After a period of relaxation on the cap of working hours for international students during the pandemic and subsequent removal of the cap in January 2022, Australia will now reinstate the work restrictions on student visa holders. The existing norms will stop on June 30, 2023 as per the directives from the Department of Home Affairs.
The restrictions on working hours will be reintroduced from July 1, 2023, and students will be allowed to work 48 hours per fortnight which is above the normal limits. Before the relaxation, students could work for 20 hours per week.
The Department of Home Affairs issued a statement that these changes have been made to ensure that international students can completely focus on obtaining Australian qualifications and education. At the same time, they must be able to economically support themselves, gain professional experience and contribute to the needs and shortages of the Australian workforce.
Students are advised to maintain a work-study balance. They have to maintain their course enrolment, must have satisfactory attendance in the course and ensure satisfactory progress in the course.
Besides this, the government has declared to extend post-study work rights for international students in Australia who have graduated from Australian higher education institutions.
Clare O’Neil, the Minister of Home Affairs, said that it would enable students to stay in Australia for a longer frame of time and contribute to the economy which will benefit all. She also stressed that they are looking for means to utilise skilled migrants through better training.
The government also released a list of occupations and the eligible qualifications that ensure longer stay back for graduates. This applies to areas of verified skill shortage. The list includes engineering, health, agriculture and teaching. Students will receive an extension on their Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485).
This extension on work rights will be effected from July 1, 2023 and as per the new norms for select courses, working rights will extend from two years to four years for bachelor's students, three years to five years for master's students and four years to six years for doctoral degree holders.
Jason Clare, Minister of Education commented that businesses are demanding skilled labour, especially in the regions. According to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Australia has the second-largest skill shortage among developed nations.
He said that the country teaches and trains skilled workers so that they can stay longer in Australia and utilise their skills to fill up chronic skill shortages in the country.
Catriona Jackson, Chief Executive of Universities Australia said that the step makes it easier for talented international graduates to use their skills in Australian cities and regions. Also, the country’s knowledge-based economy will be boosted with the extension of post-study work rights for doctoral students.
The two news have received mixed reactions from international students. While the extension of working rights has been welcomed, the cap on work hours is a major concern. Most students have to work for more than 48 hours to be able to pay their rent, afford food and other.
Moreover, inflation is rising and the cost of living is increasing. It may be hard for overseas students to meet their ends in the country.
Plan Your Work and Study in Australia with Experts!
Source: Australia Today, SBS Hindi