Go to top of page

Working while on your Student visa

The work conditions offered as part of a student visa provide an opportunity for international students to gain cultural experience during their stay in Australia, and can also help them improve their English language skills. However it is important to recognise that international students should not rely on work in Australia to pay for the costs of their studies and living expenses.  Most international students are restricted to a maximum of 40 hours work per fortnight while their course is in session and may only work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. These conditions protect students from the pressures of excessive work commitments which might mean that they are unable to finish their course successfully.Working While on Your Student Visa

The below examples illustrate how work conditions on a student visa operate:

  1. Sally arrives in Australia three weeks before her Certificate III in Hospitality starts. Within one week, she finds a job as waitress. She begins working two-weeks after her arrival. Sally is in breach of her work conditions as she is working before her course has commenced.
  2. Abu came to Australia with his wife Jane on a Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa. Jane is studying a bachelor degree at university. Abu decides to take on a full time job with a local accounting firm. He is in breach of his visa conditions. This is because Subclass 573 dependants are not allowed to work more than 40 hours a fortnight unless the student is studying a masters or doctorate degree .
  3. Fatima is studying commercial cookery in Australia on a Vocational Education and Training sector (subclass 572) visa and is offered some work experience during the holidays. She works 75 hours a fortnight. Fatima is not breaching her work conditions as she is allowed to work unlimited hours while her course is not in session.
  4. Sajeed is working while studying in Australia on a Vocational Education and Training (subclass 572) visa. His roster for the next month looks like this:
Week one Week two Week three Week four
30 hours 10 hours 35 hours 5 hours

Sajeed is in breach of his visa conditions. This is because he will work more than 40 hours in week two and week three (he will work 45 hours). Sajeed should discuss this with his employer and ask to have his roster updated. For more information on the 40 hour a fortnight work condition, please visit our website.

  1. Ellen is studying her PhD. She is also tutoring at the university for about 50 hours a fortnight. Ellen is not breaching her student visa conditions. This is because the Postgraduate Research Sector visa (subclass 574) does not have a restriction on the number of hours a student can work. Ellen will still have to be careful to ensure she is achieving satisfactory progress on her PhD.

For more information on your rights at work, please see this blog post. For more information on visa conditions please visit our website.

Comments (42)

how can one apply to the university
whats the link? thanks

Hello sir,
I am very happy to hear that student have the prevail to work why schooling.

I am a final year student in the Faculty of Commerce, Al-Azhar University and I want to get a master's degree from Australia and if possible to live there for life and thank you

I am a student attending diploma of dental technology course and now seeking for information to obtain graduate visa. I have already checked website but there are some information on there differ from what other people say.

1. Is it possible to choose either of Academic or General Training of IELTS to apply for graduate visa? Or only General Training accepted?

2. Is that true I should undergo 360 hour of experience in laboratories to apply?

And if there is other requirement for graduate visa that is NOT mentioned on the website, I would really love you to provide me.


Hi Aki, in response to your questions:

1. We accept scores from both the IELTS general training test or the ILETS academic test. However your skills assessing authority may specify a particular test as part of the separate and additional skills assessment process.

2. To apply for the Graduate Work stream under the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa, applicants must graduate with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation in demand in the Australian labour market, as determined by the Skilled Occupation List.

Visa applicants for this visa are not required to have work experience.

Specific requirements for the Graduate Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa can be found on the department's website under the tab 'Visa applicants' at www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/485.aspx#stream

Hi, Farran
Thank you for replying early.

>Visa applicants for this visa are not required to have work experience.
Does this apply to Dental Technology course student in TAFE, too?
Of course I have already had a look at the specific requirements and confirmed that there is no metion about job experience on the migration website, however, my friend said that the requirements for applicants from dental technology class differ from others.


Hi Aki,

Dental Technology students do not need work experience to be eligible for the Graduate Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa. The requirements are the same for all applicants.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

hello sir please help me i struggle for study in australia

So I only have to get along with all the requirements listed on the website, am I right?
I really appreciate your help, Farran. When I encountered any obscure points again I would like to seek for your help.


Sir, nowadays students are changing from uni to private sectors because of high fee structure..What will be the consequences to those students

i am graduate and i want to get admission in Bussiness Administration
what documents i require and IELTS band also
i am 31 years old

Hi Tariq, the documents you require will depend on the qualification level of the Business Administration course.

Please visit the Study in Australia website for a step by step guide on how to apply to study in Australia. This website will tell you which student visa you need to apply for and what requirements you need to meet. See: http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/global/apply-to-study

Hi i am ibrahima ouedraogo i am very happy i want apply for student visa how i can do it

Well thats great job done by Australian education system.. Study has to be completed under the laws.. I would love to study there.. Students are forget that if they complete their study they will get work visa for 2 years to gain international exposure.. (Y)

Hello. sir can I use a company's business account for my student visa? AL3? They company is sponsoring my studies..reply plz

Hi Kings.

