Members have been seeking advice on when the relaxed restrictions will end for employees who are on overseas student or Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visas.
Due to the impact of COVID on employment and the increased need for temporary workers, overseas students were permitted to work unrestricted hours rather than the 20-hour per week maximum work generally permitted. Likewise, WHM visa holders were permitted to work more than the six months limit for any single employer.
The restrictions on WHM visas come to an end on 31 December. However, what this means is that if you have a WHM visa holder working for you on 31 December, employers can start a new six-month period from that date and previous work will not be counted towards the six-month limit. This effectively means that the relaxed restrictions will end on 30 June 2023 and working holiday makers can continue in your employment till that date. This information may not yet correspond with VEVO work right checks.
The formal advice from the Department of Home Affairs is as follows:
On 19 January 2022, the 6-month work limitation was temporarily relaxed. The relaxation of this condition is currently in effect until 31 December 2022. This allows Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) to work with any one employer for the duration of their visa without requesting permission. This applies to anyone in Australia who either holds any kind of WHM visa, regardless of when they arrive, or holds a Bridging visa with condition 8547 imposed. The Government is reviewing the six-month work limitation arrangements. Any changes will be communicated on our website. When new arrangements are put in place, work that was carried out before that date will not be counted towards the 6-month period.
For foreign students, work rights will again be limited to 20 hours a week effective from 30 June 2023. The formal advice from the Department is as follows:
Unrestricted work rights for student visa holders to end on 30 June 2023. To address workforce shortages, student visa work hours restrictions were temporarily relaxed. This will end on 30 June 2023. Until 30 June 2023, all ongoing students as well as new student arrivals and secondary applicants are able to work more than 40 hours a fortnight in any sector of the economy and work before their course of study commences. After the 30 June 2023, the number of hours a Student visa holder will be allowed to work will again be capped. The number of hours a Student visa holder works ensures that Students focus on obtaining a quality Australian education and qualification. Students must make sure they are aware of any changes to visa conditions, including work rights. For more information see media release: Post-study work rights for international students to boost skills.
For further advice Ai Group members can contact the Ai Group Workplace Advice Line 1300 556677 or for visa application support contact our migration agent partners Visa Solutions Australia (www.visasolutions.com.au) on 1800828008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org