(updated 10 April 2020)

This section contains the following:

  1. Visa policies
  2. Stimulus packages
  3. Financial assistance by Victoria government to migrants and international students

Visa Policies

  1. Temporary Visa Subclass 408 (announced 7 April 2020)
    • The visa allows a person to remain in Australia if they have no other visa options and are unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
    • They can remain in Australia to assist in critical sectors including healthcare, disability and aged care, childcare and agriculture during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • They should have 28 days or less remaining on their current visa.
    • To get more information, or check their eligibility, they can go to this link.
  2. For visa holders onshore
    • The Department has announced that onshore visa holders wishing to extend their stay in Australia should apply for an 'appropriate' visa. In many cases this may be a visitor visa.
    • ‘No Further Stay’ waiver conditions 8503, 8534 and 8535
    • The Department has also announced that extra resources have been diverted to the ‘No Further Stay' waiver section to deal with the increased volume of requests for waivers to allow onshore visa holders to extend their stay.
    • NOTE:there is no such mechanisms in the Migration Act (1958) for an ‘extension’ of visa. ‘Extending your stay’ means that you must apply and lodge for a ‘new’ visa depending on your case.
    • A No Further Stay waiver may be made using Form 1447 and emailing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Waivers are generally being processed within days.
  3. For visa holders offshore
    • Visa holders offshore required to enter Australia by a specified date
      • Visa holders required to enter Australia by a specified date and prevented from doing so by the travel restrictions should contact the section of the Department that issued the visa and request an extension to the entry date (e.g. visa granted for offshore applicants have a specific deadline for the first entry to Australia – this should be extended)
    • Bridging Visa B (BVB) holders offshore
      • Bridging Visa B (BVB) holders offshore unable to return before expiry date may consider applying for a visitor visa to return to Australia. Bridging Visas A (BVA) should then be applied for again when onshore.
    • Applicants required to be onshore for lodgement of visa
      • Applicants required to be onshore for the lodgement of visa may need to apply for a visitor visa to Australia (e.g. spouses who want to lodge an onshore Partner subclass 820 visa)
    • Evidence of the relationship required to be provided for entry to Australia of partners of Australian citizens or permanent residents?
      • If a married or de facto relationship has not been previously declared and evidenced to the Department, documents can be submitted via Australian Immigration Enquiry Form
        • Evidence of a child/ren of the relationship and shared responsibility for care and support of children;
        • Evidence of shared finances or purchases, such as joint loan agreements for real estate, cars, major household appliances, operation of joint bank accounts;
        • Evidence that a married or de facto couple are living together (or at least not living separately and apart permanently), such as joint ownership of residential property, joint residential leases, joint rental receipts, joint utilities accounts, correspondence addressed to either or both parties at the same address; and
        • Any other documents that demonstrate that a married or de facto couple is in a genuine and continuing relationship.
  4. Student visa - relaxation work restrictions
    • Arrangements have been made to relax the 40 hour per fortnight work restrictions for student visa holders in supermarkets may work longer hours if their employing supermarket has gained approval from the Department. Approval may be obtained by employers through an online formon the Department's website: homeaffairs.gov.au
    • Aged care facilitiesmay also be granted approval to employ student visa holders in excess of the usual work restrictions. Aged care providers registered with the Department of Health are not required to register with the Department of Home Affairs to access this measure. A letter outlining access to this measure will be sent to all registered aged care providers by the Department of Health.
    • Student visa holders already enrolled in nursingcan undertake work to help and support the health effort against COVID-19 as directed by health officials. The Department will not take any enforcement action regarding student nurses working in these circumstances.​

Source: Migrante Australia, BAYAN Australia

Stimulus Packages

On March 24, the Federal Parliament of Australia approved the $84-billion (US$51.3 billion) coronavirus stimulus package.

The first package (worth $17.6 billion or US$10.7 billion) includes:

  • tax relief for small businesses
  • one-off cash payments for welfare recipients
  • money to help keep apprentices in work

The second package (worth $66 billion or US$40.1 billion) includes:

  • support for small businesses
  • relief for retirees and a new wage or “safety net” for workers who lose their jobs.

People on temporary visas (migrant workers on Visa 482 and international students) are not eligible to financial support. Australia hosts 517,519 international students as of January 2020 (according to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission) and 80,000 482 visa holders (Visa 482 is temporary skill shortage visa).

Sources: ABC News (12Mar2020), ABC News (24Mar2020), ABC News (22March2020), Australian Government Treasury

Support provided by the State Government of Victoria to migrant workers and international students

  1. Free medical assistance related to COVID-19 for migrant workers and international students. (Victoria State Government)
  2. Melbourne City Council pledges support for international students during the pandemic. (The Age)

Read Other Government Responses to COVID-19

About APMM

The COVID-19 Migrant Monitor is an urgent action campaign providing timely and appropriate information relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its impact on migrants.