Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders

Australia is taking steps to manage the global outbreak of COVID-19.

In light of these exceptional circumstances and the need to ensure continuity of the supply of critical services, the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) and the Australia Border Force will exercise discretion in relation to student visa holders working beyond their usual work limitations in specified industry sectors.

Unless mentioned in the following list, employers of student visa holders, and visa holders themselves, must continue to observe relevant visa conditions.

As of 19 March 2020, industry sectors for which relaxation of enforcement may be sought are:

  • Supermarkets (existing staff in existing roles who are student visa holders working beyond their usual work limitations, where that work assists to ensure the supply of groceries to and in supermarkets or related online distribution facilities)

This is a temporary measure that will be reviewed in the course of managing the COVID-19 outbreak.

During this period, the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force officers:

  • will exercise their discretion under s116(1)(b) of the Migration Act 1958 to not cancel the visas of students who work in excess of 40 hours each fortnight to support your organisation in providing goods to the Australian community through your supermarkets; and
  • will not refer you, as an employer, for investigation of any potential breach of s245AC of the Migration Act 1958 that might relate to the hours worked by a student visa holder.

All employment must continue to occur strictly in accordance with Australian workplace law.

You must provide the following details for the Department of Home Affairs to consider your inclusion in this temporary measure.

DOHA will inform you in writing if your business can access this measure, and when it ceases to apply.

You must not make arrangements for student visa holders to work under this measure (in excess of 40 hours per fortnight) until you receive authorisation from DOHA.

There is no need for aged care providers registered with the Department of Health to register with the Department of Home Affairs to access this measure. A letter outlining access to this measure will be sent to all registered aged care providers by the Department of Health. 

For more, please visit below https://svcr.homeaffairs.gov.au/

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