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News Update: New Working Restrictions for International Students in 2023

*Update: On 21 February 2023, the Australian Government announced that the working cap for international students will be increased to 48 hours per fortnight from 1 July 2023.

At the Jobs and Skills Summit last week, the Australian Government discussed several issues affecting international students. A key announcement was about student visa working hour restrictions.

On Friday 2 September 2022, the government stated that the number of hours that international students can work will be capped once again in June 2023. This will reverse the temporary relaxation of restrictions that occurred in January this year, but a decision has not yet been made on what the cap will be. According to the government, this is an aim to find “the balance between work and study”. 

What are the current working restrictions for international students?

There are currently no restrictions on how many hours you can work on a student visa. The government decided to relax working hour restrictions in January 2022 ​​​​​to address workforce shortages. This means students can now work as many hours as they like in any industry. Refer to the Department of Home Affairs for more information.

What were the previous working restrictions for international students?

It’s helpful to be aware of the previous student visa restrictions so you’re not caught off guard when the new ones are applied, even though they may differ. Before the relaxation of working hour restrictions, most international students were permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight. Students were also not permitted to work before their course commenced, but during study breaks, they were able to work unlimited hours. PhD and Masters by Research students had unlimited work rights once their course commenced.

What do international students think about unlimited working hours?

Earlier this year, we asked you for your opinions on unlimited working hours – and the results varied! 

Some students embraced the change and loved being given the freedom to choose their working hours and earn more money. Others raised concerns about the distraction work can impose on students, and believed that the priority should be placed on study. But, the consensus was that when it comes to choosing working hours as an international student, the decision should be up to each individual person, as only they know how to balance their schedules.

We will continue to update this story as information becomes available.

To stay informed on migration news and updates, consult the Department of Home Affairs Website.