Lock down measures are putting visa holders under more strain and uncertainty.
The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling for the Federal Government to urgently extend stimulus package support to some categories of visa holders who will be left unsupported amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The current stimulus package does not extend support to:
- Temporary visa holders
- Permanent residents who were granted permanent residency after 1 January 2019
- Special Category visa Subclass 444 (Citizens of New Zealand)
FECCA chairperson Mary Patetsos says that although key elements of the current stimulus package are welcomed, urgent reassurance for visa holders is needed.
READ MORE: Flexible visa terms on the way during coronavirus crisis
FECCA also requests urgent clarification regarding what level of access to healthcare these and other visa types are eligible for.
Ms Patetsos says, “This is a moral imperative, and also a public health one – no one should be in a situation where they might be deterred from seeking medical help due to financial circumstances.”
FECCA has offered to extend their support to the government dealing with these complex issues, including “coordination with Australia’s CALD communities.”
READ MORE: Visas, tourism, citizenship to Australia in the coronavirus age