Temporary visa holders with work rights will now be able to access their Australian superannuation to help support themselves during the coronavirus crisis, the government announced yesterday.
Previously temporary visa holders with work rights were only able to access their superannuation once they had left Australia permanently. In response to the coronovirus crisis, workers holding a Temporary Skills Shortage 482 visa, a 489 visa, 491 visa, student visa or a graduate visa can access their superannuation now if they are facing financial hardship as a result of a loss of income.
All workers in Australia accumulate superannuation which their employer pay into a fund. The amount of the superannuation paid is tax free. (However funds do charge administration fees).
While some citizens, permanent residents and many New Zealanders have access to unconditional work rights and government payments (including the new JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments), temporary visa holders do not.
“There has always been an expectation that temporary visa holders are able to support themselves while in Australia. The changes announced today will help facilitate this for those who may be stood down or lose work hours as a result of the corona virus.” the acting Minister for Immigration said in a statement yesterday.
Workers who hold a TSS 482 visa, 489 visa, 491 visa, a student visa or a graduate visa can find out how much superannuation they have saved by contacting their superannuation fund. If temporary work visa holders don’t know the name of their fund, they should ask their employer.
The Australian Tax Office can also advise you on how to trace your superannuation.