Student Visa work hours have temporarily been relaxed for international students currently working in the aged care sector or supermarkets.
Usually, visa conditions prevent Student Visa holders from working more than 40 hours a fortnight during a study term, but these conditions have been relaxed to allow international students to play a greater part in reducing pressure on essential services throughout the COVID-19 period.
Student Visa work hours for work at aged care providers
Student Visa holders currently employed by an aged care provider will be able to work more hours to help fill critical staff shortages that may emerge in the sector.
Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Mr Tudge, believes the changes to the work hours will allow for workforce continuity in the aged care sector.
“As more workers take leave to quarantine or because of health concerns, we need to make sure there are enough staff to look after our older Australians who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.”
“Many international students already work in the aged care sector but are restricted to 40 hours a fortnight. We’re relaxing those limits to help fill the temporary staff shortages,” Mr Tudge said.
The relaxed restrictions are only available to Student Visa holders who are existing employees of an approved residential or home-based aged care provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care provider that has been issued a RACSID or a NAPS ID by the Department of Health.
Student Visa work hours for work at supermarkets
Student Visa holders currently employed by Australia’s major supermarkets, such as Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, can also temporarily work more hours to help keep shelves stocked throughout the Covid-19 period.
Similar to the changes for the aged care sector, the relaxed measures are only available to Student Visa holders who currently work at major supermarkets as existing employees.
Other supermarkets can also take part in the initiative by registering with the Department of Home Affairs.
Mr Tudge believes providing access to more student visa work hours will help supermarkets meet the high demand they are experiencing for essential goods.
“Supermarkets across the country are struggling to keep shelves stocked with essential items, such as toilet paper, tissues, rice and pasta.”
“To keep up with this demand, supermarkets have told us they need to give extra hours to current staff to stock shelves and serve Australian customers. While many of these will be Australian workers, international students will also be able to increase their hours,” Mr Tudge said.
Student Visa work hours for students enrolled in nursing
The Department of Home Affairs has also announced that Student Visa holders who are enrolled in studying nursing can undertake work to support COVID-19 relief under the direction of health officials.
Other Temporary Visa Holders
The above changes will help international students better support themselves financially during the current time of crisis. Unfortunately, the level of Government relief for other Temporary Visa holders at this time remains unclear.
Mr Tudge has said that the Government will consider providing greater flexibility for other Temporary visa holders, should the need arise. We will certainly keep you updated.
You may also wish to visit the Government’s website regularly as it is currently being updated almost on a daily basis.
How many hours can you work?
If you are on a Student Visa, the amount of hours you can work in Australia depends on whether your course is currently in session:
- If your course is considered ‘out of session’, you can work unlimited hours;
- If you are studying a Masters by Research or a Doctorate course, you may work unlimited hours;
- If your course is currently ‘in session’ you cannot work more than 40 hours a fortnight unless the current provisions for aged care and supermarket workers apply to you;
- If your course has been deferred, you can work more than 40 hours a fortnight.
As with all Temporary Visa holders, it is important to continue to hold a valid Student Visa and apply for a new visa if it is due to expire. Should you require professional advice on your visa requirements, please contact Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents on +61 8 9221 3388 (or National Free Call 1800 449 858) or [email protected]