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Australia to up work hour cap for foreign students in July

Melbourne, Feb 22 (IANS) The allowable work hours cap for international students will be increased from 40 hours to 48 hours per fortnight, along with a two year work visa extension, beginning July 1, 2023, the Australian government announced.

The revised cap will help international students to support themselves through their studies, while maintaining study as the primary purpose of their visa.

Student visa work restrictions were relaxed throughout the pandemic, and they were completely removed in January 2022 to allow primary and secondary student visa holders to work over their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight to address workforce shortages.

This will end on June 30, and the fresh cap will apply to all international students, no matter when they began studying.

The government also announced that a two-year extension of post-study work rights is available for international graduates with select degrees that are in areas of verified skill shortage.

This extension will give eligible international higher education graduates an additional two years on their Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). The extension is in addition to the existing additional one to two years of work rights for eligible students who study, live, and work in regional areas.

For select Bachelor degrees, post-study work rights will be increased from two to four years, three to five years for select Masters degrees, and four to six years for all doctoral qualifications.

“Enabling students that gain an education in Australia to stay longer and contribute to our economy benefits us all,” Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil said.

“After a lost decade on immigration and skills we are looking for ways to utilise skilled migrants via enhanced training and better targeted, less exploitative programs for temporary visa workers and students,” she added.

There are 1,00,009 Indian students studying across various Australian universities, according to a report released by the Indian External Affairs Ministry for the year 2022.

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