Working in Australia

Working in Australia

If your student visa has been granted on or after 26 April 2008, you will automatically receive permission to work with your visa. This applies to both you (as the primary student) and any dependent family members travelling with you on your student visa.

When can I work and what hours can I work?

Student visa holders are entitled to work up to 40 hours each fortnight while their course is in session (excluding any work undertaken as a registered component of their course of study or training). Students can also work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks.

Postgraduate Research (subclass 574) visa holders can work unlimited hours once their courses have started.

Family members are not allowed to work until you begin your course. They are allowed to work up to 40 hours a fortnight at all times. Family members of students who have started a postgraduate research course may work unlimited hours.

For more information, visit the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs.

The Department of Home Affairs randomly checks workplaces and your employer will be legally obliged to provide the Department of Home Affairs with information, if requested. If you decide to work you will need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) from the Australian Taxation Office.

Do I need a visa label to show my employer my work entitlements?

No. Your visa information is held electronically and you can access it at any time using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system. Employers, banks and government services can also check details about your visa entitlements on VEVO once they have your consent to do so.

Where can I go for information about jobs and careers?

Please see the Macquarie University Career Service for assistance in developing your career. Regular Career Service workshops provide career education and generic skills development and employment opportunities including resume writing and interviewing skills. The Career Service also co-ordinates part-time and casual work for students, and arranges for employers to meet with and recruit students.

Tax File Number

You must obtain a Tax File Number to be able to work in Australia. This is available from the Australian Tax Office. How to apply for a tax file number - Individuals

Work rights and conditions

People working in Australia have basic rights and protections in the workplace.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Right to minimum pay
  • Right to certain conditions in any job you are employed to do

More about work rights and conditions is available from Fair Work Ombudsman.

Most people who hire you for a job (employers) want to do the right thing.

However, our experience is to be careful about:

  • Unpaid work trials
  • Fake contracting agreements
  • Cash-in-hand pay arrangements

Always make sure that you know the full name and contact details of your employer. It will be difficult to solve problems if you do not have this information.

Please contact the Welfare Services, Student Wellbeing or the Careers and Employment Services at Macquarie University if you believe you are being unfairly treated at work, or have any questions about your work rights and conditions. 

Advice from both services are free, and confidential.

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