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Australia: Visa Guides

Visa conditions for working while studying in Australia

Find out whether you can work while studying in Australia and what terms you must meet without breaking the terms of your visa...

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To study abroad in Australia at university level, international students must obtain a Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573). This is the most common subclass which international students will find themselves applying for when studying a Bachelor's, Associate's or 'Master's degree by coursework (you can read more about the different visas in Australia).


So, can you work while on a subclass 573 visa? This depends on when your visa was granted...



My visa was granted BEFORE 26th April 2008...

International students do not have automatic permission to work while studying in Australia. You will need to apply for a work permission (your admissions office can help with this).



My visa was granted AFTER 26th April 2008...

International students can work in Australia while studying though there are certain restrictions which you must abide by. Namely you can only work 40 hours per fortnight during the academic term and you can only do so once your course has commenced. These also apply to your dependants if you have any.



Can I work outside of term-time?

Yes, during this time you can work unlimited hours without breaking the terms of your student visa.



What does '40 hours per week' mean?

To make things clear, the following is a guide as to how much an international student can work in a given month:

  • Week 1 - 15 hours
  • Week 2 - 25 hours
  • Week 3 - 25 hours
  • Week 4 - 10 hours



Is work that is part of my course part of this quota?'

If you are undertaking any sort of work, work placement or work experience as as part of your course or programme, this is considered additional to the above quota of 40 hours per fortnight which you are allowed to work. Therefore you can still work 40 hours per fortnight like other international students on top of this.



And if you’re on a Postgraduate Research Sector (subclass 574) visa....?

You have unlimited working hours though you cannot work until your course has commenced. While completing any preliminary course which complements your main course (such as a Pre-Master’s to a Master’s), you can only work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight until your main programme begins.




Now that you know a bit more about the conditions to work while studying in Australia, start searching for a course in Australia.




Read more:

‘Applying for a student visa in Australia’

‘Working while a student in Australia’

Study in Australia


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