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The number of hours a Student visa holder will be allowed to work in Australia will change again on the 30th June 2023.

In January 2022, in a never-seen-before decision, the Australian government announced they were temporarily relaxing the work limitation imposed on Student Visa holders.

This decision was made to address workforce shortages that peaked during the pandemic. From that date, all Student Visa holders, including their adult family members/dependents, were allowed to work unlimited hours.

The huge skills shortage was a result, among other things, of borders being closed for almost 2 years during the pandemic. The massive contribution made by temporary visa holders, such as students or backpackers (Working Holiday Visa holders), to the Australian workforce in general, suffered from the decision of keeping Australia closed during the peak of the pandemic.

The decision to relax work hours restrictions had been since the beginning, a temporary one. The current government confirmed late last year that this relaxation will end on 30 June 2023.

What are the Student Visa Work Limitation Changes happening on the 30th June 2023

Many International Students and their employers were praying and hoping that the government would extend the relaxation and postpone its end to the end of the year, but they just announced that it is indeed ending on 30 June 2023. However, there is a small change that in the grand scheme of things, will not mean much, but it is still a change and we are here to let you know.

After 30 June 2023, the number of hours a Student visa holder will be allowed to work will again be limited but instead of going back to the previous 40 hours a fortnight (that is 2 weeks), the government has increased that limitation of hours to 48 hours per fortnight.

The government says that this “ensures that Students focus on obtaining a quality Australian education and qualification.” Until then, International Students (new arrivals and others who were already in the country), as well as their dependents are still going to be able to work unlimited hours.

What are we seeing as a result of this announcement?

Australian employers are desperate to keep their current cohort of International Students working as many hours as possible, as the shortage of skilled and unskilled labour doesn’t seem to decrease. So Australian employers are looking at a variety of visas that would allow their international student workers to work on a full-time basis, under their nomination or sponsorship.

Bravo Migration advised individuals as well as employers so a few of the options we have been presenting to our clients are:

Sponsorship Temporary Visa Subclass 482 (Temporary Skills Shortage – TSS)

This is a good option when the position being offered is part of the skilled migration program and the international student meets the requirements for the visa, which include:

  • Having a relevant qualification and at least 2 years of full-time (or pro-rata part-time) relevant work experience,
  • Intermediate plus English Proficiency

Permanent Employer Nomination Visa Subclass 186 via the “Direct Entry”

This is an amazing option for all involved but it has a higher threshold of criteria to be met by the international student:

  • A positive Skills Assessment in the nominated occupation
  • At least 3 years of full-time (or pro-rata part-time) relevant work experience
  • “Competent” English proficiency, which is equivalent to an Upper-Intermediate to Advanced Level

Regional Employer Sponsored Visa (Subclass 494)

If the job on offer will be located in a “regional area” then this is an option too. – For the purposes of visa applications and migration, Regional Area is the whole of Australia with the exception of Metropolitan Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

And why choose this visa instead of a Sponsorship Visa 482 TSS? If your employee’s occupation is not on the Medium and Long Term Skills Shortage List, this will be one of the only ways they can apply for a permanent residence visa in the future (unless current legislation changes).

A popular option with employers has also been the Subclass 407 Training Visa. This is for international students who don’t have enough work experience to qualify for any of the visas above or can’t obtain a positive Skills Assessment, or don’t meet the minimum level of English required.

The threshold of criteria for the employee is much lower here and this has become a popular pathway with employers and employees.

Regardless if you are an employer of an overseas worker in Australia and you want to keep your unlimited hour’s work permission, Bravo Migration can assist by assessing which of the visas above, if any, would be possible and we can create a straightforward and cost-effective visa pathway for you.

Processing times for all applications is slow with the Department of Home Affairs still dealing with backlogs, so before you blink it will be June, so contact us now for an Assessment and we can help you before then.

Send an email to visas@bravomigration.com.au or call our Head Office on 02-9216-6600

We also have a Youtube video about the end of full-time work rights for international students in Australia. Check it out: