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International Students Are Now Allowed to Work Extra Hours

*Information correct as of 20 January 2022.

The Australian Government is temporarily easing the restrictions on working hours for international student visa holders working in all sectors of the economy.

As COVID-19 (particularly the Omicron variant) continues to spread across Australia, thousands of workers have been plunged into isolation. As a result, many sectors are struggling with extreme labour shortages, prompting the government to relax the restrictions for international students.

Here is everything we know so far about this update and how it might affect you.

What are the new rules?

Previously, international students have only been permitted to work 40 hours per fortnight during their course. However, under this new plan, the cap is to be temporarily lifted for foreign students. 

It is important to note that all other conditions of the student visa will still apply. For example, you cannot legally work in Australia until your course has commenced. Additionally, you must maintain your course enrolment and ensure satisfactory course attendance.

For more information on student visa conditions, click here

How long will the lift be in place?

The Australian Government has not announced an official end date for the easing of restrictions. However, the decision is set to be reviewed in April 2022. At this stage, the government will decide whether to reinstate the 40-hour work cap or extend the lift on the restrictions.

Be sure to check the Department of Home Affairs web page – particularly this page – for further updates on working hour exemptions for international students.