The Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force have announced to ease the work restrictions for student visa holders in Australia. The relaxation of working hours will be for employees working in the supermarkets and some other associated distribution facilities in regions of Australia that have been affected due to lockdown in the Covid-19 Pandemic.
All international students in Australia can get the exemption to work for more than 40 hours per fortnight. However, the Australian Government has set eligibility criteria under which they can get the work exemption. You can be exempted if you’re,
- Working in the agriculture sector of Australia
- Currently employed by a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider
- Employed by aged care Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID.
- Attending a healthcare-related course in support of health officials’ effort against COVID-19
- Working in the Australian tourism and hospitality sector
- Employed in a supermarket or distribution center in Australia located within an area affected by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions during the lockdown period.
The industrial sectors are defined and introduced by following the Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) system of Australia and New Zealand. For instance, for Australia’s tourism and hospitality sectors, the definition includes the work exemption for employers who offer services to tourists and visitors. It’s possible in the case if they do not have the Division of Accommodation and Food Services identify their activities as part of ANZSIC.
However, these measures and instructions will only be implemented during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Furthermore, the Government of Australia will preview these details.
Updates for Temporary Relaxation of Working Hours for Students
There will be more working hours available for students in Australia. However, students are advised to balance and focus on their studies and work both. There’re some requirements for people employed in the above mentioned sectors. The requirements include,
- All students must be sure to maintain their course enrolment.
- They must maintain satisfactory attendance in your courses.
- Performance and progress of students should be satisfactory in their course.
Furthermore, student visa holders shouldn’t cancel their course enrolment, fail to meet the satisfactory requirements of their course or skip their classes. As you violate the rules of your visa condition by doing these activities.
If you have completed a course in Australia and are employed in one of the sectors mentioned above, you can apply for the Covid-19 Pandemic Visa (subclass 408). However, you’re required to apply for subclass 408 at least 90 days before your Student Visa (subclass 500) expires. Moreover, students are allowed to work for more than 40 hours per fortnight and don’t need to contact the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA).
Updates Temporary Relaxation of Working Hours for Employers
All employers are required to follow the laws and policies of the Australian workplace set by the Government of Australia. All legal policies of the Australian workplace apply to international workers as well as other employees in Australia.
The Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) and the Australian Border Force will be doing few activities while these measures are being implemented. They include,
- According to section 116(1)(b) of the Migration Act 1958, the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) and the Australian Border Force will exercise their discretion. Though, they will not be canceling Student visas and supporting students working for more than 40 hours per fortnight in Australia.
- The DOHA and the Australian Border Force will not refer student visa holders for investigations under s235 of the Migration Act 1958. It’s about the hours in which student visa holders’ can work for up to 40 hours in particular sectors in Australia.
- Inquiries under the Migration Act 1958 will not be made against your business or any third-party labor hire companies you may have contracted with. It is to allow the Student Visa holders to work for unlimited hours.
The NDIS providers aren’t required to be registered with the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA). However, these departments can refer to the Provider Alert and the Letter which is provided to them by NDIS Commission for further information.
The Government of Australia has temporarily lifted the work restrictions for Student Visa holders in Australia. Students are allowed to work for more than 40 hours per fortnight during their course period. However, students are supposed to manage their work time and study both even after the relaxation of working hours.
The relaxation of working hours is for international students and other employees in Australian supermarkets, healthcare, tourism, agriculture and the aged care sectors. The temporary visa holders may also have access to the Covid-19 Pandemic Visa (subclass 408) if they’re employed in Australia’s tourism and hospitality sectors.
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