The Government Announces COVID-19 Concessions for 457 and 482 Temporary Visa Holders in Australia

Following many weeks of uncertainty for thousands of temporary work visa holders and their employers in Australia, the Government has released an announcement offering some clarity regarding concessions for 457 and 482 visa holders who may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, the acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Alan Tudge MP, announced the following concessions:

How these announcement affects 457 and 482 visa holders

  1. Allowances to access $10,000 of their Super
    Temporary visa holders will have the option to access up to $10,000 of their Australian superannuation this financial year if they need financial support during this time;
  2. Allowances for 457 and 482 Visa Holders to be stood down by employers
    457/482 visa holders will not be in breach of their conditions if they are stood down by the approved employer, provided they are not laid off by their employer. Likewise, they will also not be in breach of their visa conditions
    should their hours be reduced by the business;
  3. If laid off, allowances for time spent in Australia to count towards future residency
    Temporary visa holders who have been laid off due to COVID-19 and have been required to travel back to their home country may be able to count the time they have already spent in Australia on a subclass 482 or 457 visa towards a future permanent residency skilled visa application; and
  4. Eligibility for new COVID-19 stream – subclass 408 Temporary Activity Visa
    Temporary visa holders who are affected by COVID-19 and are unable to leave Australia may be eligible for the Subclass 408 Temporary Activity Visa in the newly introduced COVID-19 Pandemic stream if they work in a critical sector in Australia.

How these announcement affects 408 Working Holiday Visa holders

In good news for working holiday makers currently in Australia, the Subclass 408 Visa in the COVID-19 Pandemic stream is also available.

Eligibility for new COVID-19 stream – subclass 408 Temporary Activity Visa

  • For those with an upcoming visa expiry date who cannot leave Australia and are unable to meet the three or six month specified work requirement.
  • Applicants of this visa must work in the critical sectors of health, aged and disability care, childcare, agriculture, and food processing.

Obligations still apply for Employers and Employees

It should be highlighted, however, that employees and their sponsors are still subject to certain obligations with respect to their employment contract, such as maintaining their employment under the same conditions for which the visa was approved.

These obligations include:

  • The annual salary
  • Working in their nominated role
  • Ensuring the employment remains full time.

If you have any questions at all, please contact us by clicking here or give us a call on 1300 193 326 to ensure you are covered legally.