critical sectors such as heath, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing, and childcare 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 coming six months.
Some Parent visa holders may be eligible for the recently announced support packages and Medicare. These include Contributory parent visa (subclass 143), Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173), Contributory Aged Parent visa- Temporary (subclass 884), Aged Parent visa (subclass 804), Parent visa (subclass 103).
Sponsored Parent 870 Visa holders are currently excluded from the financial benefits due to the outbreak.
Refugee and Humanitarian Visas
You may be able to apply for financial support if you are a holder of the following visas: subclass 060 – Bridging visa F, subclass 070 – Bridging (Removal Pending), subclass 449 – Humanitarian Stay, subclass 785 – Temporary Protection, subclass 786 – Temporary (Humanitarian Concern) and subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa (SHEV).
New Zealand Citizen – Subclass 444 holders
If you current hold a Subclass 444, you may be eligible for Job Keeper or Job Seeker payment.
The Department of Home Affairs has advised that anyone who would like to extend his stay in Australia, they must apply for a new visa. If you need help or advice, book a consultation with us today and we will be able to assist you in line with the latest updates from the Government.