To support businesses struggling during COVID-19 and to promote economic recovery post-COVID-19, the Australian Government has temporarily relaxed the limit on working hours for Student (Subclass 500) visa holders and the six-month employer work limitation for Working Holiday Makers (Subclass 462 visa and Subclass 417 visa holders).
Working Hours for Student Visa Holders Now Unlimited
In general, international students in Australia are limited to a 40-hour-per-fortnight work limitation applied as a condition to their Subclass 500 visas. Temporary changes to the work condition will allow Student visa holders to work more than 40 hours per fortnight in any sector of the economy. These temporary changes came into effect in January 2022 and will be reviewed again in April 2022.
Importantly, these flexible conditions do not change the requirement for international students to comply with other visa conditions while studying and working in Australia which generally include:
Students who do not maintain compliance may be in breach of their visa conditions and become subject to visa cancellation.
Working Holiday Makers 6 Month Work Limitation now Relaxed
In an effort for employers to retain staff and assist with emerging skills shortages, Subclass 417 and Subclass 462 visa holders are now allowed to work for the same employer for more than 6 months in any sector of the economy without having to request permission from the Department of Home Affairs.
Until 31 December 2022, Working Holiday Makers can work in any location, occupation, or industry while in Australia. However, the requirement to undertake a period of specified work in regional Australia to become eligible for a second or third Working Holiday visa remains in place.
How these Temporary Changes Could Impact Your Business
Prior to Omicron emerging as the 13th variant of COVID-19 and the subsequent impact on the course of Pandemic conditions, businesses in Australia had already been working hard to fill nearly 400,000 vacant positions as part of a skills shortage across the economy.
The relaxed limitations are a practical step taken by the government so that Student Visa holders and Working Holiday Makers already in Australia and those soon to travel to Australia, can immediately help to alleviate workforce pressures and worker shortages in critical sectors.
These temporary changes also relieve businesses of the administrative burden of managing compliance with student and working holiday visa conditions.
Interstaff | Over 30 years of visa and migration experience
If you or your business require more clarity on these temporary changes, contact us directly for professional advice about the changes to Student and Working Holiday Makers visa working conditions.
We encourage you to call Interstaff’s Migration Agents on 01800 449 858, 08 9221 3388 (Perth) or 02 7200 2567 (Sydney) or 03 8319 0902 (Melbourne) or +61 1800 912 042 (International) or get in touch here.