Many businesses are sadly having to close as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic continues. Student visa holders working on a casual or part-time basis have lost their work. As a result, they have lost their income stream. The latest Coronavirus updates for Student visa holders in Australia are outlined below.
If a Student visa holder has lost their job, they should seek new work as soon as possible. If they cannot support themselves, they should return to their home countries. Student visa holders should obtain part-time work where they can. Where this is not possible, students should rely on their own savings, or otherwise financial support from family members.
Is there any financial support available for me?
Students who have been here longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.
Some education providers are currently providing fee discounts to international students to lessen the load.
What about my studies?
The Government has stated it will be flexible in cases where Coronavirus has prevented international students meeting their visa conditions (such as not being able attend classes).
What work rights do I have?
International students can only work up to 40 hours per fortnight when their course is in session, as per their visa conditions. Online courses are still considered to be a course that is ‘in session’. Therefore, students studying online may only work 40 hours per fortnight.
Some exemptions exist:
- International students working in aged care or as nurses have had the 40-hour per fortnight restriction extended to support these critical sectors.
- International students working in the major supermarkets have also had the restriction extended to help get stock on shelves during the high demand. Please note that from 1 May 2020, the maximum 40 hours a fortnight restriction will come back into place.
Work rights during course deferral
Work restrictions do not apply to Student visa holders if their course has been deferred. This information has been provided on the Department of Home Affairs website.