Working on a student visa - Section contents

Student visas allow you to do limited work in Australia, subject to certain conditions.

Student visas are subject to condition 8104 or 8105, which allow limited work in Australia.

Under these conditions:

  • You and your dependants (if any) can only work after you have commenced your course
  • You and your dependants (if any) must adhere to the work hour restrictions set out in your visa conditions.

For a complete overview of work conditions, please see the Department of Home Affairs website.

When is my course in session?

Your visa conditions may state that your work hours are restricted while your course is in session.

Your course is considered in session:

  • For the duration of advertised semesters, including examination periods (even if you do not have any exams)
  • Any time you are enrolled in one or more subjects, and these subjects will count as credit towards your main course.

For Semester 1 and Semester 2 official semester and examination period dates, refer to the University dates page. If you are enrolled in an intensive or non-standard subject, refer to the subject's entry in the University Handbook for teaching and assessment period dates.

Work restrictions

Information for Course in session Course not in session
Coursework students who have started their degree 40 hours per fortnight Unlimited hours
Research students who have started their degree Unlimited hours N/A
AusAwards or Defence students 40 hours per fortnight Unlimited hours
Dependants of student visa holders enrolled in a Master or Doctorate degree Unlimited hours N/A
Dependents of all other student visa holders 40 hours per fortnight N/A

How is 40 hours per fortnight calculated?

A fortnight means a period of 14 days, starting on any Monday and ending on the second following Sunday. You may not work more than 40 hours in this period.

For example, if a student worked the following numbers of hours:

  • Week 1: 10 hours
  • Week 2: 30 hours
  • Week 3: 20 hours
  • Week 4: 20 hours

They would have worked more than 40 hours during the second fortnight (weeks 2 and 3), and would be in breach of visa conditions.

Internship subjects

Internship subjects that are undertaken as an elective, and that are not a mandatory requirement of your course will count towards your work limitation. If your course requires you to undertake an internship or placement, this will not count towards your work limitation. Please refer to the University Handbook for information about your course requirements.

Verifying your work conditions

Many organisations across Australia, including employers, recruitment agencies and banks, can also check your work conditions after getting your consent. If your employer wants to you to verify your work rights, provide them with a copy of your visa grant letter or VEVO record.

Workplace rights

If you will be working while in Australia, it's important to understand your workplace rights about things like pay, working conditions and health and safety

Useful materials include:

Claim your superannuation before leaving

If you've worked while in Australia, ensure you claim any superannuation paid to you when you permanently depart Australia.