Nearly 90,000 temporary graduate visa holders in Australia have been trapped in the country without any financial support amid the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
As the virus continues to cause global economic devastation, the Morrison government has passed a $130bn support package with a new JobKeeper payment, a subsidy to keep Australians in work, but this does not include visa holders, VisaGuide.World reports.
The temporary graduate visa holders income only help them to cover their living expenses. They mainly work in industries that have been highly affected by the virus, such as hospitality and they are not involved in the JobKeeper payment.
In an effort to help them, the Tasmanian government announced that will allocate $3 million support package for temporary visa holders which would include 485 visa holders, as well.
The 485 visa includes international graduates of a qualification from an Australian institution. This kind of visa enables them to stay in Australia for until four years and gain work experience.
As for now, this is the first support from any state or territory government.
International education is Australia’s third-largest export and its largest services export. International education contributes almost $40 billion to the Australian economy, creating nearly 250,000 full-time jobs.
Australia also decided to withdraw up to $10,000 from their superannuation funds for temporary visa holders who have been living and working in Australia for more than a year.
The decision announced by the Australian Immigration Minister Alan Tudge came in a bid to help the residents who have been financially affected by the Coronavirus.
Amid Coronavirus, international students have been allowed to work longer hours, starting from May in elderly care facilities as well as in supermarkets.
Australia decided to allow more than 20,000 international nursing students to work 40 hours in a fortnight, in an effort to tackle the spread of the pandemic.
Even though Australian government offered to help residents with working rights, temporarily visa holders who have lost their jobs have been urged by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to return to their home nations as far as possible.
But Morrison’s comment has caused polemics. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that Australia should do more to help their temporary residents, a majority of whom are New Zealanders.