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Australia to end flexible work arrangements for Student visa holders

By 13 October, 2022October 21st, 2022No Comments3 min read

​​​student visa conditions

To address Australia’s workforce shortages, Student visa holders in Australia have had work hour limitations temporarily relaxed, providing not only much needed assistance to Australian businesses, but also providing Student visa holders opportunities to build full time experience that can lead to more permanent visa options.

The Department have announced that this arrangement will end on 30 June 2023.

What are the current arrangements?

Until 30 June 2023, all ongoing students as well as new student arrivals and secondary applicants are able to work more than 40 hours a fortnight in any sector of the economy and work before their​ course of study commences.

What will happen after 30 June 2023?

​After the 30 June 2023, the number of hours a Student visa holder will be allowed to work will again be restricted depending on their visa conditions.

For example:

  1. Condition 8105 restricts primary Student visa holders are able to work 40 hours per fortnight (two weeks) while their program is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled breaks
  2. Condition 8104 restricts family members of primary Student visa holders from undertaking work (voluntary work may be permitted in certain circumstances) until the primary student has commenced their course of study in Australia. It also restricts them to no more than 40 hours of work a fortnight (noting that family members of students who have commenced a masters by research or coursework, or a doctorate degree are permitted to work unrestricted hours).

What do employers need to be aware of?

Between now and 30 June 2023, Student visa holder employees can continue to work full time hours.

After this time, employers must ensure that Student visa or Student visa dependent holders employees only undertake employment consistent with the conditions of their visa. Employers should review undertake VEVO assessments of Student visa holder employees to ensure they are aware of the relevant work restrictions.

It is important for employers to be aware of their Student visa employee population to act appropriately in relation to this change, as penalties can apply for employers who permit visa holders to undertake work which is consistent with the conditions of their visa (see s245AC of the Migration Act 1958).

What do Student visa holders need to be aware of?

Firstly, despite the temporary relaxation of work rights, Students must continue to balance study and work commitments to ensure they comply with attendance requirements.  Students must still:

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

Secondly, Students should ensure awareness of the changes from 30 June 2023 and ensure that they speak with employers to modify otherwise unlawful work arrangements.

Student visa holders who breach their visa conditions, risking cancellation of their visa (see s 116 of the Migration Act) and penalties (see s 235 of the Migration Act).

Any questions?

Hannan Tew has extensive reporting systems in place to mange visa conditions and expiries. Please feel free to contact us by email at [email protected] or phone +61 3 9016 0484 if you would like guidance on the conditions of your visa employee population, or your individual visa conditions.

This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an immigration professional for up to date information.

Mihan Hannan

Author Mihan Hannan

Formerly a Senior Associate in one of Australia’s most reputable immigration litigation and review practices, Mihan is solutions focused and well versed in all aspects of Australian immigration law. Mihan also has a subscription addiction, being obsessed with tools to improve the firms immigration work flow.

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