Home / Australia’s “Pandemic Visa” Now Ends For International Students

Australia’s “Pandemic Visa” Now Ends For International Students

Australia ends special visa type

Web Desk — International students in Australia will no longer be able to enjoy indefinite work time as authorities have decided to end the Covid-era visa.

The visa we are talking about once benefitted over 20,000 international students to work for unlimited time in Australia. The federal government now confirms that this visa will not be available in the future.

According to Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, the Pandemic Event visa (subclass 408) will be unavailable to all new applicants from Saturday, September 2.

However, the existing visa holders, unless the expiry date comes, will remain lawful. They can also extend it for another six months for $405 but from February 2024, the visa will be closed to all applicants.

Australia introduced the special visa category in 2020 to support international students stranded in Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions. It also helped Australia to fill labor shortages as the borders were closed at that time.

In a statement, Minister Andrew Giles said that the Pandemic Event visa was an important part of Australia’s visa system during the pandemic. Many people on temporary visas were quite helpful to Australia during that time. He said that the government was providing an opportunity for people who hold a Pandemic Event visa to explore another visa option or plan to leave Australia. This means that the people who are not eligible for another visa will have to leave the country.

The authorities have also reintroduced a limit on the number of hours international students can work, as the Covid-era visa has been scrapped.

The work hours have been restricted to 48 hours per fortnight, since July 1. The Australian government has also ended work exemptions for Working Holiday Visa holders.

Giles explained that such measures combined were part of a strategy to reduce pressure on Net Overseas Migration, which continues to multiply post-pandemic.

On the other hand, pro-student advocates have resisted the move saying loans and the rising cost of living put pressure on students who could work extended hours earlier.

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