The Covid-19 pandemic has badly affected the Australian economy. Many international students left Australia when Covid-19 hit the world. Since then, Australia has been facing labor shortages in different sectors. So, it has temporarily relaxed the working hours for Student Visa 500 holders. The purpose of the temporary relaxation of work hours is to workforce shortages in Australia.
As per the latest updates, this measure applies to all existing students and any new students arriving in Australia. It also includes the secondary applicants as well. Prior to this relaxation of work hours, Student Visa holders could only work in Australia after the commencement of their course.
However, the recent changes to the 500 visa allow international students to work before their courses start. So, it’s definitely great news and an exciting opportunity for overseas students. You don’t have to wait for the commencement of your course to work in Australia. Interestingly, you can work for more than 40 hours per fortnight in Australia. You’re allowed to work in any sector of the Australian economy.
Temporary Relaxation of Work Hours – Information for Students
International students can now work for flexible hours in Australia. They’re not restricted to working for just 40 hours. Though, students are advised to maintain a balance between their studies and work commitments in Australia.
On one side, the Australian Government offers you a temporary relaxation of work hours. While on the other side, you need to take care of a few things.
- You must maintain your course enrollment where you’re studying in Australia.
- Ensure that you’ve a satisfactory course attendance.
- Make sure you are making satisfactory progress in your course.
You might be in violation of Student Visa rules if you:
- Do not meet the satisfactory course progress.
- Do not attend your classes.
- Cancel your enrollment.
These temporary measures remain in effect until further notice from the Australian Government. All students must stay updated on any changes to visa conditions including the work rights as well.
Covid-19 Pandemic 408 Visa for Students
If you’ve completed your course in Australia and have an offer of employment in a critical sector, you might apply for a Covid-19 Pandemic 408 Visa. You can lodge your application for a 408 visa 90 days before your current Student Visa gets expired. To make your application process easy for a 408 visa, you can book a consultation with us.
Visa Application Charge (VAC)
International Student Visa holders outside Australia who arrive in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022, might be eligible for a refund of their VAC. The deadline to apply for a refund of a Visa Application Charge is 31 December 2022.
Information for Employers
Employers must follow the rules and regulations of the Australian workplace. International students and overseas employees have the same work rights under the Australian workplace law as other workers.
As long as these measures are in place, the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force will:
- Act on their discretion under s116(1)(b) of the Migration Act 1958. The purpose is not to cancel the visas of students who work more than 40 hours a fortnight to support your organization.
- Not refer any international student visa holder for investigation of any potential offense under s235 of the Migration Act 1958. Possibly, this might refer to the hours worked by a student visa holder in breach of their visa conditions.
- Not refer you, as an employer, or third-party labor hire companies, for investigation of any possible offense under s245AC of the Migration Act 1958. It might relate to allowing student visa holders to work in violation of the visa conditions.
Flexible Arrangements about Start Dates due to Covid-19
It is understood by the Department of Home Affairs that some students may not be able to start their courses on time due to Covid-19 restrictions. You must inform your education provider that you cannot start your studies due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
There’re some options to ensure that you aren’t violating your visa conditions. Depending on your situation, your education provider can tell you what options you have. If you hold a 500 Visa, you can get in touch with your education provider in Australia. Be sure that you’re enrolled in an approved course of study at all times.
The Department of Home Affairs may refuse your visa if you:
- Fail to start your course of study on time.
- Do not have a current or active Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) from your education provider.
You can check your visa status on VEVO if you’re outside Australia and don’t have an active or current Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE). Verify your visa status before making any travel plans.
What are the requirements for getting a Student Visa 500?
- A minimum age of 6 is required
- CRICOS requires students to provide a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) as a full-time student in a full-time course
- Your English language skills should be demonstrated.
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is required if you and your family plan to stay in Australia for more than six months.
- Under 18s, you must have sufficient finances while in Australia.
- Have good health and a good character.
- Be prepared for your stay with enough money.
How can you apply for a 500 Student Visa?
- Studying outside of Australia requires you to apply for your visa at least six weeks prior to the course.
- If you are in Australia, please give yourself a lot of time before your current visa expires, because you may need more time if something goes wrong.
- You can use the Document Checklist Tool to gather your documents. If the Document Checklist tool is updated twice a year, on March and September, ensure you have the most current version.
- Online applications can be submitted from within Australia or from abroad.
- You must create or log into an Immi account before you can attach documents and pay the fee for a visa application.
Relaxation of Work Hours – Final Thoughts!
The Australian Government has given a relaxation of work hours to international Student visa holders. It’s a temporary relaxation to address labor shortages in Australia. You can work for more than 40 hours in Australia. However, you must also balance your studies and not violate other visa conditions.
For more information about Student Visa conditions, book a consultation with us today!
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I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.
Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.