The Government has supported Australian businesses during the pandemic by allowing Student visa holders to work additional hours in critical sectors. Due to current workforce shortages, the Government is temporarily removing the limit on working hours for Student visa holders across all sectors. This will also apply to secondary Student visa holders. This change takes effect immediately and will be reviewed in April 2022.
The Government is also temporarily removing the limitation for Working Holiday Maker visa holders to only work for 6 months with one employer. Effective immediately, until the end of 2022, there will be no limit on the time Working Holiday Makers can work for the same employer.
These measures are temporary and designed to provide immediate assistance to Australian businesses currently facing critical workforce shortages. This will enable them to continue delivering goods and services to the Australian community.
Source and original article – Australian government of Homme Affairs
INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS
You must continue to balance your study and work commitments, even though there is flexibility in the number of hours you can work.
Students must still:
- maintain their course enrollment;
- ensure satisfactory course attendance;
- ensure satisfactory course progress.
Student visa holders who cancel their enrolment and stop attending classes, or fail to meet satisfactory course progress, may be in breach of their visa conditions.
If you are working or have an offer of employment in a critical sector, and you have finished your course, you may be eligible for a COVID-19 Pandemic (subclass 408) visa. You can only apply for this visa 90 days before your student visa is due to expire.
YOU CAN WORK FOR MORE THAN 40 HOURS A FORTNIGHT IF YOU ARE:
Due to workforce shortages, there is a temporary relaxation of student visa work limits to all sectors of the economy. This takes effect immediately for all ongoing students as well as new student arrivals who wish to commence a job before course commencement. This means that international students can work before their course commences and work more than 40 hours a fortnight in any sector of the economy. This also includes secondary applicants.
This is a temporary arrangement and will be reviewed by the Government in April 2022. Check back regularly for updates.
In addition, if a student visa holder travels to Australia between 19 January to 19 March 2022, they will be eligible for a refund of their visa application charge. Students will be able to apply for a refund up until 31 December 2022. Details of how to apply for a refund will be available shortly.
INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYERS
Employers must continue to follow Australian workplace law. Overseas workers, including international students, have the same rights under Australian workplace law as all other employees.
While these measures are in place, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force will:
- Exercise their discretion under s116(1)(b) of the Migration Act 1958. This is to not cancel the visas of students who work more than 40 hours each fortnight to support your organization.
- Not refer student visa holders for investigation of any potential offense under s235 of the Migration Act 1958. This might relate to the hours worked by a student visa holder in breach of their visa conditions.
- Not refer you or relevant third-party labor hire companies, as an employer, for investigation of any potential offense under s245AC of the Migration Act 1958. This might relate to allowing a student visa holder to work in breach of their visa conditions.