These are unprecedented times, and the Australian Government has recently announced further visa changes to provide more support to local businesses.

A. Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders 

With Hoteliers in some areas still struggling with resourcing skilled chefs and cooks, employers are looking for alternate solutions to fill these vacancies. 

To provide more flexibility during the COVID-19 recovery period, the Government will temporarily remove the existing work limitations for international students working in the tourism and hospitality sector. This means that the Department of Home Affairs will take a flexible approach to international students working beyond the usual work limitations (40 hours per fortnight) in the following industries: 

  • 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 NDIS provider 
  • enrolled in a health care related course and supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials 
  • employed in the agriculture, tourism and/or hospitality sectors 

Please reach out if you are an international student or an employer requiring further information about this update. 

B. Tourism and Hospitality added to the list of critical work sectors 

Another recent change to help Tourism and Hospitality businesses is the classification of these industries as "critical work sectors", allowing eligible visa holders to access the COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa (Subclass 408) for up to 12 months to continue working in these critical sectors – which also includes agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and child care. 

If you are a temporary visa holder working in a critical work sector, or if you employ a visa holder who meets the eligibility requirements, then please reach out for assistance to keep them in Australia. 

C. What to consider for your business 

As a standing offer, all QHA members may access free chats (up to 15 minutes) over the phone with our migration team regarding any visa queries. 

Contact us 

We are available and committed to assisting your business through navigating these unprecedented times, and we encourage you to contact us to discuss your position and the options that are available. 

Whilst many things remain uncertain, we are all in this together and we are still here to help you.