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Temporary skilled visa holders face a 'double hit' during coronavirus pandemic

Underpaid worker Sunil Kumar speaks to the media outside the Federal Court in Melbourne, Source: AAP

Those on sponsorship visas are ineligible for JobKeeper and JobSeeker and visa restrictions only allow them to work for the employer who sponsored them.

As the pandemic forces many businesses to stand down their employees, temporary skilled visa holders - also known as sponsored workers - are facing a double hit. 

The government says temporary workers who have been stood down but not laid off will maintain a valid visa. But for those who have been let go, it says they must find another employer or make arrangements to leave Australia.

The government had allowed temporary visa holders to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation until July. But support groups including the Migrant Workers Centre's Matt Kunkel say that's not enough.

"The issue with access to super payment is a one off payment and people have ongoing issues rent, food, tuition needs to be paid for international students so it's not a one of payment required here it's ongoing payment."

To hear the full report click on the audio link above.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at http://www.sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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