International Students and Work Rights in Australia

As an international student you and your family members have work rights on your student visa.

How many hours can I work?

According to the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs, international students on student visas undertaking a degree by coursework (Bachelor degree, or Masters by coursework) are entitled to work 40 hours a fortnight when University is in session, and unlimited hours when the University is on break.

A student undertaking a full research degree (Masters by research or PHD) may work unlimited hours during their studies in Australia. In both cases students can only start working after their course has commenced.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more information.

Temporary relaxation of student visa work limits

There is a temporary relaxation of student visa work limits to all sectors of the economy. This means that you can work before your course commences and work more than 40 hours a fortnight in any sector of the economy. This is a temporary arrangement and will be reviewed by the Government in April 2022. For more information, visit the Department of Home Affairs Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders website.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website

Proving to your employer you have work rights

Your employer may ask you to prove your work rights. You can download this letter from La Trobe University to show them.

If you need something more personalised then you can request a To Whom It May Concern Letter. This costs $40 and can take 15 working days.

Your work rights

Everyone in Australia, including international students, have basic rights and protections at work. The Fair Work Ombudsman makes sure your rights are protected. You are entitled to minimum wages and fair conditions. Read more at the Fair Work website.

Help finding work

La Trobe University’s Career Hub is a great place to start, to get help with your CV, interview skills and finding work.

Resources for international students and working in Australia