Support for Tasmania's temporary visa holders
There are a significant number of temporary visa holders in Tasmania that have lost their jobs and are experiencing hardship due to the restrictions in place to protect Tasmanians. Temporary visa holders are not entitled to income support from the Australian Government.
The Tasmanian Government has announced support for temporary visa holders who are experiencing difficulties.
What is available
There are three types of assistance that will be made available to temporary visa holders:
- Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants will be made available for those who can demonstrate genuine financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Emergency relief and assistance will be provided through partnered non-government organisations where required. Details of this support and how to access it will be provided here when available.
- Support to return to their country of origin. The nature of support will be determined once we have a clear picture of who needs help and where they are going. Anyone wanting assistance to return to their country of origin was required to register their interest by 5.00pm, 23 May 2020. Applications are currently being considered and individual applicants will be contacted as these are assessed.
Who is the assistance available to
To be eligible for assistance you must meet the following criteria:
- currently reside in Tasmania; and
- currently hold the following visas (see list below); and
- can demonstrate hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible visa categories:
- Student visas (Subclass 500)
- Temporary graduates (Subclass 485)
- Provisional Visa Holders (Subclass 489 & 491)
- Temporary Skilled (Subclass 457 & 482)
- Seasonal Worker and Pacific Labour Scheme Visas (403, 417 & 462)
- Bridging Visas (Subclasses 010, 020, 030, 050 and 051)
- Humanitarian Visas (Subclasses 785 and 790)
There is no requirement for you to be in quarantine to be eligible for the Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants.
Other temporary visa holders
If you are not in Tasmania on one of the the seven visa classes listed above (for example Partner Visas) and are suffering hardship without access to assistance, you should register your details through the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 so that your circumstances can be considered.
What support will be available for returning to my country of origin
The State Government will work with the Commonwealth Government, other States and Territories and the airlines to help Temporary Visa Holders to return to their country of origin. This may be, for example, by linking individuals to available flights, working with partners to increase the availability of flights and/or reducing the cost of flights so that temporary visa holders can afford to return home. The exact nature of the support will be determined once the full details of people seeking assistance is available (after 23 May 2020).
How to access this support
To access the Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grant or to register your interest in support to return to your country of origin, call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. All registrations for assistance to return to your country of origin must be received by 5.00pm on 23 May 2020.
What initiatives are already available to temporary visa holders
The Australian Government has announced temporary changes to visa arrangements to help agricultural business access the workforce it needs. View this media release for further information.