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Tourism & Hospitality Sectors new avenues for the 'COVID' visa and international students

The budget for the following year was handed down earlier this week and there are a few positives for the migrant communities who are already in Australia. Over the past six to eight months a significant number of employers and stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism sector lobbied the Government to add their sectors onto the essential areas of work. The joint effort and many industry consultations brought about another change in the Covid response to support two industries that took the worst hit they have seen during the 2020 lockdown.


Overseas nationals who are in Australia and have run out of feasible visa options but are engaged in employment in tourism, hospitality, agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and child care are going to be eligible for up to 12 months Subclass 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa. Whilst the Pandemic 408 visa is a visa of last resort, it certainly gives additional options for those who cannot return home and exhausted all other visa avenues, for those foreign nationals to continue to contribute to these essential industries.


Another great news for international students who are engaged in the tourism and hospitality area is that they can now work in excess of their permitted 40 hours per fortnight while on their student visas. This adds additional avenue to the already existing avenues for working greater hours while on student visas which were limited students engaged in aged care Approved Providers or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID; or a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider, or and in organisations supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials (for students in a health care related courses) and in the agricultural sector.


Assent migration lawyers are here to help you navigate the constantly changing Australian visa landscape. We will take the stress out of the equation if you are an international student or if you are approaching the last month of your current visa and do not know where to go. Please get in touch.


Further information on these topics can be found on the sites of the Department of Home Affairs here and The Hon Alex Hawke MP here


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