In an unprecedented move the Government look set to offer the 2.3 million temporary visa holders residing in Australia access to special welfare payments and visa extensions.
Whilst the full details of how this will work are yet to be released sources have indicated that assistance may be available for visa holders facing significant financial hardship under the Special Benefit payment and Coronavirus supplement of $550 announced a couple of days ago.
The move has been welcomed by the Migration Industry as migration agents around Australian have been getting more enquires from temporary visa holders, now jobless and looking for alternative arrangements. The Migration Council of Australia has suggested that there is an imminent need to grant an extension of six-twelve months across all temporary visa categories to ensure we give temporary migrants a sense of security.
Whilst most student visa holders and temporary work visas carry a requirement of maintaining a private health insurance policy, many of these do not cover pandemics. Temporary access to Medicare in the short term may become an option.
There will be more to follow on this over the coming days and you can follow us on a number of social media channels to understand visa updates and developments with Covid-19.
We also have a dedicated Facebook group to assist Temporary Skills Shortage Visa applicants and holders. If you have any concerns please join the group by following the link below and the community will attempt to help however we can.