The pandemic period witnessed relaxation of student visa work restrictions, with primary and secondary student visa holders being allowed to work over their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight to address workforce shortages. This proved very helpful to many employers who utilised this pool of resources made available through the international workforce. This has been in place since January 2022.
However, times have changed and with the migration avenues reverting back to pre-pandemic times, the restriction on student visa holders and their dependents are soon set to resurface with an increased cap of 48 hours per fortnight.
An Exception to this rule
Student visa holders already working in the aged care sector as at 9 May 2023 can continue to work unrestricted hours in the aged care sector until 31 December 2023.
Students Visa Holders must continue to:
- maintain their course enrolment;
- ensure satisfactory course attendance, and
- ensure satisfactory course progress.
Student visa holders who cancel their enrolment and stop attending classes, or fail to meet satisfactory course progress, may be in breach of their visa conditions.
What employers need to know?
- From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for all other student visa holders will be re-introduced and capped at the increased rate of 48 hours per fortnight.
- Employers who pressure migrant workers into breaching their temporary visa conditions may face criminal charges and increased fines under changes soon to be introduced by the Federal Government.
- The new measures will make it a criminal offence to coerce someone into breaching their visa conditions; introduce prohibition notices to stop contravening employers from further hiring people on temporary visas; increase penalties and repeal section 235 of the Migration Act 1958.
If these changes are going to impact your business and lead you to a landscape of skill shortage which can only be filled by a migrant workforce, the Migration Team here at MBA Lawyers can help you look into other options of engaging a migrant workforce with full work rights. Please call us today on 07 3211 8644.