Working while studying

You will have work restrictions on your student visa that you must adhere to during your studies.

Working while studying

Student visas granted after 26 April 2008 are subject to condition 8104 or 8105 that allows limited work in Australia:

  • 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

For a complete overview of visa conditions, see: DIBP – Work conditions for student visa holders.

Working in Australia can be an important part of your student experience, however the University suggests that you do not work more than 6 to 10 hours per week.

When is my course in session?

Your course is considered in session if you are enrolled in one or more subjects that are part of or count towards your course of study (including non-teaching, assessment or examination periods).

Refer to the University's Academic Calendar for principal dates.

Information for Course in session Course not in session
Students who have started a coursework degree 40 hours per fortnight Unlimited hours
Students who have started a research degree Unlimited hours
AusAID and Defence students 40 hours per fortnight Unlimited hours
Dependants of a student visa holder enrolled in a Master or Doctorate degree Unlimited hours
All other dependants 40 hours per fortnight

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.

For example, a student works the following numbers of hours:

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

During the second fortnight (Week 2 and Week 3), the student worked more than 40 hours and is in breach of visa conditions.

More information: DIBP – Work conditions for student visa holders.

Verifying your entitlements

If you do not have a visa label placed in your passport, you can access your visa information by using Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) at any time. Many organisations across Australia, including businesses and recruitment agencies and banks, can also check your work rights after getting your consent.

What if my visa does not have permission to work?

Student visas granted before 26 April 2008 do not automatically include permission to work. Contact Student Visa Support for information on how to apply for permission to work.

Starting and finding work

Look for work through reputable sources and review the work contracts before accepting a job. Careers & Employment run Careers Online, and has a range of Online Career Tools. Remember to stay safe if you are working late.

Tax File Number

You must apply for a Tax File Number before you start working and complete a tax return each year. Learn about what you can claim from the tax return.

Balancing work and study

Juggling work and study can be difficult and frustrating. While working will bring in a much-needed income and teach you useful skills, don’t overwork yourself and focus on your studies.

Workplace rights

You should understand your workplace rights to ensure that your employer is treating you fairly. Refer to the Know your workplace rights page from the Fair Work Ombudsman's website. Careers & Employment has information about estimated pay rates, work rights and employment contracts.