We look at the re-introduction of student visa work restrictions and extended post-study work rights for graduate visa holders from 1 July 2023.

Student visas

  1. From 1 July 2023 international students will be eligible to work up to a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight.

Employers must make sure that all relevant personnel, such as managers or supervisors are aware of the changes for those with student visas. 

Student graduate visa extensions                                               

Some holders of subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visas will be permitted to stay in Australia for a longer period beginning on July 1, 2023. 

The change will result in a stay period of: 

  • four years for a bachelor’s degree graduate, up from two years previously
  • five years for a master’s degree graduate, up from three years previously
  • six years for a doctoral graduate, up from four years previously
  • extension of one or two years for eligible students who live, work and study in regional areas will remain unchanged.

To be eligible for an extension, international bachelor and masters students must have a qualification listed on the eligible qualifications list. All doctoral graduates are eligible for the two-year extension regardless of their qualification. Extensions will automatically be applied to Temporary Graduate visa holders who have completed a qualification from the approved list or who apply for a Temporary Graduate visa from 1 July 2023.

Transitional provisions have been introduced that allow Temporary Graduate visa holders in Australia whose visas expired or will expire before July 1, 2023, to apply for a Subclass 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa. This will provide a two-year stay period for those working in Australia or have an offer of employment.

COVID-19 pandemic event (Subclass 408) visa

The government is considering an end date for the COVID-19 pandemic event (Subclass 408) visa possibly from 1 July 2023. 

The COVID-19 pandemic event visa (Subclass 408), also known as the Temporary Activity visa, was one of the measures taken by the federal government to help Australia recover from the economic downturn extension during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic event visa (Subclass 408) allows applicants to work in Australia if they are employed or have an offer of employment in a key sector. In response to an inquiry about the Subclass 408 visa, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) told SBS Hindi that: “the government is currently considering its ongoing suitability.” This includes consideration of an end date for closing eligibility of the visa (Subclass 408) and proposed approach to returning to normal operations. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) further said that: “there are a range of permanent or temporary visas that pandemic event visa holders may be eligible to apply for to remain in Australia,” the DHA added.

The DHA said its consideration of the visa’s future was in the light of: “…noting that its original intent was to assist those stuck in Australia due to COVID-19 related border closures.”

Currently, temporary visa holders in Australia, including student visa holders, are eligible for a Subclass 408 visa if their current visa (with work rights) expires in 90 days or less or expired within 28 days at time of application. Subclass 408 visa applicants can normally be granted a visa to remain in Australia for up to 12 months, however, for Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa holders, the pandemic event visa comes with a two-year period of stay.

However, the work cap will not apply to international students employed in aged care until 31 December 2023.


This article contains general information that is not meant to address the specific circumstances of any one person or organization. The information in this article may not be accurate as of the date it was received or may cease to be accurate in the future, despite our best efforts to provide accurate and timely information.

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