Student Visas and temporary relaxation of the work day
Due to the circumstances that COVID-19 has presented all over the world, in Australia, different official agencies adopted a flexible approach for student visa holders in relation to their working hours.
The Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force have generated temporary changes in relation to international students and their working hours in certain industries.
This change allows student visa holders, within these circumstances, to work 40 hours per fortnight, as opposed to the 20 biweekly hours previously allowed.
In which industries have these changes been allowed?
Employed by an aged care Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID, before 8 September 2020.
Employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider.
Enrolled students in a health care related course and if they are supporting the health effort against COVID-19.
Employed in the agriculture sector.
On the other hand, employers must continue to follow Australian workplace law. Overseas workers, including international students, have the same rights under Australian workplace law as all other employees in Australia.
These temporary measures will be reviewed by the government regularly. Employers will be advised when these measures no longer apply.
While these measures are in place, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force will:
Exercise their discretion to not cancel the visas of students who work in excess of 40 hours each fortnight to support an organisation.
Not refer student visa holders for investigation of any potential offence that might relate to the hours worked by a student visa holder in breach of their visa conditions.
Not refer employers, in relation to the hiring of labor, for investigation of any potential offence that might relate to allowing a student visa holder to work in breach of their visa conditions.
Student visa holders do not need to apply for this temporary measure. They should contact their employer.