Working While You Study in Australia

August 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Study Abroad

International students studying in Australia who were granted their student visa after 26th April 2008 can receive permission to work up to 20 hours a week during their studying. So after booking your flight to Australia these are the things that you will have to take into account.

For anyone whose student visa was granted before this date, it’s still possible to work part time, but to do so, you’ll need to apply to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) after you’ve begun your course of study.

For any student who has permission to work, it allows you to work for up to 20 hours each week while your course is running. You aren’t allowed to begin working until after you have begun your course in Australia however. If you have family that you are bringing with you, any dependants can also work for up to 20 hours per week – again after you have begun your course. There is an exception to this – if you’ve begun a Masters or Doctorate level course, then any dependants living with you, are not limited to 20 hours, but may work unlimited hours. Breaking the work restriction rules can mean that your visas may be cancelled.

When you go looking for work under the above rules, you do not require a visa label in your passport to show your employer that you’re entitled to work. All your visa information is stored electronically by DIAC and can be looked at using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system. This can be checked by Employers, banks and government services as long as they’ve received your consent to look at this information.

Many international students studying in Australia find work in areas such as retail or hospitality, or administration. You could expect to earn around Au$6-15 depending on such things as age, experience and the type of work you’re employed to do. Sundays and public holidays are generally paid on a more generous scale.

Another good way to earn money can be by tutoring younger students who are studying the same field as you, or offering language tutoring. Doing this you can often earn around AUD $40 per hour.

If you’re going to be working while you study, then you’ll need to obtain a Tax File Number (TFN) from the Australian tax office. You will need to supply your name, current address, date of birth, and usually the date you arrived in the country, your passport and proof of student enrolment. Your TFN may also be needed if you wish to open a bank account, and should be kept secure and not shared with friends or given on the internet when you’re searching/applying for jobs.

For the most up to date information on student visas and their requirements, it is always advisable to check the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.