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Student visas and temporary relaxation of working hours

Temporary changes have been made to the working hours of international students in certain industries.

Student visas and temporary relaxation of working hours

Due to the circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented worldwide, in Australia, different official bodies adopted a flexible approach for holders of student visas in relation to their working hours.

The Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force have made temporary changes in relation to international students and their normal working hours in certain industries.
The change allows holders of student visas, under these circumstances, to work 40 hours per fortnight, as opposed to 20 hours per fortnight before.

In which industries have these changes been allowed?

  • Employed by an Approved Provider for aged care or a Commonwealth funded provider of aged care services with a RACS ID or NAPS ID, before September 8, 2020.
  • Employed by a registered provider of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • Students enrolled in a course related to health care and who are supporting the health system effort against COVID-19.
  • Employed in the agricultural sector.

On the other hand, employers must continue to abide by Australian labor law. Overseas workers, including international students, have the same employment rights as all other Australian employees.
The government will continue to review these temporary measures on a regular basis and will inform employers when these measures no longer apply.
While these measures are in place, the Australian Department of the Interior and Border Force:

  • They will not cancel the visas of students who work more than 40 hours every fortnight to support their organization.
  • They will not refer student visa holders for investigation of any potential criminal offense that may be related to hours worked by a student visa holder in breach of the conditions of their visa.
  • It will not refer employers , in relation to the hiring of labor, for the investigation of any potential crime that may be related to allowing the holder of a student visa to work in violation of their visa conditions.

Student visa holders do not need to apply for this temporary measure. They should contact their employer.

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