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Student visa and COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa holders offered full time work rights

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

In a joint media release “More workers to support Australian farmers” the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, the Hon. David Littleproud MP Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon. Alex Hawke MP announced on 5 January 2021 that the Government is offering full time work rights to overseas nationals on certain temporary visa in order to support Australian farmers struggling to find workers during COVID-19.


Student visa holders will be permitted to work more than the currently allowed 40 hours per fortnight limit during academic semesters if they are working in the agriculture sector.


The Government already announced in mid 2020 changes which granted international students working in the health and aged care sector more generous work rights. The impact of the pandemic border closures means there aren’t enough workers available to support farmers this harvest season. These new measures have twofold purpose allow temporary visa holders who due to the pandemic cannot or do not want to depart to earn more and avoid food going to waste at harvest.


Anyone who is already a temporary visa holder or is to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa could seek work rights if they choose to work in the agriculture sector.

Harvest Trail Services is appointed to assist temporary visa holders to find harvest work in regional areas.


Joint media release More workers to supp
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More information on regional work jobsearch.gov.au/harvest

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