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The Australian Government has announced two significant changes to address critical skills shortages in the hospitality and tourism sectors:

  1. Student visa holders employed in tourism and hospitality will be allowed to work full-time. Currently, student visa holders in these sectors are only allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight except during their holidays.
  2. Any temporary visa holder employed in tourism and hospitality will be able to apply for a pandemic visa that will permit them to remain and work in Australia for an additional 12 months. This pandemic visa is currently available to those working in agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and, child care. The pandemic visa can be applied for any time within 90 calendar days of expiry of the employee’s current visa.

There has been no announcement of when these changes are to take effect and we will update you all as soon as we know.

The changes will also allow some of these visa holders to accumulate 24 months of relevant work experience, which could create additional pathways for TSS visas and permanent residence. We can work with you to develop a plan for any employees you would wish to retain on a longer term basis.

We believe that these changes have been made in large part due to the many submissions made by employers and their representative bodies to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration’s inquiry into the skilled migration program. If you are interested in reading our submission you can do so here.

We expect further changes to be announced in the coming months and will keep you informed. In the meantime, reach out to your Ajuria contact to see how this might help your business.

DISCLAIMER This information is current as of date of publication and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Have more specific questions about your visa? Get in touch with Ajuria Lawyers today.

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Author Lillian Ajuria

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