A guide for temporary visa holders
As a temporary visa holder who’s lost work due to the COVID-19 crisis, your only source of support may be to access your Australian superannuation early.
The Australian Government announced that temporary residents who meet certain criteria may be able to access up to $10,000 of their super fund so we've put together a short guide about who's eligible, how much you can access and how long it will take to receive funds.
Who is eligible?
Temporary residents must be in one of the following circumstances in order to be eligible for early release of their super:
- You hold a student visa that you have held for 12 months or more and you are unable to meet immediate living expenses
- You are a temporary skilled work visa holders and still employed but unable to meet immediate living expenses
- You are a temporary resident visa holder (excluding student or skilled worker visas) and you can’t meet immediate living expenses
You do not need to submit evidence with your application but you should keep records and documents to confirm your eligibility and you may be asked for this information at some point.
Accessing your super
Temporary visa holders can only submit one application for COVID-19 early release of super between 20 April and 30 June 2020. Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents can make one other application in the next financial year between 1 July and 24 September 2020.
Before you apply there are a few things you need to have set up:
- Set up your myGov account and link it to the ATO
- Have your Australian bank account information ready
- Have your contact details ready
- Check your super balance either through the ATO online services, your super fund’s online portal, your most recent statement from your super fund or call you super fund directly
And it's important to note that you are able to apply for COIVD-19 early release if you have previously accessed your super early in other circumstances.
You can apply for up to $10,000 from your super and if you apply for an amount greater than your actual balance, your fund will only release the amount available (up to $10,000).
If you have a state-administered fund or you’re a member of an exempt public sector super scheme (EPSSS) you will need to confirm whether they’re allowed to release super due to COVID-19 before you submit an application.
If you have an ATO-held super it cannot be accessed directly from the ATO for a COVID-19 early release, you will need to transfer it to your super fund before you can apply for COVID-19 early release of super. You can do this through myGov.
You’ll receive a response to your application in 4 days into your myGov inbox, and if you’ve signed up to it you’ll also receive an SMS notification.
If your application is approved and you have an Australia Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) fund you do not need to do anything, your fund will make the payment to you. Payment is expected to be made to members within 5 business days once their application is approved.
If you have a state-administered fund they need to follow the rules of their trust deed to determine if they’re allowed to release super due to COVID-19. You will need to get confirmation from your fund before you submit an application that they can release your super early and whether they require a letter of approval (determination) from the ATO.
If your fund is an SMSF you will need to let them know that you have received the letter of approval from us so they can make payment to you.