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On 6 April 2020 the Australian Government released a new stream of the Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa to provide some certainty to the status of temporary visa holders during this uncertain time.

This stream is specifically for temporary visa holders whose visas have or will soon expire and are unable or unwilling to exit Australia because of COVID-19.

applicants must:

  • be in Australia;
  • hold a visa that will expire in the next 28 days (or has expired in the past 28 days);
  • be unable to depart Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • be unable to make an application for the same subclass of a visa that the applicant currently holds.

If they are granted this visa, they will only be able to undertake the specific activities set out in the visa application so there are no adverse consequences for the employment of Australian citizens and residents.

other changes

The Government has also made a number of other changes to help temporary visa holders and their employers in Australia, including confirming businesses will be able to reduce the visa holder’s working hours without them being in breach of their visa conditions or their sponsorship obligations.

Those who meet the eligibility requirements may also be able to access a portion of their superannuation during the pandemic crisis. Some student visa conditions will also be relaxed in relation to class attendance and work hours for those working in essential services until 1 May 2020.

If you have any queries in relation to the insight topics or require specific advice, please contact our Employment, Safety and Migration team at Macpherson Kelley.

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federal government provides new visa for temporary visa holders who cannot leave Australia

14 April 2020
nicole brown

On 6 April 2020 the Australian Government released a new stream of the Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa to provide some certainty to the status of temporary visa holders during this uncertain time.

This stream is specifically for temporary visa holders whose visas have or will soon expire and are unable or unwilling to exit Australia because of COVID-19.

applicants must:

  • be in Australia;
  • hold a visa that will expire in the next 28 days (or has expired in the past 28 days);
  • be unable to depart Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • be unable to make an application for the same subclass of a visa that the applicant currently holds.

If they are granted this visa, they will only be able to undertake the specific activities set out in the visa application so there are no adverse consequences for the employment of Australian citizens and residents.

other changes

The Government has also made a number of other changes to help temporary visa holders and their employers in Australia, including confirming businesses will be able to reduce the visa holder’s working hours without them being in breach of their visa conditions or their sponsorship obligations.

Those who meet the eligibility requirements may also be able to access a portion of their superannuation during the pandemic crisis. Some student visa conditions will also be relaxed in relation to class attendance and work hours for those working in essential services until 1 May 2020.

If you have any queries in relation to the insight topics or require specific advice, please contact our Employment, Safety and Migration team at Macpherson Kelley.