International Students and Work Rights in Australia

Most international student visas allow you to work up to 48 hours per fortnight and full time during University session breaks.

If you're in Australia on a student visa, the number of hours you're allowed to work is defined in your student visa conditions. These restrictions may include any work experience undertaken as part of your study.

International student work restrictions re-introduced

From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for student visa holders will be re-introduced. Student visa work restrictions were relaxed throughout the pandemic, and completely removed in January 2022 to allow student visa holders to work over their normal limit of 48 hours per fortnight to address workforce shortages. This will end on 30 June 2023. Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more information.

Visit Department of Home Affairs

Work conditions for student visa holders

From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for student visa holders will be re-introduced under your student visa conditions. Once you have commenced studying, you are permitted to work a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight while your course is in session and unlimited hours when your course is out of session.

If work experience is a requirement of your course and compulsory so that you gain your degree, the hours will not count towards your maximum work hours per fortnight.

If you are a postgraduate research student and have commenced your masters by research or doctoral degree in Australia, there is no limit on the number of hours you can work.

Please note that different visa types have different work requirements. Visit the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs website to check you are working in accordance with your individual visa requirements.

Elective subjects with work requirements

If your course doesn’t offer Work Integrated Learning (WIL), Industry Based Learning (IBL) or placements as a part of your study plan, you can add them as electives. To find out more, visit our Work Integrated Learning and placements page.

Work you do as part of your course may count towards the 48-hour limit depending on whether it is a course requirement according to the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS):

  • If the work is specified as a course requirement with CRICOS, then the work won’t count towards the 48-hour limit.
  • If the work isn't specified as a course requirement (for example, as part of an elective subject), then the work will count towards the 48-hour limit.

These guidelines may apply even if you're not being paid for the work.

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

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 $44 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