Most students can work on an Australian student visa. However many students have only limited work rights. If you are studying at a bachelor, vocational or English course, you will usually be limited to 40 hours per fortnight (14 days) when class is in session. When class is out of session students would usually have unlimited work rights.
If you are studying at a Masters by research or PhD level on an Australian student visa, you would usually have unlimited work rights for the duration of your course if the work is included as part of the course.
How can I check my work rights?
Checking your work restrictions on your visa is very simple. You would look either at your visa grant notice, or you can check VEVO. If there is condition 8105 on your visa, this means you are limited to work 40 hours per fortnight and unlimited in school holidays.
Student visa conditions have changed slightly over the years, so it is important to check your conditions on your own visa.
How is the 40 hours per fortnight calculated?
immigration defines fortnights to be the period of 14 days commencing on a Monday. It is not defined as the average hours completed over the duration of your studies.
Are there any exceptions to the 40 hours per fortnight condition?
As per immigrations procedure advice manual on student visas – Sch2Visa500] Visa 500 – “this work limitation does not include work that is a registered component of the student’s course of study or training for the award to be obtained.”
When can I work unlimited hours?
You can only work unlimited hours when your course is out of session. A course is considered to be ‘in session’:
- for the duration of the advertised semesters (including periods when exams are being held);
- if a student is undertaking another course during a break from their main course and the points will be credited towards their main course.
Students would also have unlimited work rights in the break between courses (if you packaged courses together on the same student visa). Students also have unlimited work rights upon completion of your studies until the end of your student visa.
How does immigration check how many hours I worked?
Immigration can request evidence of your work from yourself, the tax office or your employer. If you are found to work above the allowed hours, you may have your visa cancelled by immigration for breaking visa conditions.
Can my partner work on a student visa?
Yes, your partner will usually be able to work on a student visa. The student dependent will usually be limited to work 40 hours per fortnight. The student dependent can only begin work when the main applicant has begun studying, Family members of students who have commenced a masters by research or coursework, or a doctorate degree are permitted to work unrestricted hours.
What are my work rights on a bridging visa?
The work rights on the bridging visa usually take over the same conditions as the work rights on your previous visa. Therefore if you were on a working holiday visa and applied for a student visa, on the bridging visa, you would have the same work conditions on the working holiday visa. For more information on the work rights on your bridging visa – read here
Can I obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) on a student visa?
Yes, A student visa holder can apply for and work on an ABN.
What is condition 8105?
Condition 8105 is placed on almost all student visa holders. The conditions states that:
- The student cannot start working in Australia until they have commenced their studies (their start date on the confirmation of enrolment)
- The student can only work 40 hours per fortnight when class is in session, unless, you are studying a masters by research or PhD and the work is part of the course.