(This article is prepared by Barrister Jason Raftos for our eNewsletter dated 12 May 2020. The opinion expressed are those of the author and does not necessarily represent those of the Chamber or its council members. Fill in the form at the bottom of our main webpage to subscribe for future eNewsletter)
Recent Visa Changes
The Federal Government has introduced some visa changes in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The following is a brief summary of those key changes.
Temporary Skill Shortage Visas
For subclass 482 TSS visa holders, if they lose their employment, then they must leave Australia unless they can find alternative employment within 60 days. If they have been stood down then they may:
(a) have their work hours reduced;
(b) access their superannuation; and
(c) extend their visa.
Working Holiday Visas
For Subclass 417 and 462 (“working holiday”) visa holders, they may:
(a) now work with the same employer for more than 6 months; and
(b) be eligible for a further visa if their current visa is due to expire in the next 6 months.
The above working holiday visa changes are on the proviso the visa holder works in a critical sector – childcare, health, aged and disability care, agriculture or food processing.
Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme workers may also extend their stay for up to 12 months.
New Temporary Visa – COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa
The Temporary Activity (subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream visa (“COVID-19 Pandemic event visa”) has been introduced for people who are:
(a) in Australia and unable to depart due to COVID-19;
(b) have 28 days or less remaining on their current visa or their last temporary visa has expired less than 28 days ago and are not eligible for any other visa; or
(c) have evidence from their employer that they have ongoing work in a critical sector and that an Australian or Permanent Resident cannot fill the position.
Other temporary visa holders may apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa but only where there is no other visa options and it is not possible to leave Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Work rights will be limited to critical sectors.
Jason Raftos is a Barrister who practises primarily in the areas of employment law, industrial law, discrimination, migration and safety.
M: 0417 007 821
A: Level 3, 267 St Georges Terrace Perth WA 6000
This article has been prepared for general information purposes only.