With the Hon Peter Dutton inflicted with the coronavirus, the The Hon Alan Tudge MP is currently acting Minister for Immigration. Yesterday he announced Student visa holders can exceed their 40 hour per fortnight restriction on work hours if you can help the supermarket chains put the stock on the shelves.

 In a press release he stated “Australia’s major supermarkets will temporarily be able to offer more hours to international student employees to help keep shelves stocked. International students currently employed at the major supermarkets will be able to extend their working hours to help meet high demand for essential items because of the coronavirus. Ordinarily international students are subject to a maximum 40 hours a fortnight during term.”

Currently these short term measures will be administered by the Department of Home Affairs and are available to major supermarkets including Woolworths and Coles, and only for existing employees in their existing roles. Other supermarkets are able to register with the Department if they believe the changes will assist them.

“The changes are short term and will be reviewed regularly to ensure they are working and that they are still required,” Mr Tudge said.

Of course this does not mean you can stop studying your course whilst you hold that student visa! If your supermarket hasn’t gained permission yet ask your boss to contact the DOHA.

You can read the Ministers full press release here.

In our next article we will cover what international students should do if their school, vocational college or university closes.

Jee Eun Han