How to Navigate Work Conditions on an Australian Student Visa?

work conditions for international students in Australia

Navigating your conditions of work with a student’s visa in Australia can be somewhat challenging; however, with correct information and support (help from somebody) you will have the best results of an opportunity to earn. Student visas in Australia are subject to conditions that allow limited work during study. These conditions are set by the Department of Home Affairs and ai m to facilitate international students’ work experience and professional skills development while maintaining a balance between studies and work.

This blog helps you understand and navigate the work conditions on a student visa:

Understanding the Work Conditions on Student Visa

Overview of work rules and regulations for student visa holders

From 1 July 2023, student visa holders are restricted to working no more than 48 hours per fortnight during their course. The work-hour restrictions are as follows:

  • When the course is in session: 48 hours per fortnight
  • When the course isn’t in session: unlimited hours (during university breaks)

Work conditions for different types of student visas

Different types of student visas have different work conditions, such as:

  • Coursework students who have started their degree: are allowed to work limited hours.
  • Postgraduate research students: allowed to work unlimited hours during their studies, provided they maintain a full-time enrollment and complete their course.
  • Student-dependent visas: dependent family members can also work, with the same restrictions as the student visa holder.

It is essential to understand the specific work conditions associated with your visa type to ensure compliance with Australian laws and regulations.

Work Hours and Exceptions

International students studying in Australia are allowed to work a limited number of hours while on a student visa. From 1 July 2023, student visa holders can work up to 48 hours per fortnight during their course.

Here are some key points to understand about work hours and exceptions:

Work hours allowed for international students

  • Student visa holders can work up to 48 hours per fortnight during their course.
  • The work-hour restrictions apply to both paid and unpaid work.
  • A fortnight is 14 days starting on any Monday.

Exceptions to the work hours rule

  • International students can work unlimited hours during university breaks and holidays.
  • Volunteering hours do not count towards the work hour limits if the work is genuinely voluntary and would not otherwise be undertaken by an Australian resident as employment.

Work hours during holidays and breaks

  • During university breaks and holidays, international students can work unlimited hours.
  • The work-hour restrictions apply only when the course is in session.

It is important to adhere to the work hour restrictions set out in your visa conditions to avoid any legal issues. Additionally, it is essential to understand the exceptions to the work hour rules to make the most of your work opportunities while studying in Australia.

Work Permission and Visa Applications

To look for work in Australia while using a student visa, you must obtain permission through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). While managing student visas, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection plays an important role. The DIBP issues students’ visas and ensures that visa conditions are met. They mandate working hours limit and track the international students’ activities at work to ensure they comply with the terms of their visas.

Changes to student visa work hours and their impact on the Australian workforce

From 1 July 2023, student visa holders can work up to 48 hours per fortnight during their course. This change was previously set at 40 hours per fortnight, but it was temporarily increased to allow primary and secondary student visa holders to work without restrictions from January 2022 to June 2023. The reintroduction of work restrictions aims to maintain a balance between studies and work, while also addressing the needs of the Australian workforce.
The Australian government has also introduced an exemption for student visa holders working in the aged care industry, allowing them to work unrestricted hours until 31 December 2023. This exemption aims to address the ongoing skills shortage in the aged care sector and provide international students with opportunities to gain valuable work experience.

Work Experience and Opportunities

Here are some insights on the types of work experience, finding opportunities, and preparing applications:

    • Types of work experience: International students can gain work experience through internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer positions. Some courses in Australia offer work experience opportunities as part of their program structure.
    • Finding work experience opportunities: Students can explore internships and part-time positions through online job portals, university career services, and professional networking websites like LinkedIn. It’s also important to seek advice from course coordinators or student advisers before applying for work experience opportunities.
    • Tips for preparing applications: When preparing for work experience positions, it’s essential to create a strong resume or curriculum vitae (CV). Additionally, seeking advice from advisers is crucial, especially when considering unpaid opportunities, as they can provide valuable information about the expectations during the placement.

The Bottom Line

Seek advice from university advisers and career services when applying for work experience opportunities. Utilize time management tools and prioritize tasks to balance work and study commitments. Take advantage of support services available at your university, such as counseling and academic advising. Understand your work rights and protections, and report any unfair treatment or workplace issues to the relevant authorities. Ozee Migration provides comprehensive support and guidance in navigating work conditions on an Australian student visa, ensuring a successful academic and work experience in Australia.

By following these tips and utilizing available resources, international students can successfully navigate work conditions on a student visa in Australia and achieve their academic and career goals.

Recommended Read: How a Migration Agent Can Shape Your Educational Journey?