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Revamped In-Study and Post-Study Work Rights Rules in Australia: What’s New in 2023?

Major Changes Afoot for International Students

Starting in July 2023, Australia is set to implement new work rights rules for international students. Not only will there be changes to in-study work allowances, but also significant updates for post-study work rights, particularly for graduates in fields that align with Australia’s labour skill shortages.

The Shift in In-Study Work Rights

As part of the recent updates, Australia will permit international students to work up to 48 hours every fortnight from July 2023 onwards.

This change marks an end to the temporary unlimited work policy for international students that was in place during the recovery from the pandemic. Now, a limit of 24 hours of work per week will be reintroduced.

Despite this, the move is seen as positive by those who see the cap as a measure to prevent overworking among students. Moreover, the new rules offer more extensive post-study work rights to graduates from certain degree programs.

Expanded Post-Study Work Rights

The new rules state that Bachelor’s graduates will have four years, Master’s graduates will have five years, and doctoral graduates will have six years of post-study work rights.

The degrees that qualify for these extended rights span various sectors, including health, teaching, engineering, and agriculture, among others.

Implications of the New Rules

Education Minister Jason Clare expressed that these new policies would make Australia more appealing to overseas students. This could potentially increase revenue from Australia’s educational exports and help tackle the nation’s ongoing skills shortages.

Additionally, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neill suggests that letting students who have studied in Australia stay longer and contribute to the economy is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

The revamped rules will also create fresh opportunities for Indian graduates and early career professionals possessing skills in targeted areas, like engineering, artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and more, to live and work in Australia.

Visa and Immigration Updates

Earlier this year, Australia announced plans to simplify its immigration system to hasten the admission of highly skilled workers. Measures to retain international students were also unveiled.

By the end of the year, even temporary skilled visa holders will have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency.

Furthermore, Australia has boosted its intake of permanent immigrants by 35,000 for this fiscal year to address widespread staff shortages. Measures to expedite visa processing were also promised.

Changes to Come

Starting from July 1, international students will be permitted to work 48 hours per fortnight, an increase from the previous cap of 40 hours. Along with this, a two-year work visa extension will be introduced.

The latest changes are designed to support international students in financing their studies while ensuring that their primary focus remains on their academic pursuits.

In light of these new updates to Australia’s student visa policies, international students and graduates can expect a more favourable environment that supports their academic and career aspirations.

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