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Working hour cap brings winter blast for international students

Another money crunch looms for some students, writes Hanna Carlsson.

The cost of living crisis is about to hit international students even harder, with the reintroduction from July 1 of limits on working hours for people on a student visa. The limit on working hours was relaxed during the pandemic and removed in January 2022 to ease labour market shortages. But from July 1, a cap of 48 hours will be imposed, up from the previous 40 hours.

The shortage of affordable housing is among the challenges facing international students. (Photo: Hanna Carlsson)

Jennifer Kirkaldy, the general manager policy and advocacy for the Salvation Army, said the cost-of-living crisis was so severe that even people with some work were not making ends meet.

“The reality is that you have a job, but you do not have any kind of economic security,” she said.

First year student Paula Malz from Chile is living in Melbourne but is worried about the working hous cap and is already looking for cheaper accommodation

“It’s bad news for all of us, for all students,” she said.

Like many other students, Ms Malz is dependent on her work to be finance her education and pay rent. Although she has some savings, she worries about her future financial situation.

“Maybe I will get to a stage where I wouldn't make enough money to pay either my rent or my studies,” she said.

“Somehow, you will need to find a way to make that money. I do want to finish my studies, I would do anything to finish what I’ve started."

Details on the new working hour rules can be found here.


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