Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge, has announced some new changes in relation to foreign nationals staying in Australia.
He started by saying that our first priority is for Australian citizens and residents.
In critical industries such as health and education, Australia is putting things in place so that foreign nationals can stay longer. More flexible visas will be available. Foreign nurses can stay longer, workers on farms can stay longer etc.
If you have a valid visa, you can stay in the country, however conditions on who is supported will change as follows below. If you can’t look after yourself, and can’t live off your wages or savings, then you should make plans to head back to your home country.
These people have visas which last anywhere up to 3 months. International tourists should return back to their home countries as quickly as possible, particularly those who don’t have family here to support them.
There are nearly 600,000 international students in Australia. These people have been a terrific contributor to our economy. We encourage them to rely on their own savings, their part time work and their family support to stay here. If you’re a first year student, you should already be able to support yourself as per your visa requirements. If you are second year students, lean on your family, access your superannuation that you may have accrued.
New Zealanders 444 Visa
NZ and Australia has a reciprocal agreement, where they can come here to work and vice verca. About half of the 600,000 or so of the New Zealanders in the country, will have access to Jobseeker. Those who won’t, should consider to return to NZ to get support they need.
Temp Skilled Visa
Temporary skilled visa holders are people who have been invited and sponsored to fill skill shortages in Australia. Typically they are here on 2 or 4 year visas. Many of those businesses who are sponsoring those people are doing it tough. For those who have been stood down or had their hours reduced by their business sponsor, their visa will remain valid. It’s an indication of the business owner, that they want this employee to stay, and help rebuild on the other side of this. We will give them access to up to $10,000 of their superannuation.
For those who have been laid off, the normal arrangements apply. That is, that you will have 60 days to seek another business to sponsor you in the country, otherwise you will need to leave the country.
Working holiday – backpackers
There are 118,000 here on what is what is known as backpacker visas, who can work for a limited amount of time. The changes only relate to critical areas like childcare, healthcare, farming – and in these critical areas we are making changes to allow these people to work longer in these areas.
Typically you can only work for 6 months for one employer. If your skills are being used in these critical areas, you can work longer. If your visa expires after a year, it will be extended for another year.
In addition to that, we’ll also be extending seasonal workers program and civid workers scheme. We’ll extend the rights of those people to stay in the country for up to an additional 12 months.
More to come.
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