The Do’s and Don’ts of Working in Australia on a student visa

Are you planning to gain some work experience in Australia?

International students are limited to 40 hours of work per fortnight when your course is in session and unlimited hours in out of session periods. Work conditions for your visa can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.

 It’s essential to under your rights in the workplace.

  • There are minimum pay rates that you must be paid for all the time that you work.
  • You must get a payslip each time you are paid.
  • If you are being paid less than the minimum rate or not receiving a payslip, your employer is breaking the law.

There are other rules about work in Australia, such as the times you can work and how often you have a break.  To find information about the minimum pay rates and entitlements for your job Fair Work Ombudsman. Getting help to resolve a workplace issue will not automatically affect your student visa. 

Do:

  • Check and follow the conditions for your visa. Check your visa conditions on VEVO.
  • Remember it is against the law for a person to ask you to pay money for a job or a visa. Be wary of job offers that require you to make an upfront payment or give back some of your pay.
  • Keep your passport and travel documents with you. It is a crime for your employer or anyone else to take your passport or personal items from you.
  • Know that your employer can’t cancel your visa, even if it’s been breached. Only the Department of Home Affairs can grant, refuse or cancel visas.
  • Seek help if your employer threatens to cancel your visa, report you to the Department or force you to perform work duties that you are not comfortable doing. Find information about workplace conditions at the Fair Work Ombudsman.
  • Know that it is a serious criminal offence for an employer to force you to work by threatening or deceiving you, restricting your freedom to leave or forcing you to pay off an unexplained debt. This behaviour should be reported to the Australian Federal Police on 131 237.

Don’t:

  • Enter into work arrangements with people who promise permanent residence in Australia. Only the Department of Home Affairs can grant permanent residency.