The Australian government has relaxed the cap of 40 hours a fortnight for student visa holders in some sectors. While it is a temporary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is aimed to boost certain services, help fill staffing needs in these sectors during the ongoing economic recovery and to extend support to the student visa holders who rely on these jobs and were majorly impacted during the pandemic shutdowns.

Student visa holders can work for more than 40 hours a fortnight if they are employed in sectors listed below:

  • 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
  • by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider
  • enrolled in a health-care related course and you are supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials
  • in the agriculture sector
  • in the tourism and hospitality sector


While this offers more flexibility in work hours, the students must continue to balance their study and work commitments. They must:

  • maintain their course enrolment
  • ensure satisfactory course attendance, and;
  • ensure satisfactory course progress


You may be in breach of your visa conditions if you cancel your enrolment, stop attending classes, or fail to meet satisfactory course progress.  Students do not need to contact the Department of Home Affairs if they wish to work more than 40 hours per fortnight in one of the sectors listed above. Also note that these are temporary measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be reviewed by the Government.

More information for students and employers is available on the Department of Home Affairs website. You can also continue to check the department’s website for updates on these arrangements. If you need any specific help about applying for a job, or advice on extending your current work hours – please contact our Student Welfare Co-ordinator, Michelle on 1300 737 004.


Melbourne City Institute of Education (MCIE) is a vibrant and innovative registered training organisation, which offers a range of courses in Melbourne to help students to fulfil their career goals.

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