On 17 July 2021, the Government made a statement announcing temporary changes to the maximum hours international students can work. The usual cap of 40 hours per fortnight will not apply to those working in supermarkets or associated distribution centres in a state or territory impacted by a COVID-19 lockdown.
This will help businesses remain open and meet high demand during lockdown periods — and it gives students the chance to earn some extra cash.
“Supermarket workers have been unsung heroes of the pandemic. They stepped up to ensure Australians have access to essential items, and they have kept doing so during the pandemic’s darkest days,” says Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke.
“This temporary measure ensures that supermarkets can continue to provide their critical services to the community and it provides essential workers themselves with added income flexibility during lockdowns,” he said.
Where else can you work more than 40 hours a fortnight?
You can work for more than 40 hours a fortnight if you have a valid student visa, and are:
employed by an aged care approved provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID, before 8 September 2020
employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider
enrolled in a healthcare related course and you are supporting the health effort against Covid-19, as directed by health officials
employed in the agriculture sector
employed in the tourism and hospitality sector.
It’s essential that you continue to balance your work and study commitments despite the increased flexibility. Even if you work more than 40 hours per fortnight, you must:
maintain your course enrolment
ensure satisfactory course attendance
ensure satisfactory course progress.
Everything you need to know can be found here.
Up to $2,430 for international students in farm work
As mentioned above, international students working in the Victorian agriculture sector can also work in excess of 40 hours a fortnight.
Agriculture Victoria has also announced a Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus. On top of your wage, eligible workers can receive a bonus if up to $2,430 for eight weeks of work on a farm.
Check your eligibility and learn how to apply here.