We look at the re-introduction of student visa work restrictions and extended post-study work rights for graduate visa holders from 1 July 2023.

Student visa work restrictions re-introduced on 1 July

In an effort to ease Australia's current workforce shortages, the federal government has removed student visa work restrictions, allowing them to work over the usual 40 hours per fortnight. These restrictions will be re-introduced from 1 July 2023 and capped at an increased rate of 48 hours per fortnight.

Employers should ensure that all relevant staff, including managers and supervisors, or those responsible for rostering, are aware of these changes for student visa holders.

Student graduate visa extensions

From 1 July 2023, some holders of subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visas will be allowed to stay in Australia for a longer period. The change will result in a stay period of:

  • four years for a bachelor's degree graduate, up from two years previously
  • five years for a master's degree graduate, up from three years previously
  • six years for a doctoral graduate, up from four years previously.

The extension of one or two years for eligible students who live, work and study in regional areas will remain unchanged.

To be eligible for an extension, international bachelor and masters students must have a qualification listed on the eligible qualifications list. All doctoral graduates are eligible for the two-year extension regardless of their qualification. Extensions will automatically be applied to Temporary Graduate visa holders who have completed a qualification from the approved list or who apply for a Temporary Graduate visa from 1 July 2023.

For Temporary Graduate visa holders in Australia whose visa expired or will expire before 1 July 2023, transitional arrangements have been introduced allowing them to apply for a Subclass 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa. This will provide a two-year stay period for those working in Australia or have an offer of employment.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.