International students will be allowed to work more hours to help alleviate worker shortages as more people are forced into isolation due to Australia's Omicron COVID-19 outbreak.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the federal government will remove the 40-hour-a-fortnight cap on student visa-holder workers, meaning that if you're studying on a student visa (sub-class 500) you no longer have restrictions on the number of hours you can work.

“The goal is to get as many people as safely at work in these critical sectors that keep Australia moving,” he said.

To ensure you stay up to date on the latest information regarding student visas, check out the Dept of Home Affairs website.

How to ensure you don't breach your visa

The responsibility will be on you to show you have not breached your student visa conditions. If you are eligible to work increased hours under this ‘flexible approach’ to student work rights, keep thorough records of when you started working longer hours and when you stopped.

Consider keeping a record of:

  • The government announcement

  • Timesheets and payslips

That way if you are asked to provide information in the future about your increased hours, you will have the information to show that you were permitted to work longer hours due to the pandemic event..

Even if you can work more than 40 hours a fortnight – should you?

Please remember that work rights are not the only condition on your student visa. You must also continue to remain enrolled full time in study, and you must also pass your course. If you are unable to comply with all your visa conditions, your visa could be cancelled.


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