We've made a number of recommendations to the government in relation to visa holders during the uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis.
We understand that Australia needs to first look after Australian citizens, permanent residents and New Zealand citizens, but from there we need to support the temporary visa holders who have contributed to our economy and should have access to funding as they lose work hours or are stood down as a result of COVID-19.
Below is the full letter sent to the government from our founder, Jamie Lingham:
We were disappointed to learn that the JobKeeper payment did not extend to subclass 457 and subclass 482 visa holders, especially those who have been stood down in the travel, tourism, hospitality, accommodation, entertainment and aviation industries.
These people have not only contributed to Australia through payment of taxes, their employers have also paid a significant financial amount to have them sponsored in Australia. The Department fees of $2,645 (for primary applicant and dependents over 18yrs), plus the four-year SAF Levy of $7,200 reflects $9,845 that Australian business has contributed to workers that they cannot currently employ.
Further to the above, I have also heard of employers in the hospitality industry that have taken out loans so that they can continue to support their sponsored employers, as they do not currently have access to government assistance.
Those that really need assistance
Of the remaining visa holders in Australia that were not covered in the announcement, we believe that we need to acknowledge and protect sponsored workers that have made a significant contribution to Australia up to this point through payment of taxes and contribution to the country on many levels.
My understanding is that there are approximately 17,000 sponsored workers on 457/482 visas in hospitality, travel and tourism.If this is correct, we would only be asking for a very small group (0.05% of the 2.2 million temporary visa holders currently in Australia) to receive a payment that will ensure they can survive in Australia, especially at a time that they cannot leave, even if they want to!
Please let me know if you have any questions, or would like to discuss this further.
Global Immigration Leader