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Indian temporary workers and students to be hit as Aus prepares for Covid visa revocation: report


MELBOURNE, May 17 (IANS) The Australian government is set to cancel the subclass 408 or Covid work visa in a move that could see a large number of Indian students and temporary workers scrambling for other options to stay in the country, according to a media report. .

Also known as the temporary activity visa, subclass 408 allows applicants to work in Australia if they are employed or have a job offer in a major sector.

“The government is currently studying its continued suitability. This includes consideration of the closing date for visa eligibility (Subclass 408) and the proposed approach to returning to normal operations,” the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) told SBS, Australia’s multicultural and multilingual broadcaster.

The development coincides with the Australian government’s move to impose a new working hour limit of 48 hours per fortnight for overseas students, starting from 1 July.

The Covid work visa offers students the freedom to work unlimited hours but now the working hours limits will return, reducing their income.

However, international students working in the elderly care sector will be exempt from this cap until December 31.

The closure of this visa will affect many, including foreign students. “They will look for a different visa to stay in Australia which they will pay for,” Suman Dua, an immigration expert told SBS, adding that the Covid work visa was free to obtain.

The Covid Work Visa was initially introduced to provide relief to overseas students in Australia who were unable to leave the country during Covid-related border closures.

Students were allowed to live in the country for an additional 12 months if their visas expired.In March 2022, the Dubai Health Authority announced that the Covid work visa would be extended as part of the government’s efforts to revive Australia’s pandemic-hit economy.

To address the ongoing labor shortage, the DHA has implemented a more flexible policy regarding visa requirement 8107, which relates to employment restrictions for subclass 408 visa holders.

“There is a range of permanent or temporary visas that pandemic event visa holders may be eligible to apply for to remain in Australia,” the DHA told SBS.

– Jans


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