The Australian government will be extending the Temporary Graduate Work visa (subclass 485) for more than 400 bachelor’s and master’s programmes and all PhD programmes from July 2023.
This means undergraduates on any of these 400 programmes will now be able to stay and work in Australia for four years, rather than two years. Master’s students studying within the selected disciplines will be able to stay for five years, rather than three.
PhD graduates in any discipline will be able to stay in Australia for six years instead of four.
The government announced that the extended post-study work rights would apply to graduates of qualifications for certain occupations including:
- Information and communication technology
- Food technology
Students are expected to check whether their disciplines are eligible for the extended post-study work visa.
Limits to working hours for international students will also be reinstated in July. However, these will increase from 40 hours to 48 hours per fortnight.
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The government lifted this restriction 18 months ago to tackle the shortage of workers in the country because of strict border closures during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Universities Australia’s chief executive Catriona Jackson said that “the current skills crisis highlights the urgent need to retain more of these students, when and where there is a clear need for their skills, to complement our homegrown workforce and spur productivity and economic growth”.
“The decision to extend working rights for PhD students, in particular, will provide a significant boost to the development of Australia’s knowledge economy,” she added.