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Students allowed to work 40 hours with hospitality

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By April Murphy

Due to exceptional circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to ensure the supply of critical services, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force will take a flexible approach to student visa holders working beyond their usual work limitations, but only in specified industries.

You can work for ​more than 40 hours a fortnight if you are:

  • employed by an aged care Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID before 8 September 20​20
  • employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider
  • enrolled in a healthcare-related course, and you are supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials
  • employed in the agriculture sector
  • engaged in the tourism and hospitality sector

The Federal Government is increasing support for Australia’s tourism and hospitality sector by providing more visa flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

In addition, temporary visa holders will access the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa for 12 months if they work in the tourism and hospitality sector. 

This decision adds tourism and hospitality to the critical sectors of agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and childcare for eligibility for this visa subclass.

Temporary visa holders working or intending to work in tourism and hospitality will be able to apply for the 408 COVID-19 Visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires and then remain in Australia for up to 12 additional months.

The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs said these changes build on the Morrison Government’s support for critical sectors to the economic recovery.

“Government has listened carefully to the States, Territories and industry and is introducing these changes to support critical sectors for Australia’s COVID-19 economic recovery,” says Minister Hawke.

Employers must continue to follow Australian workplace law. Overseas workers, including international students, have the same rights under Australian workplace law as all other employees.

Based on solid industry feedback, Minister Hawke has also decided to include veterinarians in the Priority Skilled Migration Occupation List (PMSOL), which fills critical skills needed to support Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am continuing to take feedback and advice from a range of sectors and will make further announcements on temporary visa flexibility measures and priority skills in the near future,” says Minister Hawke.

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