Two-year extra post-study work rights for international students plus permanent migration places increased to 195,000

No change in work hours for international students till next year June (2023) following feedback from stakeholders.

The Australian Government will increase the duration of post-study work rights of international students to strengthen the pipeline of skilled labour with Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil’s announcement to increase the permanent skilled migration number to 195,000.

It was earlier set at 160,000 places for 2022-23.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil; Image Source: Twitter

Speaking at the government’s jobs and skills summit in Parliament House she said,

“Based on projections, this could mean thousands more nurses settling in the country this year, and thousands more engineers.”

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Minister for Education Jason Clare said at the moment, only 16 per cent of international students stay on after their studies end. 

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare MP visiting Sacred Heart Primary School in Villawood (Image source: Twitter – Jason Clare MP)

Today’s announcement will mean they can stay on longer and use the skills they’ve gained in Australia to help fill some of the chronic skills shortages we have right now.

Post-study work rights for select degrees in areas of verified skill shortages will be increased from:

  • Two years to four years for select Bachelor’s degrees
  • Three years to five years for select Masters degrees
  • Four years to six years for select PhDs.

A working group will be established to advise the Ministers for Home Affairs and Education on the development of this and other relevant issues.

Members of the working group will include representatives from the Council of International Education, the National Tertiary Education Union, Universities Australia, and the Departments of Home Affairs and Education.

The group will report to Ministers by 28 October 2022.

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No change to international students’ work hours

Minister O’Neil also announced today that work hours for international students will be capped again in June next year following feedback from stakeholders.

The number of hours will be subject to consultation with a view to striking the right balance between work and study.

Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil argues, that there is nothing in this room without universal support, but an area where almost everyone agrees is that we need to lift the permanent migration numbers for this year.

“I want to emphasise that one of Labor’s priorities is to move away from the focus on short-term migrants, toward permanency, citizenship and nation-building.”

To the state and territory premiers, she clarified, “we are building in a big lift under the state and territory sponsored visas – from 11,000 last year to 31,000.”

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said, “There were almost a million visas waiting for this government after the election, today, that number is around 900,000.”

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles; Image Source: @Twitter

He claims the government is getting on with the job of ending this crisis. To ease visa processing time an additional 180 staff are working on visa processing and another 190 staff are being on-boarded, and up to 200 staff are working regular overtime.

Now, the median number of days it takes for a person coming to Australia on a temporary skilled visa is down, from 53 days in May, to 42 days in July. And the median time taken to approve new businesses for sponsorship has halved, from 37 days to 18. 

“In May, students outside of Australia had to wait on average 40 days for their visa. Today, that figure is down to 31.

Importantly, over half of all working holiday visas for young people overseas are now finalised in less than a day.

Minister Giles said,

“We will invest 36.1 million dollars in visa processing, to surge staff capacity by 500 people for the next nine months.”

Minister Giles assured people waiting for visas that the backlog will be cleared.

“Waiting times will continue to come down.”