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Australia Student Visa Rules to Change, Work Restrictions to be Reintroduced

Published on : February 24, 2023


The work hours limit for Australia student visa holders will soon be re-introduced. However, the cap on the number of hours permitted has been increased. Post-study work rights for certain international student graduates extended. Changes affect subclass 500 and subclass 485 visa holders.  

On February 21, 2023, in an official Press Release, the Australian government announced that it was “addressing skills shortages by extending post-study work rights for international students that have graduated from an Australian higher education provider”. 

From July 1, 2023, international higher education graduates that had eligible qualifications would be granted an additional 2 years’ post-study work rights. 

Moreover, the allowable work hours cap for Australia student visa (subclass 500) holders will also be extended to 48 hours from the present limit of 40 hours per fortnight. Previously, student visa work restrictions were relaxed in view of the pandemic situation. Work restrictions were temporarily removed in January 2022.


Source: Twitter. 

From July 1 , 2023, the number of work hours permitted during study terms and semesters will be capped at 48 hours per fortnight during semesters and study terms. 

With the capping increased, student visa holders in Australia will find it easier to gain valuable work experience through paid employment while studying. 

What does the reintroduction of the cap mean for subclass 500 visa holders?

As an Australia student visa (subclass 500) holder, you must continue to maintain the balance between your studies and work, despite there being a greater level of flexibility. 

Do keep in mind that you must maintain your course enrollment and attend classes on a regular basis. Satisfactory course progress will also be required. Employers cannot allow a student visa holder to work in breach of the conditions attached to their subclass 500 visa grant. 

Along with the reintroduction of the work hours cap with an extended limit of 48 hours, there have also been changes announced for subclass 485 visa holders. 

What is the change for subclass 485 visa holders?

The extension of post-study work rights is only for international graduates that have selected degrees in the areas of verified skills shortage. With the extension, eligible international higher education graduates will get an additional 2 years on their Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). This extension will be on top of the existing additional 1-2 years of work rights for eligible students that live, study, and work in regional Australia. 

Which occupations and qualifications are eligible for the extension of post-study work rights for subclass 485 visa holders?

As of now, only an indicative list has been provided and can be accessed from the official website of the Department of Education of the Australian Government. The full list will be published before July 1, 2023. 

What are the new extended post-study work rights for Australia?

With the implementation of the extension on July 1, 2023, eligible international higher education graduates with select qualification will get an additional 2 years on their Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) visa. 

Post-study work rights for selected degrees in areas of confirmed skills shortage will be increased to - 

  • 4 years (earlier 2 years) for select Bachelor’s degrees 
  • 5 years (earlier 3 years) for select Masters degrees
  • 6 years (earlier 4 years) for all doctoral qualifications

All doctoral studies are eligible for the extension, irrespective of the area of study. 

The new measure will support businesses across Australia and help rebuild the international education sector after the COVID-19 pandemic. A well-trained and highly capable workforce will become increasingly available in the years to come. 

Skills most in demand in Australia are being targeted, such as engineering and health. Targeted skills will be reviewed on a yearly basis and updated as required. 

Who will be considered for the 2-year extension of post-study work rights?

Eligible graduates that either - 

  • Have a valid Temporary Graduate Visa (TGV) on July 1, 2023, or
  • Who apply for a TGV after July 1, 2023. 

The extension will help international students in Australia to support themselves financially, get valuable Australian work experience, and be a part of the Australian labour market while they study. 

According to Minister for Education Jason Clare, “As well as delivering the skills and qualifications Australia needs, the measure will make Australia more attractive as a study destination, helping the recovery of the international education sector and boosting earnings from Australia’s education exports.”

Australia is among the leading destinations for study overseas

There were a total of 263,737 student visa grants in the Program Year 2021-2022 (from July 2021 to June 2022). Of these, 53,629 student visas went to Indians, making India the second biggest source country, coming after China. 

For more information on how to study in Australia, get in touch today. Free consultation available. 

Topics: Study, Australia




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