The Morrison Government is increasing support for Australia’s tourism and hospitality sector by providing more visa flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic period.
The Government will remove existing work hour caps for Student Visa holders employed in the tourism and hospitality sector. A 40 hour fortnightly limit previously applied during study periods.
In addition, 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.
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.
The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs said these changes build on the Morrison Government’s support for sectors that are critical to our economic recovery.
“Government has listened carefully to the States, Territories and industry and is introducing these changes to support critical sectors for Australia’s COVID-19 economic recovery,” Minister Hawke said.
“Tourism and hospitality employs more than half a million Australians and these changes will allow them to supplement their existing workforce to keep their businesses running in addition to generating employment through a job multiplier effect,” he said.
Minister Hawke has also taken the decision, based on strong industry feedback, to include veterinarians in the Priority Skilled Migration Occupation List (PMSOL) which fills critical skills needed to support Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am continuing to take feedback and advice from a range of sectors and will make further announcements on temporary visa flexibility measures and priority skills in the near future,” Minister Hawke said.