Foreign students in Australia will receive a two-year work visa extension and 48 hours per fortnight starting in July.

Foreign students in Australia will receive a two-year work visa extension and 48 hours per fortnight starting in July.

International graduates in Australia from higher education who meet the prerequisites will also receive an additional two years of post-study work rights starting on July 1, 2023.

For international graduates with specific degrees in fields where there is a confirmed shortage of skills, a two-year extension of post-study employment privileges is offered.

For qualifying students who study, reside, and work in regional areas, the extension is in addition to the current additional one- to two-year employment rights. These additional two years will be added to the Temporary Graduate Visa of qualified international graduates of higher education (subclass 485).

The extension comes on top of the already-existing one- to two-year extension of work rights for qualified students who attend school, reside, and work in regional areas.

A Post-Study Work Rights Working Group was formed to offer advice on the measure by the Hon. Jason Clare MP, Minister for Education, and the Hon. Clare O’Neil MP, Minister for Home Affairs.

According to a statement by Jason Clare, the Minister of Education the measure will increase interest in studying in Australia, aid the recovery of the international education sector and increase revenue from Australia’s education exports, in addition to providing the skills and qualifications that Australia needs.

From July 2023, all PhD programmes as well as more than 400 bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes will be eligible for the Temporary Graduate Work visa (subclass 485), which is offered by the Australian government.

As a result, undergraduates enrolled in any of these 400 programmes will be entitled to live and work in Australia for four years as opposed to just two. Master’s students who are enrolled in the chosen subjects will be permitted to stay for five years as opposed to three.

Any PhD graduate will be allowed to stay in Australia for six years as opposed to four.

The following graduates will be eligible for the expanded post-study work rights, according to the government-

  • Teaching
  • Engineering
  • Information and communication technology
  • Medicine
  • Psychology
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Agriculture
  • Food technology

Students are responsible for determining if their fields of study qualify for the extended post-study work visa.

When the cap is reestablished on July 1st, 2023, the Australian Federal Government has also announced a rise in the maximum number of hours that international students may work from 40 to 48 per fortnight. International students are now permitted to work up to 48 hours per fortnight as opposed to the previous 40 hours.

This limitation was abolished by the government 18 months ago in an effort to address the labour shortage that the country was experiencing as a result of the stringent border closures that were in place at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Catriona Jackson, chief executive officer of Universities Australia, stated that the current skills shortage “highlights the urgent need to retain more of these students, when and where there is a clear need for their skills, to complement our homegrown workforce and spur productivity and economic growth.”

The expansion of PhD students’ employment rights in particular will significantly accelerate Australia’s knowledge economy, she continued.

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