Temporary (subclass408) Visa Introduced to Bridge Employment Decline in Australia - 2022
Amidst the pandemic, Australia has witnessed a 68% decline in its workforce in 2021. The quarterly difference is close to a fall of 6.7% in employment rate from March 2021 to September 2021. In order to cater the functioning of all sectors, the Australian Home Affairs Department has decided to introduce COVID-19 Pandemic (subclass 408) visa for student visa holders who wish to work in Australia beyond 40 hours per fortnight either prior to their course commencement or while pursuing their course.
This visa is introduced to bridge the employment gap in 2022 which was witnessed in the year 2021. These visa relaxations are temporary for its student visa holders in Australia to work beyond 40 hours per fortnight. The Department of Home Affairs of Australia in consequence advises international students to strike a balance between study and work while holding the Temporary (subclass 408) visa by:
- Maintaining their course enrollment under any circumstance.
- Also maintaining a good level of attendance.
- And, ensuring that the course progression is beyond satisfactory.
Failing to fulfil the above requirements, the international students studying in Australia under a student visa may be considered breaching the visa rules.
Those students who have received an employment offer during their course or after finishing it in a critical sector, would be eligible to apply for a COVID-19 Pandemic (subclass 408) visa. Applications for this visa can be submitted 90 days prior to the student visa expiration date. In addition to this, students will be allowed to stay in Australia for 12 more months after the work visa application is accepted and of course once the student visa expires.
The employers in addition are advised to follow the employment law as international workers have equal rights as per Australian employment law applicable for other workers. To guarantee a smooth functioning of these relaxations, the Department of Home Affairs & Australian Border Force would:
- Not be able to cancel visas of students working beyond 40 hours every fortnight to support them as per the section 116(1)(b) of the Migration Act 1958.
- Not accuse any international student visa holder for any offence as per s235 of the Migration Act 1958.
- Also not be able to refer to any other employer for investigating the student holding a visa under s245AC of the Migration Act 1958.
The employers will have to ensure the above points while these temporary relaxations are in force, else it might be considered as breaching the visa rules by international students.
Since the beyond 40 hours per fortnight for international student visa holders is a temporary relaxation, yet it is valid for now upto April 2022 until new updates are rolled out. Along with this relaxation, international students holding a student visa travelling to Australia between January 19, 2022 to March 19, 2022 will be eligible for a visa application fee refund. The application for fee refund requests will be accepted till December 19, 2022.
Where can I apply for a visa application fee refund?
Will these temporary relaxations for beyond 40 hours per fortnight discontinue after April 2022?
What are critical skills and sectors in Australia?
Which sectors of Australia were first introduced with COVID-19 Pandemic (subclass 408) visa?
What is the fee for COVID-19 Pandemic (subclass 408) visa application?
If my student visa expires before I receive the subclass 408 visa, will I be deported?
What should applicants of subclass 408 visa ensure before applying?