Assessment level 3 student visa applicants must show they have income from an acceptable source. A list of acceptable sources is available on our website. Select the student visa subclass you wish to apply for then look under Eligibility > Financial Requirements > Acceptable sources of income

Please see: http://www.immi.gov.au/Study/Pages/Study.aspx

I recently finished my bachelor and I met all the requirements to apply for graduate work visa. But I still have two years left on my student visa to study masters. Can you please tell me what will happen to my student visa if I apply for the graduate visa.

Hi Redwan. If you lodge an application for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa, you will still need to meet the student visa conditions while you hold your student visa. If you are granted a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa then your student visa will automatically cease.

Hi there, I'm an international student doing MBA major in HR. I'll finish in june 2015. I've heard that, once i finish my degree, I'll be eligible to apply for post study work PSW visa.
Can you plz write in detail what documents I'll require to apply for that? And is there any requirements that I'll have to be working in same field as i study to apply for PSW?
Thanks :)

Hi Umesh.

Specific requirements for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa can be found on the department’s website under the tab ‘Visa applicants’ at http://www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/485.aspx

You do not need to be working in the same field as your course to apply for this visa.

If an international student is studying a bachelor of commerce can he/she work more than 40hours during a Tution free/ study week or does the rule only apply for longer breaks like July winter break and 3 months summer breaks

Sir, when are off from the college or I mean when we have holidays , so sir how many hours we can work in holidays?
Can U tell me please 40 hours work permission for fortnight means we are allowed only to work 40 hrs in 14 days?

Hi Manoj. Once their course has started, international students can work unlimited hours whenever their course is not in session. For more information about when the course is in session, please see: http://www.immi.gov.au/FAQs/Pages/when-is-my-course-in-session.aspx

The 40 hour per fortnight work restriction means that if the course is in session, you cannot work more than 40 hours in any 14 day period beginning on a Monday.

Australia is very wonderful,peaceful country that's why I loved it.!!!I hope,I'm giving a chance to come back again and stay longer.!!In god's will.God bless me and God bless Australian..!!

I m sohan frm india. I got ofr ltr frm cq uni. rockhampton campus. I have 3 yrs work exp. it is genuine work exp. but I don't have salery slip bcuse I got salery in cash. now I want to knw that if I will get my coe frm uni should I apply my file in embesy. will it create any prblm my visa
plz rply me

Hi Sohan. You will need to show evidence of how the money to fund your studies was accumulated.

More information is available on our website. Select the student visa subclass you wish to apply for then look under Eligibility > Financial Requirements > Providing evidence of deposits or loans. Please see: http://www.immi.gov.au/Study/Pages/Study.aspx

Thanks for the post. please i need more information about studying in Australia. Thanks.

HELLO sir/ madam i have finished my 12 grade in 2014 and have 5.5 scores in each and i want apply diploma in qibt institute and just want to know is i am eligibliy for this i have 70% in 10 and in 12 mathematics scores is 37 and physice scores is 52 and chemstry scores is 52 and english scores is 47 so must want know
thank you sir/madam

Hi Ankush. There is a range of entry requirements that you will need to meet to be accepted into your chosen course. These will be listed on the website of the education provider.

You will also need to meet the requirements listed on our website to be granted a student visa. Please see: www.immi.gov.au/Study/Pages/Study.aspx

hlo sir
there is another question.
if I will got coe letr frm uni nd fulfill the requirement of university under svp(573) after that what is the requirement of embessy. is there chances of reject visa?

Hi Sohan. If you are eligible for streamlined student visa processing you will generally have reduced evidentiary requirements when applying for a student visa.

Please see: http://www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/573-0.aspx

Dear officer,

I am in my first semester at Curtin uni majoring in Bachelor of Health Science, however, after commenced on the course for 10 weeks, I feel like it is just not right for me. Hence, I want to change to Master of Commerce (cause I already hold a Bachelor in Business). I ask the agents and they said that I am not able to switch course. However, when I ask Curtin international office, they replied that I am totally fine to switch to Master of Commerce since the course is SVP course and I am still study at Curtin, which doesn't breach my visa condition. I want to ask if that is alright to change course and not affect my visa at all. By the way, I am on streamlined visa processing, with condition 8202, 8533, 8501, 8105, 8516, 8517. I want to make sure that I can continue my study and not breaching any conditions.

P/s: I called the DIPB office for 4 times already and I never got someone to take my calls at all, each time I waited for at least 2 hours. Do you think that there is some problems calling from cell phones? Cause I wanna ask about this matter of changing course but never got someone to pick up my calls except for the automatic reply.

Dear officer,
Can i please have further details about Australian study requirements which applied for Temporary Graduate Visa (post study work stream). If I change course, the new course duration is only 1.5 years, can I combine both the time in which i study the new course and the current course at Curtin. Or Australian study requirement only count for the Master course only. Thank you very much for your considerations.

Hi Emma. If you change courses, your previous course cannot be counted if it was not successfully completed.

Only courses which have been successfully completed can be used to meet the Australian Study Requirement.

We are bangladeshi.your post is very helpful for us.Thank you for you good post.