The Australian government has recently increased the permissible cap of work hours from 40 hours to 48 hours per fortnight for international students, along with the post-study ‘stay and work’ period extension. This revised cap will come into effect from July 1, 2023, to help international students support themselves through their studies while maintaining ‘study’ as the primary purpose of their visa. The extension on post-study work rights will be available for international graduates with selected degrees, mostly in areas of verified skill shortage to contribute to Australia’s workforce needs.
What does it mean for students?
Even with the flexibility in the number of hours allowed to work, students are supposed to balance their study and work commitments.
Besides working, students need to:
- Maintain their course enrolment
- Ensure adequate course attendance
- Ensure satisfactory course progress
If either of the above-mentioned three conditions is not fulfilled, it may be considered a breach of visa conditions.
Work rights of students
Work rights for international students in Australia still remain the same as any other employee under Australian workplace laws. Their laws clearly state that employers, in any case, cannot allow a student visa holder to work in breach of their visa conditions. And, all employers and employees need to abide by such laws.
If any student receives unfair treatment at the workplace, they are free to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman at the earliest. Fair Work Ombudsman, Australia is dedicated to helping everyone in the country to follow laws that make workplaces equal and fair. Reporting workplace violations does not give the employer or the Department of Home Affairs the authority to cancel the student visa, even if the working hours of the student exceeded their permissible cap of work hours per fortnight.
During the pandemic, the student visa work restrictions were relaxed and then completely removed in January 2022 to address the workforce shortages. The primary and secondary student visa holders were then allowed to work over the normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight. Now, this temporary settlement is all set to end, and from 1 July 2023, students can better enjoy the Australian lifestyle and gain valuable experiences while they study in the country of kangaroos.