If you are a student with a Student Visa, you may be able to work for up to 40 hours per fortnight during the year (and full time during scheduled study breaks), but not all students will be eligible.
This section explains some of the rules and regulations of employment, as well as the various options open to you.
1) FINDING A JOB - Starting your search for work
1.1 Check your visa rules
Australian Student Visa holders are normally eligible to work for up to 20 hours a week during term time and full time during holidays, but it is important to check your visa rules to ensure you are allowed to work before you start looking for a job. Check the rules at Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).
Depending on your qualification you may be entitled to work rights after your studies, but not all students will be eligible. Check the eligibility criteria and rules on the official Department of Home Affairs website.
1.2 Internet job search sites
Australia has a huge range of job search websites including:
Australian Government Job Search
Student Job Australia
1.3 Costs and earnings
You can use the Fair Work Ombudsman's Pay and Conditions Tool (P.A.C.T) to find out pay rates, penalties and allowances, leave entitlements and more. If you have questions about your pay and conditions at work you can visit fairwork.gov.au for help. This website has information available in 27 languages.
The International Student Welcome Desk at Sydney Airport is staffed by local and international student volunteers through a work integrated learning program. The student volunteers are responsible for greeting arriving students and providing them with assistance and information.
We want you to be a part of it. Study NSW is looking for students to take part in a Workplace Integrated Learning (WIL) program with their institutions and the NSW Government.
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Your right to fair working conditions - Fair Work Ombudsman
International students have the same workplace rights as all other workers in Australia. It is important to understand your workplace rights and entitlements if you plan to get a job, especially if it’s your first job in Australia.
Take the time to find an employer that pays correctly and doesn’t try to take advantage of you. Your employer must pay money for the work you do. Don’t accept offers of 'paid in-kind' (for example, with goods such as food) instead of your wages. Don't respond to questionable advertisements where there is only a first name and a mobile number provided. Know who you are working for – ask the question: What is the business name and Australian Business Number (ABN)?
3.2 Know what you should be paid
You should be paid at least the minimum wage for all hours that you work. You can use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool to work out the minimum wage for the work that you do.
3.3 Keep your own records
Pay slips and record-keeping are important for making sure you're being paid the correct wages and getting your employee entitlements. Keep a diary of the hours you work and the type of work you are doing.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Record My Hours app can help you record and store the hours you work, plus other information about your employment. The free app is available in 18 languages and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
3.4 Ask for help
Remember that it’s OK to ask your boss about your pay and conditions at work. You can also contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for help if you're having workplace issues, without fear of your visa being cancelled.
Read Jessica's story to find out how the Fair Work Ombudsman can help you sort out workplace issues to do with your pay and conditions.
If you know a workplace that isn’t doing the right thing, but don’t want to get involved or disclose your identity, you can report it anonymously in English or 16 other languages to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
To find out more about your rights and entitlements at work, register for My account with the Fair Work Ombudsman at www.fairwork.gov.au/register or call 13 13 94.