A COVID-era visa that allowed greater than 20,000 worldwide college students to work a limiteless quantity of hours is being phased out, the federal authorities has mentioned.
- The subclass 408 visa will likely be closed to all new candidates from Saturday
- Current visa holders will be capable of apply for short-term extensions, earlier than this system is totally scrapped in February
- The federal government says the situations that warranted this particular visa are now not related
Dwelling Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and Immigration Minister Andrew Giles introduced that the 408 Pandemic occasion visa can be closed to all new candidates from September 2.
Current visa holders will stay lawful till their present visa expires, with the power to increase it for one more six months at a value of $405.
However from February 2024, the visa will likely be closed to all candidates as will probably be utterly scrapped.
This system was established in 2020 to assist worldwide college students who had been trapped in Australia throughout the pandemic, and to fill labour shortages on account of worldwide border closures.
In accordance with the most recent figures from Dwelling Affairs, greater than 17,000 college students had been granted a 408 visa in 2022, in comparison with round 3,000 college students in 2021.
“We’re offering a possibility for individuals who maintain a Pandemic Occasion visa to discover one other visa choice, or plan to go away Australia.”
The federal government mentioned people who find themselves not eligible for one more visa must depart the nation.
“This will present certainty to our visa system now that the circumstances that drove the operation of the [Pandemic event] visa now not exist,” an announcement mentioned.
With the scrapping of this program, the authorities has additionally reintroduced a cap on the variety of hours worldwide college students can work.
Since July 1, they’ve been restricted to 48 hours per fortnight — that’s eight hours greater than the pre-2020 cap.
The federal government has additionally put an finish to work exemptions for Working Vacation Visa holders.
“These measures mixed place downward strain on Internet Abroad Migration, which continues to rebound post-pandemic,” the assertion mentioned.
Worldwide scholar advocates have beforehand mentioned that bringing again the cap on working hours would result in extra monetary stress for a bunch already underneath the strain of abroad loans and rising value of residing.
A report launched by the Grattan Institute earlier this yr discovered that one in six migrant staff had been paid lower than the minimal wage.
Economist Brendan Coates mentioned though worldwide college students had been susceptible to underpayment, the working cap was essential to sustaining the integrity of the visa system.
He mentioned, with out one, the scholar visa would turn into a “de issue low-skill work visa”.
Mr Coates instructed shifting from a fortnightly cap to an annual cap, which he mentioned would supply college students with “rather more flexibility”.
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