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Restrictions on foreign students' work hours to ease in Australia

Australian government lifting restrictions in working hours for students working in hospitality and tourism sector

The international students employed in the hospitality and tourism sector in Australia will no longer have restrictions on the working hours.

The Australian government’s move to lift the restrictions comes as a relief to a large number of international students who were among the worst affected by the shutdowns imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus last year. Currently, international students cannot work beyond 40-hour fortnightly.

In addition to the relief to the international students, the uplift in the restrictions is expected to give a boost to the tourism and hospitality sector.

“Government has listened carefully to the states, territories and industry and is introducing these changes to support critical sectors for Australia's COVID-19 economic recovery," Immigration Minister Alex Hawke was quoted as saying by SBS News. “The move will help fill staffing gaps in these sectors and support Australia's economic recovery.”

The SBS News said the Australian government is making the decision to remove the cap in the working hours as per the recommendations from the states, territories and industrial sector expecting that it supports the country’s Covid-19 economic recovery.

Similarly, temporary visa holders working in or intending to work in tourism and hospitality will also be able to apply for the 408 COVID-19 Visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires. The new measure will enable them to remain in Australia for a maximum of 12 additional months.

Australia is the second most preferred academic destination for Nepali students after Japan where thousands of students fly every year for higher education. Tourism and hospitality sectors employ more than half a million Australians and these changes will help businesses supplement their existing workforce, according to Hawke.

Earlier this year the Australian government announced a $1.2 billion package to assist tourism operators. Australia generated $60.8 billion in direct tourism gross domestic product in the fiscal year 2018-19.

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