Are you an International student?

Looks like you are viewing this page from Australia
Working in Australia

Working in Australia

Western is centred around one of the fastest growing economic regions.

Australia is a great place to work as an international student. You may choose to work while you are studying.

Work Restriction

Your student visa (subclass 500) is issued with permission to work however certain conditions apply This applies to both yourself and your dependants who travel with you to Australia on the same visa.

If you decide to work, it is important for you to be aware of conditions 8104 or 8105 that apply to your student visa. You and your family must not breach these conditions.

You can check the conditions of your student visa on the Australian Government’s ‘Check Visa Details and Conditions’ page.

The Australian Government temporarily removed work restrictions for student visa holders in January 2022 to address work-force shortages as a result of the Pandemic. This temporary arrangement ended on 30 June 2023. Restrictions have been introduced on 1 July 2023 with an increased cap of 48 hours per fortnight. Visit the Australian Government’s Work Restrictions page for more information.

You must not work in Australia before your program of study commences. This condition applies to your family members as well.

For undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students, once your program has commenced, you can work up to 48 hours in a fortnight while your program is in session. A fortnight means the period of 14 days starting on a Monday. A program in session means:

  • for the duration of the advertised study session, including exam periods
  • when you are undertaking another program, during a break from your main program and points from that program will be credited to your main program

Postgraduate research students are allowed to work unrestricted hours once your program has started.

Work experience is included in a student’s work restriction of 48 hours per fortnight whether it is paid or unpaid.

Work experience is not counted towards the 48 hours if the subject is a mandatory component of your program. In this circumstance, the work experience will not be included in the student’s work restriction of 48 hours per fortnight. However, if you are enrolled in a work experience subject that is an elective subject, the hours will be counted towards your 48 hours.

When you can work over 48 hours a fortnight

You are allowed to work over 48 hours a fortnight when:

  • it is a registered part of your program that is mandatory. Check with your School or Student Services Hub if the work is a registered compulsory component of the program
  • your master's degree by research or doctorate degree has started
  • your program is not in session;
    • for the duration of the advertised semesters, including exam period
    • when you are undertaking another program, during a break from your main program and points from that program will be credited to your main program

Your program is considered to be out of session:

"WSU is very practical, not only focuses on education but also the skills and knowledge we need to prepare ourselves for the future workforce."

— Brian Kong, Hong Kong, Bachelor of Business (Finance and Marketing)

"As an MBA student, I get the chance to do an internship in which I can gain industry experience and practice my studies from university."

— Jenna Nguyen, Vietnam, Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Volunteer work

You may take part in volunteer work outside of the 48 hours per fortnight work limitation if it fits within the description of volunteer work.

Volunteer work is work that:

  • is unpaid (you can be provided with meals, accommodation or out-of-pocket living expenses)
  • would not otherwise be done by an Australian for pay
  • is short term
  • is incidental to your visit to Australia
  • is done for a not-for-profit organisation
  • benefits the community

Unpaid work that does not fit within this description is counted towards the 48 hours per fortnight limitation.

It is important to abide by your student visa conditions and know your rights in the workplace.

Work Integrated Learning

Onshore international students must be informed of the compulsory and optional work placement hours incorporated into their programs (see ESOS National Code Standard 11)

The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) is the authoritative source of registered work hours for each program that onshore international students on student visa may be enrolled in.

Post Study Work Opportunities

Australia is a great place to find post-study work. Post-study work opportunities are available for international students who complete their studies in Australia. Graduate opportunities are available across Australia in a range of industries and sectors.

Work Rights in Australia

Visa Protections - Advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman

Your employer can't cancel your visa, even if it's been breached. Only the Department of Home affairs can grant, cancel or refuse visas. The Fair Work Ombudsman has set up an arrangement with the Department of Home Affairs to support and encourage migrant workers to come forward to request assistance and provide them with any evidence or information about exploitation. This will help the Ombudsman to better understand the issues faced by visa holders and migrant workers so that they can educate employers and employees about entitlements and obligations.

The agreement with the Department of Home Affairs is that a person’s temporary visa will not be cancelled if they:

  • had an entitlement to work as part of their visa
  • believe they have been exploited at work
  • have reported their circumstances to us
  • are actively assisting us in an investigation

This applies if:

  • they commit to abiding by visa conditions in the future
  • there is no other basis for visa cancellation (such as on national security, character, health or fraud grounds)

For temporary visa holders who do not have work entitlements attached to their visa, The Department of Home Affairs will consider the case on its merits.

Read more about workplace rights for all visa holders working in Australia on the Department of Home affairs website and The Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Legal Support

The Employment Rights Legal Service (ERLS) provides advice and representation to migrants and other vulnerable workers across NSW. ERLS can be contacted:

02 8004 3270

Online enquiry
Form at

Looking for work

Western Sydney University Careers provides online services for students to assist in searching for jobs, tips on resume writing, careers events and workshops and consultations with careers education consultants.

You can find full time and part time job opportunities both on and off campus on the Jobs and Work Experience page. Popular job listing pages in Australian include MyCareer and Seek. These are independent services not provided by The University.

Tax File Number

If you intend to earn money in Australia you will generally be required to have a tax file number (TFN), a unique number issued by the Tax Office to individuals and organisations for identification and record keeping purposes.

Jobs in Western Sydney

Western is centred around one of the fastest growing economic regions.

Western Sydney has increasing possibilities for working while you study, and work integrated learning.

We're here to help

Call +61 2 9852 5499 or contact an International Education Agent in your country.

"I love studying Law at WSU because of the practical approach they have to teaching."

— Avantika Prameshwar. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws