Foreign students employed in the hospitality and tourism industry will no longer need to adhere to the 40-hour fortnight cap. The exemption comes after these two industries are classified under the critical sectors together with agriculture, aged care, childcare, disability care, food processing, and health care.
International students who currently hold a student visa (Subclass 500) can work up to 40 hours a fortnight, covering the entire period of 14 days from Monday. According to the original student visa work restriction 8105, students can only work when the course of study starts and it should not be more than 40 hours per fortnight. This restriction proved to be difficult for foreign students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a nationwide survey last year, 60% of international students are struggling to make ends meet. This is on top of their academic workloads each semester.
At present, there are approximately 350,000 international students hurting with the 40-hour fortnight cap. According to Alex Hawke, Immigration Minister, “The 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.” He added that this new move will help both the students and the economy in many ways.
Additionally, Tourism and Transport Forum Chief, Margy Osmond said that increasing working hours for international students, as well as extending their visa expiry dates will help boost the hospitality and tourism sectors.
With the new changes in visa settings, the immigration minister is open to taking advice and feedback from the different sectors in Australia.
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