Post Study Work Rights Increased for International Students in Australia

post study work

The Australian Government has announced that it will increase the duration of post study work rights of international students to strengthen the pipeline of skilled labour.

Australia’s unemployment rate hit a near 50-year low of 3.4 per cent in July. Acute labour shortages have left many businesses unable to find staff.

Australia has raised its permanent immigration intake by more than a fifth to almost 200,000 this year in an attempt to tackle the issue and reduce a dependence on lower-paid temporary workers.

Post study work rights for select degrees in areas of verified skill shortages will be increased from:

  • Two years to four years for select Bachelor’s degrees
  • Three years to five years for select Masters degrees
  • Four years to six years for select PhDs.

A working group will be established to advise the Ministers for Home Affairs and Education on the development of this and other relevant issues.

Members of the working group will include representatives from the Council of International Education, the National Tertiary Education Union, Universities Australia, and the Departments of Home Affairs and Education.

The group will report to Ministers by 28 October 2022.

Also read: Four Lessons From Online Learning That Should Survive The Pandemic

International education will also benefit from the $36.1 million the Government will invest in visa processing to support 500 surge staff over the next nine months.

Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil also announced that work hours for international students will be capped again in June next year following feedback from stakeholders.

The number of hours will be subject to consultation with a view to striking the right balance between work and study.

The Minister for Education Jason Clare said: “At the moment, only 16 per cent of international students stay on after their studies end.

“This will mean they can stay on longer and use the skills they’ve gained in Australia to help fill some of the chronic skills shortages we have right now.”

The Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil said: “International education is an important Australian industry that has been heavily impacted by the pandemic.

“The outcomes from the Jobs and Skills Summit are geared towards supporting international education and giving the students who earn degrees in Australia the chance to contribute to the productivity of our economy.”

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