BREAKING NEWS: Australian Government Announced Change of Student Visa Working Hours During Pandemic
Student visa working hours have changed due to COVID-19! International students working in the tourism and hospitality sector will have their working hour cap of 40 hours per fortnight lifted under the recently announced change.
The standard student visa working hours in Australia is 40 hours per fortnight during the study period and unlimited hours during breaks.
However, due to exceptional circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force announced flexibility for student visa working hours.
International students can now work more than 40 hours per fortnight if they’re working in specific industries: the health, aged care and disability, and agriculture sectors.
The tourism and hospitality sectors also added to the category recently, meaning student visa holders employed in hospitality and tourism will also have restrictions on their working hours lifted.
What Are the 2021 Student Visa Changes?
Under the new Australian visa change, student visa holders can work for more than 40 hours per fortnight if they are employed:
- By an aged care Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID before 8 September 2020;
- By a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider;
- Enrolled in a health care related course, and you are supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials;
- In the agriculture sector;
- In the tourism and hospitality sector.
What Does This Mean For You If You Are An International Student Working in the Tourism and Hospitality Sector?
Suppose you are currently in Australia on a student visa and working in the tourism and hospitality sector or other specific industries mentioned above. In that case, you do not need to apply for permission to work for more than 40 hours per fortnight.
However, you must continue to balance your study and work commitments even though there is more flexibility in work hours in specific sectors. You must still ensure the following:
- Maintain your course enrolment;
- Ensure satisfactory course attendance, and;
- Ensure satisfactory course progress.
Please note that this is only a temporary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic and may be reviewed regularly by the Government. Always keep yourself updated with the news to find out if there will be another change in the future.
What Makes the Student Visa Working Hours Change?
The decision comes after international students were among the worst impacted by shutdowns at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke, said that the tourism and hospitality sectors employ more than half a million Australians.
Meanwhile, approximately 300,000 students in Australia face the 40 hours fortnightly limit on their working hours while studying. Thus, to boost the tourism and hospitality sectors, it is agreed to remove the student visa working hours caps for student visa holders employed in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Mr Hawke describes this change as “generating employment through a job multiplier effect”, as these changes will help businesses supplement their existing workforce.
Is There Any Other Australian Visa Change for International Student in 2021?
In addition to the recent Australian visa change, temporary visa holders will be able to access the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa for a 12 months duration if they work in the tourism and hospitality sector.
This decision adds tourism and hospitality to the critical sectors of agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and child care for eligibility for this visa subclass.
Temporary visa holders working in or intending to work in tourism and hospitality will be able to apply for the 408 COVID-19 Visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires and then remain in Australia for up to 12 additional months.
This means international students who are working or have an offer of employment in one of the sectors above but have finished their course may be eligible for this visa.
Let’s Get Ready!
Despite still closing its border, Australia continues to support their international students by any means, especially during this pandemic. Australia shows a significant number of notable changes for international students, like removing working caps for specific industries as explained above.
If you wish to further your study in Australia and enjoy all the support provided by the Australian Government, the first step to do would be applying for a Student visa. Even before the pandemic spreads, applying for a visa may be time-consuming and a bit complex. It may be even more challenging during this pandemic. Not to worry, we are here for you!
With years of experience helping students from many different countries, we will be delighted to assist you. Along with our in-house Registered Migration Agents, ONE derland Consulting, our Career Development Consultants will guide you, no matter how complex your circumstances are.
What are you waiting for? You may book a FREE consultation with one of our Career Development Consultants or contact us, education ONE Australia, through email at [email protected] or via phone at 1300 083 663.
Most of our clients’ problems start because they started their study plan in Australia without anybody telling them what they need to do and prepare.
By joining our free phone session, we will help you plan your journey and recognize obstacles so you can avoid problems that could jeopardise your chances to study in Australia. And we are offering it to you FOR FREE.