The Australian Government has made major changes to student visa conditions, providing more flexibility to support Australia’s tourism and hospitality sector. International students working in this industry will now be able to exceed the restriction that limits them to work 40 hours per fortnight, during study periods.
Due to COVID-19 and the current travel restrictions on international flights, the tourism and hospitality sector has been facing some difficulties regarding the reduction of available workers. Following the industry inquiries, the Government is now removing the existing cap for international students. A measure that will mark a significant change for many who rely on this industry, which employs more than a half million Australians.
In which other sectors can students work beyond the usual hours?
The Department is taking a flexible approach to students working beyond the usual limitations in the following industries:
- Employed in the health sector, enrolled in a health related course (such as nursing or medicine) and are directed by a health official to assist in the effort against COVID 19.
- Employed in aged care by an Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider before 8 September 2020.
- Employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider before 23 April 2020.
- Employed in the agriculture sector.
- Employed in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Tourism and hospitality industry as a critical work sector
In addition to the relaxation on student visa work hours, any temporary visa holder working in, or intending to work in tourism and hospitality will be able to access the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa for a period of 12 months.
This measure has been implemented as the industry is now classified as a critical work sector, alongside other sectors such as agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and child care with similar allowances.
Extending the expiry dates for the visas of foreign students already in Australia, increasing the hours they are able to work and giving the option to more temporary visa holder to apply for COVID visa, will help the tourism and hospitality sector to fill staff gaps and will support Australia’s economic recovery.
Please get in touch with our team if you wish to know more about the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa and we will find the best immigration strategy that suits your circumstances, either as an employer or an employee.
The Australian Government is increasing support for Australia’s tourism and hospitality industry by classifying it as a critical work sector and providing more visa flexibility for student visa holders employed in the sector.