Relaxation of Student Visa working hours

The temporary relaxation of student visa working hours by the Morrison government in January 2021 provided an opportunity for many international students looking for extra income options while they study.

If you are looking for additional opportunities to support your studies, many farmers are still struggling to source sufficient people to meet their labour requirements. These labour shortages are resulting in unprecedented reports of good crops being turned back into the ground.

Traditionally student visa holders have had a limited work capacity of 40 hours per fortnight. However, this is no longer the case and will be for the foreseeable future for several industries, one of which is the agricultural industry. The temporary relaxation of the 40-hour rule will aid in addressing workforce shortages in the agricultural sector where adequate labour is currently in critical supply.

David Littleproud, the Minister for Agriculture stated, “Many regions are expecting bumper crops this year, but with COVID-19 travel restrictions international movement, there still aren’t enough workers available.

“These temporary visa holders are already in Australia, many do not want to or cannot go home, and they will be greatly valued in the agriculture sector.” Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said

These changes mean student visa holders will be permitted to work more than the usual 40 hours per fortnight limit during semesters, provided they meet the following requirements;

• maintain their course enrolment

• ensure satisfactory course attendance                                                     

• ensure satisfactory course progress

If the student fails to meet these requirements, they could breach their visa conditions. There will remain a continued onus to ensure all visa holders are employed in line with their visa conditions.

Additionally, the Government has implemented the same relaxation of working hours for secondary visa holders, provided the primary visa holder has commenced their course and meets all other visa requirements.

For more information on the temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders, visit

 Anyone looking for agriculture work should visit Harvest Trail:


This article is intended to provide access to information and resources to promote an understanding of work and travel restrictions in response to COVID-19.

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