In a bid to boost Australia’s tourism and hospitality sectors, the government has lifted the current cap on working hours for international students employed in the two industries following strong industry feedback.
According to government data, at present, the country has close to 300,000 students who are under the work restrictions of 40 hours per fortnight while studying.
Alex Hawke, Australia’s Immigration Minister, said that the move will work towards filling gaps in the sectors and further revive the country’s economy.
The government has made the decision after careful consideration of recommendations from the states, industry and territories. These changes will help in supporting the critical sectors for the economic recovery of the country, he said.
A survey conducted by Unions NSW found that many international students were struggling to make ends meet amidst the Covid-19 crisis and have been forced to get cash-in-hand jobs.
Tourism and hospitality industries will now be considered among other critical industries of food processing, health care, agriculture, disability care and childcare.
Those holding temporary visas in Australia and are working or are looking for work in the two sectors will now be able to apply for Australia’s 408 COVID-19 Visa up to 90 days prior to the expiry of their existing visa. The same will let them stay in the country for another 12 months.
Earlier in 2021, the country’s government announced a package of $1.2 billion to help tourism operators who were facing the withdrawal of JobKeeper wage subsidy in March. The same got mixed response with some suggesting the need for more help.
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