Working in Australia as an International Student
Are you curious about working in Australia as an international student?
Student visa work restrictions were relaxed throughout the pandemic, and completely removed in January 2022 to allow student visa holders to work more than their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight to address workforce shortages. This will end on June 30, 2023.
From July 1, 2023, work restrictions for student visa holders will be re-introduced and capped at the increased rate of 48 hours per fortnight (prior to COVID, the capped rate was 40 hours every two weeks). This ensures that student visa holders are able to focus on obtaining a quality Australian education and qualification, while remaining able to support themselves financially, gain valuable work experience, and contribute to Australia’s workforce needs.
How It Works
From July 1, 2023, and after you have started your course of study in Australia, you can work up to 48 hours per fortnight (every 2 weeks, starting on a Monday) when your course is in session.
You may work unrestricted hours during your study breaks or more than 48 hours per fortnight if the work is part of your course (i.e., it is a registered part of your course that is mandatory).
If you’re completing a master’s degree by research or a doctoral degree (PhD), you do not have work restrictions.
Sounds great, right? Just keep in mind that the money earned is not to be your only source of income for tuition or living expenses. Many students find it difficult to have time for a job. You must continue to balance your study and work commitments even though there is flexibility in the number of hours you can work.
You must still
- maintain your course enrolment
- ensure satisfactory course attendance, and
- ensure satisfactory course progress.
Student visa holders who cancel their enrolment and stop attending classes, or fail to meet satisfactory course progress, may be in breach of their visa conditions.
Your spouse or common-law partner (dependents) have permissions to work unrestricted hours once you (the primary student visa holder) have started your course.
Important: Employers seeking to hire the family member of a primary student visa holder (you) will request evidence
- of the relationship (such as a visa grant letter, marriage, or birth certificate), and
- that the primary student visa holder has commenced their course, such as a Confirmation of Enrolment or a letter from the relevant education provider.
Make sure you understand the work privileges and restrictions on your visa.
After You Graduate
A key outcome from the Australian Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit in September 2022 was the announcement of a two-year extension of post-study work rights for international graduates with select degrees in areas of verified skill shortage.
Post-study work rights for international graduates will be increased from
- 2 years to 4 years for select bachelor’s degrees;
- 3 years to 5 years for select master’s degrees; and
- 4 years to 6 years for all doctoral degrees.
This extension will be added to the Temporary Graduate visa Working in Australia as an International Student (subclass 485) for eligible graduates; or enabling a new visa application for those select students who already hold a TGV and will be seeking an additional two years.
The Government has considered the working group’s advice and has announced more details about the measure including the indicative list of occupations and eligible qualifications.