There are 2.3 million temporary visa holders residing in Australia, and during the current coronavirus crisis many are unable to work or travel home. During these uncertain times the Federal Government will offer special welfare payments and visa extensions to people in these situations.
The welfare assistance may be available to temporary visa holders if the truly face significant hardship under the Special Benefit payment. The Government is looking at the safeguarding across all visa categories and considering everyone who remains within Australian borders during this time. Along with temporary visa holders, other visa holders such as partner visas and temporary humanitarian visa may also be eligible for the Special Benefit.
The Department may also look into the provision of temporary Medicare access to people on temporary visas who don’t currently have it as health insurance is often time- limited and some policies do not cover pandemics.
If your visa will expire before you think you will be able to leave Australia, you must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires. In most cases applications will be granted a bridging visa that will allow them to remain in the country legally until the Department decides on their application.
As always we are working to understand more about the changes to all visa's during this time and finding ways to support you throughout the coronavirus crisis.