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Working while studying in Australia

While studying in Australia, many international students opt to work during their non-study (free) hours. International students working in Australia while studying can work part time up to 40 hours per fortnight during the course and for unrestricted hours during course breaks.

If a student has moved with family, the dependents can also work up to 40 hours per fortnight. However, neither the student nor the dependants can work beyond the specified time. If found doing so, it can lead to cancellation of their visa. International students pursuing a course at the Masters or Doctorate level and their dependents can work for unlimited hours. International students must keep in mind that:

  • Work that is a formal registered part of your course isn’t included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight
  • If you’re doing voluntary, unpaid work, it isn’t included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight if it:
    • It’s a designated volunteer position), and
    • Is genuinely voluntary (that is, no remuneration is paid, either in cash or kind is received, excluding boarding and lodging)
  • If you’re a subclass 574 (Postgraduate research sector) student visa holder and you’ve commenced your Masters by research or doctoral degree in Australia, there’s no limit on the number of hours you can work
  • You can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during any preliminary courses you undertake on a subclass 574 (Postgraduate research sector) student visa

Employers can check online for international student’s working entitlements by accessing the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system.

International students can apply online for a Tax File Number (TFN) which they have to provide to their employer.

Overseas students working in Australia enjoy the same basic rights at work as Australians. These rights protect entitlement to:

  • A minimum wage
  • Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
  • Breaks and rest periods
  • A healthy and safe work environment

Here’s how international students can apply for permission to work.

The links to non-NAB third parties on this page are provided as information only. NAB cannot confirm the reliability of the information or services provided by these sites.

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