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Working while on a student visa

Most students do some amount of paid work while studying. It is important to be aware of some specific rules that may affect you if you'll be working while on a student visa. You should also understand your rights as an employee, and be aware of how our Careers Centre can help you to find paid work.

It can be challenging to find work, and it’s important to think about how you’ll balance work and study. Remember to give yourself time to enjoy being a student and getting involved in student life.

If you do decide to work, you should first check you’re eligible, get an Australian tax file number and read about your rights and responsibilities working in Australia. The University’s Careers Centre offer services that can help you find a job.

How many hours you can work

If you are on a student visa, you are limited to working up to 40 hours per fortnight during semester and unlimited hours during university holidays. A fortnight is calculated as a 14-day period starting on a Monday. You won’t be able to work until after your course has started.

If you enrol in Summer or Winter school, you are considered in session and can work up to 40 hours per fortnight.

If you’re a postgraduate research student on a student visa, you can work unlimited hours during your studies. However, bear in mind that your visa requires you to maintain a full-time enrolment and complete your course within the duration specified in your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE).

If you have dependent family members included on your student visa, they are also eligible to work.

Find out about working conditions for international students on the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Tax file number

To be paid for working in Australia and pay the right amount of tax, you’ll need to get a tax file number (TFN). This is a unique number that stays the same even if you change your job, personal details or residency status.

When you start work, your employer will ask you to fill out a Tax file number declaration to provide your TFN.

Apply for a TFN on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Careers Centre

The University’s Careers Centre offers a range of resources and services to help you find employment, both during and after your studies.

The centre provides advice on looking for work, writing your resume and cover letters, improving your interview and communication skills, and long-term career planning.

Read the Career Centre’s advice for international students.

Finding a job

To apply for jobs you’ll need an up-to-date resume and a cover letter written specifically for each job you apply for. You may also need to respond to selection criteria. The University’s Careers Centre can help you prepare and apply for work.

You can search for work on the University’s CareerHub, or on websites such as Seek, CareerOne and Indeed.

Find out more about using job search websites.

Your rights at work

It’s important that you’re aware of your rights and responsibilities as a worker in Australia, and where you can go for help and advice. For example, every worker has rights around minimum wage, workplace health and safety, and discrimination.

Information and advice about working in Australia is provided by the Australian Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman.

Student Centre

Address
Level 3, Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus
Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
Last updated: 30 June 2017

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