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Posted on August 28 2015

Overseas students to check visa entitlement to work in Australia

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023

Student visas for Australia allow young people to work while they are studying in the country, but officials are highlighting that there are rules they need to follow.

Working is popular with overseas students, as it can help complement their study and living experience and cope with the costs involved such as living expenses. It also can complement studies by offering work experience.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) points out that most student visas allow the holder to work for up to 40 hours every two weeks while their course is in session, and unrestricted hours during any scheduled course break.

“But before a student undertakes any paid work they need to make sure their visa allows them to work and we have information on our website,” said a DIBP spokesman.

Australia has a wide range of industries that have part time employment opportunities for students, including supermarkets, department and clothing stores, cafes, bars and restaurants, hotels and motels.

During holidays there is also the possibility of farming and fruit picking, but there have been concerns voiced about exploitation by some unscrupulous employers and students are urged to make sure they are being paid the correct wage.

Sales and telemarketing is another potential source of income for overseas students, but again there have been a number of high profile cases recently where pay has been below the minimum wage or even non-existent.

“If you have existing qualifications and/or professional work experience, you may be able to secure casual or part time work in your field,” the DIBP spokesman added.

Paid or unpaid internships also exist and can be a great way to get exposure to the professional, financial and creative industries and there are many charities and non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia who always need volunteers.

“Everyone working in Australia, including international students or those on working holiday visas, have basic rights at work. These rights protect entitlement to a minimum wage, protection from unfair dismissal, breaks and rest periods and a healthy and safe work environment,” the spokesman added.

He also pointed out that most employers in Australia are covered by an ‘award’, which sets minimum wages and conditions for a given field of work or industry. There is more information on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website as well.

Foreign student also need to get a tax file number to work in Australia and this is also often needed to register with recruitment firms and job seeker sites. Universities also have international student support staff who can help with finding part time work

For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit



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