Australia to Re-introduce Cap on Working Hours for Foreign Students

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Starting from July 1, 2023, Australia will re-introduce the cap on foreign students’ working hours from 40 to 48 hours per fortnight.

The Australian Home Ministry announced the new rule on its website, stating that it will allow students to focus on obtaining a high-quality Australian education and qualification while still being able to support themselves financially and gain valuable work experience.

It may be noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a severe labour shortage in the country, the rule was initially relaxed, and students were allowed to work as many hours as they could.

However, the Australian government has decided to reinstate the previous fortnightly cap of 40 hours beginning July 1, 2023.

Work Restrictions for Student Visa Holders

According to the Australian Home Ministry’s website; “Student visa work restrictions were relaxed throughout the pandemic, and completely removed in January 2022 to allow primary and secondary student visa holders to work over their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight to address workforce shortages. This will end on 30 June 2023.”

“From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for student visa holders will be re-introduced and capped at the increased rate of 48 hours per fortnight.”

The move is expected to help international students focus on their studies while working part-time and gain valuable work experience in their respective fields.

Information for Students

Students must continue to balance their studies and work commitments even though there is flexibility in the number of hours they can work.

Students must still:

  • maintain their course enrolment
  • ensure satisfactory course attendance, and
  • ensure satisfactory course progress.

Student visa holders who cancel their enrolment and stop attending classes, or fail to meet satisfactory course progress, may be in breach of their visa conditions.  

Extension of Post-study Work Rights for International Students

Aside from the work-hour limit, the Australian government has announced a two-year extension of post-study work rights for international students. However, the extension will only be available to students with specific degrees and those pursuing courses where there is a skills shortage.

This means that international students who complete their studies in Australia will be able to work in the country for an additional two years, giving them valuable work experience and allowing them to apply for permanent residency if they wish to stay.

The extension is expected to encourage more international students to study in Australia and help the country meet its workforce needs.

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