working and studying in Australia

International students cautioned about paid work visa restrictions

by Ray Clancy on September 23, 2014

in Education in Australia, Immigration Documentation

International students studying in Australia should not rely on work to pay for the costs of their studies and living expenses, it is claimed.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is reminding overseas students that while the work conditions offered as part of a student visa provide an opportunity to gain Australian work experience and can improve their English language skills, it usually cannot provide all the financing they need due to work restrictions.


Most international students are restricted to a maximum of 40 hours’ work per fortnight

‘Most international students are restricted to a maximum of 40 hours’ work per fortnight while their course is in session and may only work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks,’ said a DIBP spokesman.

‘These conditions protect students from the pressures of excessive work commitments which might mean that they are unable to finish their course successfully,’ the spokesman added.

The DIBP has provided examples to illustrate how work conditions on a student visa operate. In the first example, Sally arrives in Australia three weeks before her Certificate III in Hospitality starts. Within one week, she finds a job as waitress. She begins working two weeks after her arrival and is in breach of her work conditions as she is working before her course has commenced.

Abu arrives in Australia with his wife Jane on a Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa. Jane is studying for a bachelor’s degree at university. Abu decides to take on a full time job with a local accounting firm. But he is in breach of his visa conditions because Subclass 573 visa holders (including dependents) are not allowed to work more than 40 hours a fortnight.

Fatima is studying commercial cookery in Australia on a Vocational Education and Training sector (subclass 572) visa and is offered some work experience during the holidays. She works 75 hours a fortnight. Fatima is not breaching her work conditions as she is allowed to work unlimited hours while her course is not in session.

Sajeed is working while studying in Australia on a Vocational Education and Training (subclass 572) visa. However, his work rota for the next month involves 30 hours in the first week, 10 hours the second, 35 hours in the third week and five hours in the fourth week.

Sajeed is in breach of his visa conditions because he will work more than 40 hours in week two and week three. He would be okay if he can renegotiate his working hours so that he is not going over the 40 hour a fortnight work condition related to his visa.

Ellen is studying for a PhD and is also tutoring at the university for about 50 hours a fortnight. Ellen is not breaching her student visa conditions because the Postgraduate Research Sector visa (subclass 574) does not have a restriction on the number of hours a student can work. Ellen will still have to be careful to ensure she is achieving satisfactory progress on her PhD.

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Studying overseas in Australia

October 5, 2009 Australia Immigration

In an increasingly borderless world driven by information, one of the opportunities thriving in this kind of landscape has been to study overseas . With the opportunity, the individual is able to immerse themselves in a different culture and country while at the same time be able enjoy the modernity of the country’s educations system. […]

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