Great news! Student visa holders in Australia can now work full-time

Can student work more than 40 hours?

Previously, no.

However, a temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders was issued and that means international students can work before their course commences and work more than 40 hours a fortnight in any sector of the economy. This also includes secondary applicants.


Temporary changes to visa work conditions for Students and Working Holiday Makers

The Government has supported Australian businesses during the pandemic by allowing Student visa holders to work additional hours in critical sectors. Due to current workforce shortages the Government is temporarily removing the limit on working hours for Student visa holders across all sectors. This will also apply to secondary Student visa holders. This change takes effect immediately and will be reviewed in April 2022.


The Government is also temporarily relaxing the 6 month work limitation for Working Holiday Maker visa holders. Effective immediately, until the end of 2022, there will be no limit on the time Working Holiday Makers can work for the same employer.


These measures are temporary and designed to provide immediate assistance to Australian businesses currently facing critical workforce shortages. This will enable them to continue delivering goods and services to the Australian community.



Student visa conditions in Australia

Student visa holder work restrictions have been further relaxed for those working in supermarkets, or associated distribution facilities located in an area impacted by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, for the duration of the lockdown.

This relaxation of conditions are added to those of the aged care and NDIS providers, health care, agricultural, tourism and hospitality sectors.

The Government will remove existing work hour caps for Student Visa holders employed in the tourism and hospitality sector. A 40 hour fortnightly limit previously applied during study periods.

In addition, temporary visa holders will be able to access the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa for a period of 12 months 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.

COVID-19 has introduced a lot of changes into migration law. One of the latest changes to the law is the relaxation of working hours for student visa holders. Together with the Australian Border Force, the Department of Home Affairs will be taking a flexible approach to student visa holders working beyond the usual work limitations in certain fields.

Student visa holders are not allowed to work for more than 40 hours per fortnight (8105 condition- work rights) as part of the visa condition. However, there is now a temporary relaxation of the rules in certain circumstance.

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