To assist with Australia’s COVID-19 recovery, the Australian Government is providing an incentive for Student and Working Holiday Maker visa holders to return to Australia as soon as possible to help address current workforce shortages. Any Student visa holder who is currently offshore and travels to Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022 will be eligible for a refund of their visa application charge (VAC). Any Working Holiday Maker visa holder who is currently offshore and travels to Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 April 2022 will be eligible for a refund of their visa application charge. The current VAC for a Student visa is AUD630 and for a Working Holiday Maker it is AUD495. The VAC refund includes secondary visa holders. Further information on how to apply for a refund is at Getting a refund.
The Government has supported Australian businesses during the pandemic by allowing Student visa holders to work additional hours in critical sectors. Due to current workforce shortages the Government is temporarily removing the limit on working hours for Student visa holders across all sectors. This will also apply to secondary Student visa holders. This change takes effect immediately and will be reviewed in April 2022.
The Government is also temporarily relaxing the 6 month work limitation for Working Holiday Maker visa holders. Effective immediately, until the end of 2022, there will be no limit on the time Working Holiday Makers can work for the same employer.
These measures are temporary and designed to provide immediate assistance to Australian businesses currently facing critical workforce shortages. This will enable them to continue delivering goods and services to the Australian community.