Changes to international students visa working rules a ‘devastating blow’ for industries, restaurateur says

When Bianca Welsh first heard work restrictions for student visa holders would be re-introduced in Australia, she instantly became worried for her livelihood and her industry.

From July 1, student visa work restrictions have been re-introduced and working hours capped at 48 per fortnight.

The restrictions were relaxed during the pandemic before they were completely removed in January 2022 to address workforce shortages.

Looking for a new job or job candidate? Post jobs and search for local talent on 7NEWS Jobs >>

However, Welsh, a restaurateur, says she worries what the changes will mean for her workforce.

“When I first heard about the government re-introducing the working cap for international students, I was very disappointed,” she told

“Hospitality businesses have been crippled by labour shortages since the pandemic, and this decision will set the industry back even further, as so many of these businesses have turned to international students to fill skills gaps.”

Bianca Welsh is worried what the working caps will mean for her industry. Credit: Supplied

Welsh added once the cap kicks in, hospitality businesses will face greater pressure and will need to spend more money, time and resources on job ads and training for students who now won’t be able to work more than 48 hours each fortnight.

“I also believe we will see a rise in hospitality businesses performing their operations off the books and offering more cash-in-hand jobs to international students,” she said.

“This has the potential to worsen the problem of wage theft in hospitality, as businesses may take the opportunity to pay these students a lower hourly wage.

“With hospitality businesses and international students already struggling with cost of living pressures, I urge the government to re-evaluate their decision to allow the industry a chance to return to pre-pandemic levels of operation.”

‘A devastating blow’

CFO of Deputy Emma Seymour said the recent decision by the government to reimpose working-hour caps was “a devastating blow to both those affected and the economy”.

“Deputy stands in solidarity with organisations concerned about this decision and strongly advocates for the immediate reversal of the caps,” she said.

“We call on government to officially #ScrapTheCap and focus instead on empowering businesses operating in the shift work economy to be more profitable, connected, and trusted within their communities.

“The future of shift work has not been written yet, so let’s not begin with this story.”

What the changes mean

International students must continue to maintain their work and study commitments, even once the changes come into effect, the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs said.

Students must still:

  • maintain their course enrolment
  • ensure satisfactory course attendance, and
  • ensure satisfactory course progress.

While the changes will impact most international student visa holders, there is an exception for aged care workers.

Student visa holders already working in the aged care sector as of 9 May 2023 can continue to work unrestricted hours until 31 December 2023.

If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your .

To find out more about how we use cookies, please see our Cookie Guide.


Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Web Times is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a Comment