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Working in Australia

Working in Australia —advice for international students

People granted student visas on or after April 2008 will receive permission to work with their visa grant. This will apply to both the primary student and any family members travelling with them on their student visa. As a result, most student visa holders will no longer need to apply separately in Australia for permission to work. The new arrangement will save student visa holders time and money.

For more information, please see Fact Sheet: New permission to work arrangement for student visa holders.

If you were granted a Student visa before April 2008 and have not yet applied for permission to work, you and your family members may only apply for Permission to Work after you have started your course in Australia.

Looking for work

Wentworth Institute provides classes for students to assist in resume writing and attending an interview.

Popular job listing pages in Australian include careerone and seek. These are an independent service, not provided by Wentworth Institute.

40 hours per fortnight work condition

From March 2012, student work visa conditions are measured as 40 hours per fortnight instead of the current 20 hours per week.

Under the new arrangements, international students can work for up to forty hours per fortnight once their course has commenced and during any period in which their course is in session. They will be able to work unrestricted hours during any scheduled course break.  This change will apply to both new and existing student visa holders and to both students and their dependents on a student visa.

A fortnight means a period of 14 days commencing on any Monday and ending on the second following Sunday.

The following example demonstrates how the condition will be applied.  A student visa holder works the following numbers of hours over a four week period (after their course has commenced):

  • Week 1 – 15 hours work
  • Week 2 – 25 hours work
  • Week 3 – 25 hours work
  • Week 4 – 10 hours work

In the fortnight comprising weeks 1 and 2 above (40 hours worked in that 14 day period) or in the fortnight comprising weeks 3 and 4 above (35 hours worked in that 14 day period), the work condition is not breached.  However, the student visa holder has breached their work condition in the fortnight comprising weeks 2 and 3 above (50 hours worked in that 14 day period).

Students found to have breached their work conditions may be subject to cancellation of their visa.

To find out about all conditions for working while studying, please see the Australian Government Conditions for working while studying page.

Tax File Number

If you intend to earn money in Australia you will generally be required to have a tax file number (TFN), a unique number issued by the Tax Office to individuals and organisations for identification and record keeping purposes.

For more information, please see How to apply for a TFN .