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Australian Government Lifts the Limitation of Working Hours for Student Visa Holders

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Australian Government Lifts the Limitation of Working Hours for Student Visa Holders

On 13 January 2022, through a press conference, the Australian Government announced they would lift the working hours limitation for Student Visa holders. Student Visa (subclass 500) has a working hours limitation of 40 hours a fortnight.

Further details on how this arrangement will be carried out are currently not available.

The Australian Government has previously put a temporary relaxation of working hours for Student Visa (subclass 500) holders to work more than 40 hours a fortnight in specific sectors.

What does it mean for international students if they have unlimited working hours?

Student Visa Australia Working Hours

Press Conference Regarding Lifting Student Visa Working Hours

Recently, worker shortages have occurred in the food distribution and manufacturing industries due to a large number of workers being forced to isolate owing to an increase in coronavirus cases. Due to the shortages, at the press conference, the Australian Government announced they would lift the working hour cap for Student Visa (subclass 500) holders.

The Australian Government also encouraged the offshore international students to return to Australia and allowed the backpackers to enter the country on a working holiday visa with the condition they must be fully vaccinated. Hopefully, with the new arrangements in place, the Australian Government can address the worker shortages.

The plan for lifting the working hours cap will surely be welcomed by international students and certain industries that are facing workers shortage. It is believed that the lifting of the working hour cap would bring significant relief to a current source of stress in the workforce.

Read more: WA will Open Its Border from 5 February 2022 for Eligible Travelers

Previous Temporary Relaxation Working Hours for International Students

The Australian Government has previously arranged a temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders. The temporary relaxation allowed international students to work more than 40 hours a fortnight in certain sectors. Those sectors are:

  • Working for an aged care Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID (including if you are engaged by a labour-hire company or recruitment agency);
  • Working for a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider​ (including if you are engaged by a labour-hire company or recruitment agency);
  • Enrolled in a healthcare-related course, and you are supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials;
  • Working in the agriculture sector;
  • Working in the tourism and hospitality sector;
  • Working in a supermarket, or associated distribution facility, located in an area impacted by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions for the duration of the lockdown.

Despite the allowance to work more than 40 hours a fortnight, the international students must:

  • Maintain their course enrolment
  • Ensure satisfactory course attendance, and
  • Ensure satisfactory course progress.

If the international students fail to maintain the above requirements, the international students may breach their visa conditions, which may lead to visa cancellation.

Find more what to do you if you face Student Visa cancellation here.

CISA Concerns on New Arrangements

The Australian Government’s plan to lift the working hour cap for international students raises concerns in CISA (Council of International Students Australia). According to an interview with ABC News, The CISA President, Oscar Zi Shao Ong, agreed that the international students would welcome the Australian Government’s decision. However, the decision might also bring heavier workload and pressure on international students.

The CISA President’s main concern is that international students come to Australia for studying, not work. The international students spend about 40 hours a week at university to attend lectures, tutorials and work on their assignments. The CSIA President is afraid that many international students, especially the new ones, will not be aware of the changing rules and studying requirements. Additionally, increasing international students’ work hours may increase their chance of contracting COVID-19.

Read more: Am I Eligible For Permanent Residency Through General Skilled Migration (GSM)?

What does it mean to you?

As an international student, you may be delightedly welcoming the Australian Government’s decision to lift the working hours limitation because you will get unlimited working hours. The Government’s decision will also help you gain more work experience to be eligible for an Australian working visa later.

However, you must keep in mind that as an international student holding a Student Visa (subclass 500), your main purpose is to come to Australia to study. As such, you must:

  • Maintain your course enrolment
  • Ensure satisfactory course attendance, and
  • Ensure satisfactory course progress.

If you fail to keep up with these important aspects, your Student Visa (subclass 500) might be cancelled, and this will leave you in a complex situation which will lead you to having no option except to leave Australia.

The other important thing you must note is that you must maintain your health as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

Read more: Upcoming New Arrangements for STSOL and Visa 485

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Do you Need Professional Assistance in Getting an Australian Student Visa?

If you are planning to continue your study in Australia, ONE derland Consulting can help you get a Student Visa.

We fully understand that applying for a visa to Australia is certainly very complicated. It is even more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our visa specialists at ONEderland Consulting will help you assess your visa options. We have a 98% success rate and are one of Australia’s most highly recommended migration agents. Read our 4.9* score customer reviews.

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Take the first step and get in touch with us. Our team members are professional, honest and speak various languages such as Mandarin/ Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Arabic, Japanese, and Thai. Contact us through email at [email protected] or via phone on 1300 827 159. Alternatively, you may book your consultation online, and it is backed by our 100% Money Back Guarantee Program.

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