The Covid-19 pandemic has not only had health ramifications but has also had an impact on the Australian economy. While the Australian Federal Government has established the Jobseeker and Jobkeeper programs to help Australian individuals and businesses through this tough time, unfortunately, temporary visa holders are ineligible for these payments.
Many temporary visa holders work in industries such as hospitality that have been severely affected by the restrictions imposed due the COVID-19 situation. While temporary visa holders have been advised to go home if they are unable to support themselves financially while in Australia, for some this is not an option.
Thankfully some of the states across Australia have taken matters into their own hands and offered assistance to these temporary visa holders. States that have set aside funding for temporary visa holders are Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
What are each of the states offering?
The Victorian Government will make relief payments of up to $1,100 as part of the International Student Emergency Relief Fund. Worth $45 million, this government support package will be available to tens of thousands of international students.
Queensland has allocated $2.2 million in funding to assist international students. Assistance will include access to professional support counsellors, isolation care packages, pre-prepared meals and other living expense payments to students.
South Australia’s $13.8 million relief package will offer emergency cash grants and other assistance paid through the universities to international students.
Australian Capital Territory
As part of the Jobs for Canberrans package, the ACT has a government support package of $450,000 for international students, asylum seekers and refugees.
Any temporary visa holder can apply for relief under Tasmania’s $3 million support package. There are three different types of relief available. These are:
- The Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants
- Emergency relief and assistance
- Support to return to their country of origin
Visa holders under financial hardship are eligible for $250 and families can apply for $1,000 in assistance.
Western Australia has launch StudyPerth Crisis Relief to help students access emergency accommodation, supplies and healthcare.
The Northern Territory’s Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan enables businesses to apply for support to assist workers such as temporary visa holders that are not eligible for Jobkeeper payments. StudyNT has also created care packages for international students.
Each of these states has recognised that temporary visa holders make a valuable contribution to our economy. While all of Australia is undergoing difficult circumstances, this help will go a long way.
If you would like more information about temporary visas and how they have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, contact the team at Visa Solutions on 1800 828 008.