Briefing paper

COVID-19 and humanitarian migrants on temporary visas: assessing the public costs

Refugees Asylum seekers COVID-19 Special category visas Temporary visas Poverty Unemployment Australia

Temporary migrants—including people seeking asylum and refugees on temporary visas— are particularly vulnerable to unemployment and poverty during Australia’s ‘coronavirus recession,’ due largely to their overrepresentation in precarious work and lack of access to social security assistance. A previous briefing paper projected how job and income losses for refugees and asylum seekers would lead to a decline in household spending, the inability of some households to pay rental costs, and foregone federal taxation revenue.

This paper examines how unemployment and income loss for temporary humanitarian visa holders impacts on their health and well-being, and projects some of the subsequent fiscal implications for State and Territory governments. Specifically, the paper demonstrates how preventing refugees and asylum seekers from accessing financial help such as the ‘JobSeeker’ payment is likely to create increased demand for public health and homelessness services.

Publication Details
Access Rights Type:
Research Briefing Note 2