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The Minister for Home Affairs, Alex Hawke, has announced today changes to visa settings to allow more flexibility for student visa and temporary visa holders in Australia, who work or intend to work in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Existing work hour caps for Student Visa holders employed in the tourism and hospitality sector will be removed. A 40 hour fortnightly limit previously applied during study periods.

Temporary visa holders will be able to access the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa for a period of 12 months if they work in the tourism and hospitality sector. This decision adds tourism and hospitality to the critical sectors of agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and child care for eligibility for this visa subclass. However there are only 110,338 temporary visa holders as at 30 December 2020.

Temporary visa holders working in, or intending to work in, tourism and hospitality will be able to apply for the 408 COVID-19 Visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires and then remain in Australia for up to 12 additional months.