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Australia International Students Stripped Off From Work Restrictions Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Shortly after Australia reopened the borders to select temporary residents, the government released another great news to those who meant to study and work in the country. In response to extreme labor shortages, international students, regardless of the field of studies, are now allowed to work without limits.

Last May 2021, the removal of limited working rights started but was first made exclusive to those under the tourism and hospitality industry. The deficits in workers under food distribution were said to be caused by the number of positive COVID-19 cases. Many had to isolate due to close contacts, although this has already been remedied by expanding the number of workers allowed to leave the isolation.

The temporary relaxation of working hours is believed to immediately fill in the surge of job vacancies. However, since students are still under a student visa, foreign learners are still expected to meet all the course requirements including attendance.

Heading to Australia under a student visa anytime soon? Here’s what you should know:

1. Foreign students may start working immediately after arriving.

Australia International Students stripped off Work Restrictions

Students are allowed to enter Australia 90 days before their course starts. But, they are only permitted to work once their course has already commenced, this is why entering the country too early isn’t normally done. But recently, this has changed since the government has now allowed all international students to start working immediately in any sector of the economy for more than 40 hours a fortnight (14 days).

2. Student visa holders can be eligible for a refund on their visa application charge (VAC).

If you are able to travel between January 19 to March 19 this year, students can request a refund on their VAC. This is an incentive provided by the government so students will return to Australia as soon as possible to aid with the workforce shortage.

International students are charged with AU$630 in processing their visas. You can expect to receive the same amount as long as you come to Australia ASAP! More information will be released by the Department of Home Affairs soon regarding how to apply for the refund.

3. Unsatisfactory course attendance and progress can lead to a breach of visa conditions.

Before you get too excited, be mindful of the reason why you went under a student visa in the first place. Since you hold an Australian student visa, you have a duty to keep up with your studies. This means that although the government has given made it legal for anyone to work with no limits, international students still have the duty to balance their work and academic life.

Australia International Students stripped off Work Restrictions

4. Removal of work restrictions is temporary and will be reassessed by the government on April 2022.

What pushed Australia to go as far as removing the work restrictions on international students is the worse staffing issues since the end of lockdowns last year. And although it’s a claim from the government that lifting of work limits is just temporary, how soon do you really think staff shortages would end?

According to The Guardian, the skyrocketing number of job vacancies soared across all states and territories of Australia as businesses resumed their normal operations. Arts and recreation, accommodation, and food services were among the industries with the highest job openings.

For the said sector, figures were as high as 260 and 210% compared to last year, indicating the intense need for workers. And with Omicron instilling more pressure on the labor market, these rates are expected to climb even higher.

The information shows that the government will most likely need the help of foreign students for the rest of the year. There could even be more great news to come as Australia struggles to find a better solution to the scarcity of labor.

Australia International Students stripped off Work Restrictions

This year proves to be the best time to live the Australian dream. From job availability to zero work restrictions and visa fee refunds, you’re off to a fabulous career with an endless pool of opportunities in Australia! Don’t miss the opportunity! Get in touch with our friendly Fil-Global agents now!


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