Working and money

If you have a student visa, you can also work while you study.

This applies to both the you (as the student) and any family members travelling with you under your student visa. As a result, you will most likely not need to apply separately for permission to work.

You can view your visa online using Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). VEVO is a free internet service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It allows you, and your employer or education provider, to view your visa details online.

On June 30, 2023 temporary changes to student visa conditions will end. See the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) for information on student visa work rights and stay up to date with any requirements.

Unrestricted work rights for student visa holders will end on Friday 30 June 2023. From Saturday 1 July 2023, student visa holders studying an undergraduate or master by coursework program can work up to 48 hours per fortnight while their course is in session. However, students are not allowed to work until they have started their course.

The 48 hours per fortnight is in addition to any work undertaken as a registered component of your course of study or training. International students can work unlimited hours during scheduled official University breaks (see the student key dates) and non-compulsory sessions (for most students this includes session 3).

If you are doing voluntary, unpaid work it is not included in the limit of 48 hours per fortnight if it:

  • is of benefit to the community;
  • is for a non-profit organisation;
  • would not otherwise be undertaken in return for wages by an Australian resident (that is, it is a designated volunteer position); and
  • is genuinely voluntary (that is, no remuneration, either in cash or kind is received—board and lodging acceptable).

Family members of students are also not allowed to work until the student begins their course. Then they are allowed to work up to 48 hours per fortnight at all times.

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

An example of how 48 hours a fortnight is calculated: After their course has commenced, a student visa holder works the following numbers of hours over a four week period:

  • week 1 - 19 hours work
  • week 2 - 29 hours work
  • week 3 - 29 hours work
  • week 4 - 15 hours work

In the fortnight comprising weeks 1 and 2 above (48 hours worked in that 14 day period) or in the fortnight comprising weeks 3 and 4 above (44 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 which is also seen as a fortnight (58 hours worked in that 14 day period). Therefore, it's good to keep track of your hours each week and aim not to go over 24.

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

If you are going to work in Australia, it is important that you get a Tax File Number.

More about Tax File Numbers

All people working in Australia have basic rights and protection in the workplace.  These include minimum pay and conditions for any job you are employed to do.

Know your workplace rights before you look for work. See the Workplace Ombudsman website for International Students to help you understand your workplace rights.