Reduced hours and access to super permitted for Temporary Visa holders - but no wage subsidies 

Acting Federal Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge has announced that temporary visa holders will be able to work reduced hours without breaching their visa conditions. They will also gain limited access to their superannuation.

However, temporary visa holders – with the exception of New Zealanders on the Subclass 444 visa – will not be eligible for government support, including JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments.

“There has always been an expectation that temporary visa holders are able to support themselves while in Australia… Temporary visa holders who are unable to support themselves under these arrangements over the next six months are strongly encouraged to return home,” the Minister said in a statement.

We have summarised the available options for employers and different types of temporary visa holders following this update. As always, please feel free to reach out to us for advice on how these regulations apply to your individual situation.

If you are...Available optionsImportant to note

An employer sponsoring Subclass 457/482 workers

Can reduce worker hours without being in breach of sponsorship obligations

Can apply to extend visas as per usual

While the department has indicated that reducing hours will not be treated as a breach, we are awaiting further policy details to determine exactly how and in which circumstances this leniency will be applied.

Generally if hours are reduced, the duties performed should remain the same, the change must be mutually agreed upon by the employer and employee, and the reason for the change clearly documented.

We recommend employers seek professional advice if considering reducing worker hours.

A Subclass 457/482 visa holder who has been stood down, but not laid off ie. terminated or retrenched

Can reduce worked hours without being in breach of visa conditions

Can access up to $10,000 of your superannuation this financial year

A Subclass 457/482 visa holder who has been laid off ie. terminated or retrenched

Can access up to $10,000 of your superannuation this financial year

Have 60 days from last day of employment to find a new sponsor

Should leave the country if unable to secure a new sponsor

For 4-year visa holders (ie. those whose occupations are on the MLTSSL) who are re-employed after the coronavirus pandemic, time already spent in Australia will count towards permanent residency skilled work experience requirements

A working holiday maker on a Subclass 417 or 462 visa

Those working in critical sectors (heath, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing, 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 current visa is due to expire in the next six months

Should make arrangements to leave the country if unable to support yourself with these provisions

A Temporary graduate Subclass 485 visa holder

Can access up to $10,000 of your superannuation this financial year

Should consider returning to your home country if unable to support yourself with these provisions

A Subclass 600 Visitor visa holder

No exemptions or additional support available

Should return to your home country as quickly as possible, especially if lacking family support

A New Zealand citizen on a Subclass 444 visa

Those who arrived before 26 February 2001 will have access to welfare payments and the JobKeeper payment

Those who arrived after 2001 will have access to the JobKeeper payment (but not the JobSeeker payment). Those who have lived in Australia for 10 years or more have access to JobSeeker payments for six months

Should consider returning to New Zealand if unable to support yourself through these provisions

Are you an employer and need to understand how COVID-19 could impact your workers? Or an employee and worried about your visa status? Our immigration specialists are here to help.

contact us

+61 2 9212 4008

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Surry Hills,
Sydney NSW 2010

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