Australian Student Visas and Working Rights

The work conditions offered as part of a student visa provide an opportunity for international students to gain cultural experience during their stay in Australia, and can also help them improve their English language skills.

However it is important to recognise that international students should not rely on work in Australia to pay for the costs of their studies and living expenses. Most international students are restricted to a maximum of 40 hours work per fortnight while their course is in session and may only work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks.

These conditions protect students from the pressures of excessive work commitments which might mean that they are unable to finish their course successfully.Working While on Your Student Visa

The below examples illustrate how work conditions on a student visa operate:

Example 1: Sally

Sally arrives in Australia three weeks before her Certificate III in Hospitality starts. Within one week, she finds a job as waitress. She begins working two-weeks after her arrival. Sally is in breach of her work conditions as she is working before her course has commenced.

Example 2: Abdullah

Abdullah came to Australia with his wife Jane on a Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa. Jane is studying a bachelor degree at university. Abdullah decides to take on a full time job with a local accounting firm. He is in breach of his visa conditions. This is because Subclass 573 dependants are not allowed to work more than 40 hours a fortnight unless the student is studying a masters or doctorate degree .

Example 3: Salma

Salma is studying commercial cookery in Australia on a Vocational Education and Training sector (subclass 572) visa and is offered some work experience during the holidays. She works 75 hours a fortnight. Salma is not breaching her work conditions as she is allowed to work unlimited hours while her course is not in session.

Example 4: Mathew

Mathew working while studying in Australia on a Vocational Education and Training (subclass 572) visa. His roster for the next month looks like this:

Week one: 30 Hours | Week two: 10 Hours | Week three: 35 Hours | Week four: 5 Hours

Mathew is in breach of his visa conditions. This is because he will work more than 40 hours in week two and week three (he will work 45 hours). Mathew should discuss this with his employer and ask to have his roster updated. For more information on the 40 hour a fortnight work condition, please visit our website.

Example 5: Mariam

Mariamis studying her PhD. She is also tutoring at the university for about 50 hours a fortnight. Mariamis not breaching her student visa conditions. This is because the Postgraduate Research Sector visa (subclass 574) does not have a restriction on the number of hours a student can work. Mariamwill still have to be careful to ensure she is achieving satisfactory progress on her PhD.



For more information regarding your student visa conditions please email

If you are interested in studying in Australia please complete our wesbsite for information about Australian Student Visas and Online Australian Student Visa Assessment Form 

Immigration Law Matters Pty Ltd – Australia | Address: Suite 5, 600 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne Australia 3000 | Office Tel : (+613) 9300 1382 | For Urgent Enquires call Mobile : (+61) 403 676 452 | | Email:

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Youssef Haddad 20 posts

Youssef Haddad is a Director and a Principal Registered Migration Agent with ILM Australia. He is also a founding member.

Youssef is one of our leading Australian Migration Consultant and specializes in complex migration cases. Youssef has a strong understanding of the Migration Act and the Migration Regulations which allows him to effectively resolve complex migration matters.

Some of the matters that Youssef specializes in include Character Cancellations, Bogus Documents, Health Waivers, Onshore un-lawful Criteria, visa refusals.

Youssef handles all of our Migration and Refugee Review Tribunal Cases and is also responsible for representing our clients for Ministerial Intervention. Youssef has a high success rate when representing his clients which is a reflection of his sound understanding of Australian Migration legislation and devotion to the Migration Advice Profession.

Youssef also handles all of our Refugee and Humanitarian Visas and all other Family and Partner Migration Streams.When dealing with Youssef, you can expect to receive realistic and honest migration advice. You will have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities available to you under Australian Migration Law.

Youssef is originally from Lebanon and also speaks fluent Arabic.

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