Student life

Where can I work over 40 hours a fortnight

by Shellique Carby-Bird Monday April 12th 2021

Where can I work over 40 hours a fortnight-sydney-student-visa-2021

In the past, the standard international student working hours were 40 hours per fortnight during the semester and unlimited hours during breaks.

These hours have changed in specific industries because of COVID-19.

As some Australian businesses are struggling with staff shortages in critical industries, international students need to make up this shortfall more.

Officials have announced that some students with a valid visa can work over 40 hours per fortnight during their university semester, including undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Federal Government made these changes to visa conditions on 5 January 2021.

The changes are only temporary and are being regularly analysed by the Australian Government.

You will need to stay informed at all times in case changes are made.

International students can apply for the COVID-19 visa up to 90 days before their existing visa runs out.

At the moment, international students can work extra hours if they are:

  • Employed by an aged care Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID (Aged Care Services) or a NAPS ID (The National Approved Provider System) before 8 September 2020. Your RACS ID is your ticket to registering with OpAlert. Without your RACS ID, you may not be able to join OpAlert. Alert is designed only for surgeons, anaesthetists and accredited assistants. The NAPS identifies providers who deliver government-funded services and assigns a NAPS service ID to each person.

  • Employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider.

  • Enrolled in a healthcare-related course, and you support the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials.

  • Employed in the agriculture sector.

Students in other industries do not need to apply to work over 40 hours.

Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke said, "Australians will always get priority for jobs under this Government, but we're listening to farmers who have been clear that they need many more workers, and they need them now.

"It will also be easier for temporary visa holders to access the COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa if they choose to work in the agriculture sector," Alex said.

Before starting a new job, know your workplace rights and entitlements by checking the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) website:

There, you'll find lots of information on working in Australia, and you can familiarise yourself with your work rights and minimum wage, find credible employers, know what you are expected to do at work and prepare yourself. Importantly, you can learn how to make your safety and wellbeing a priority.

Though some students may be excited at this new extended time, there are potential problems that may arise.

Problems that come with working long hours can cause you to experience various mental, physical, and social effects.

Significant effects include stress, lack of free time, poor work-life balance, and health risks.

  • You may struggle to take time off for personal or family needs, which particularly impacts young children who need both parents' input.

  • Your performance might be lowered, and you can increase the risk of injury. Long work hours could lead to tiredness, fatigue, and lack of attentiveness, Increasing the risk of serious injury or even death.

  • Decreased sleep could cause problems like Loss of productivity, family problems, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, other cardiovascular diseases, and unhealthy weight gain.

  • You may begin addictions to substances to help you cope with the long hours and increased stress.

  • Less time to exercise.

  • Less satisfaction with your work.

  • An increased risk of experiencing depression and suicide.

If you do feel pressure to work longer hours and are experiencing depression, please contactBeyond Blue. They provide information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.