Permission to work

Coursework students

You are only permitted to work in Australia after you commence your course. International students holding a student visa can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during a semester (including the entire advertised exam periods), or unlimited hours during official University vacations. Please visit the Department of Home Affairs website for working rights and other visa requirements.

Important: Please be aware that some courses' demands are heavy and you have little free time for employment. Part-time and vacation work is not always available and you should not depend on this form of income to cover living expenses or tuition fees.

Work Limitations

In and out of session

Most student visa holders are only permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when their course is in session and unlimited hours when their course is out of session.

The Department of Home Affairs considers a student’s course to be in session:

  • For the duration of the advertised semesters, including exam periods
  • When they are undertaking another course, during a break from their main course and points from that course will be credited to their main course

The Department considers a student’s course to be out of session:

  • During scheduled course breaks
  • If their course has been deferred or suspended in line with Standard 9 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students
  • If they have completed their course as scheduled and still hold a valid student visa
  • If their enrolment has been cancelled due to the default of their education provider until they secure alternative enrolment and commence the course.

Work Integrated Learning, Industry Based Learning and Placements

La Trobe University offers a range of Work Integrated Learning (WIL), Industry Based Learning (IBL) and Placement subjects opportunities for all students to undertake as part of their study plans and gain important Australian work experience.

Some courses offer these subjects as part of your study plan but if they are not, you can add them as electives. If you are thinking on adding these subjects as an elective, please read the information below. (Elective subjects with work requirements)

If you want to add a WIL, IBL or Placement to your study plan check the list of subjects available for you at our Work Integrated Learning & Placement page.

Explore subject availability by college:

Elective subjects with work requirements

The legislation specifies that work won’t count towards the 40-hour limitation if the work was specified as a requirement of the course when the course particulars were entered in the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). If an elective is a requirement of the course but the work itself was not specified when the course was registered with CRICOS, students can still complete these electives, however, it would be counted towards the 40-hour work limitation. This may be the case even if the student is not being paid for undertaking the work. Volunteer work, that is work that would not normally attract remuneration, may be exempt.

To confirm whether your course has a registered work component, please check the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)

For more information please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website.

Research students

If you are a research student:

  • You can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during any preliminary courses you undertake.
  • If you have commenced your masters by research or doctoral degree in Australia, there is no limit on the number of hours you may work.

Dependants of international students

Family members:

  • Must not start work until the primary visa holder has commenced their course in Australia
  • Can work up to 40 hours per fortnight at all times unless the primary visa holder has commenced a course towards a master or doctoral degree and holds a Student visa (subclass 500). In this case, there is no limit on the number of hours a family member might work.

For further information regarding work rights and other visa requirements, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

For assistance in finding employment consult the University's Careers Service.