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Part time Work Options in Australia for International Students

Find out about your rights to work part time as an international student

If you’ve gone through our article on the costs of living in Australia as an international student then you already know that living expenses there are rather high, regardless of the tuition fees being comparatively cheaper. There was also a brief mention of part time work option for international students in the aforementioned article, and how the Australian government is very supportive of students seeking work during their studies.

Students entering the country on a visa under Subclass 500 are eligible to work up to 40 hours per fortnight. To state the obvious, a fortnight is a 14 day period (two consecutive weeks) that start on a Monday and ends on a Sunday the week after. This doesn’t mean 20 hours a week though; students always have the flexibility to divide up the work hours as they see fit. It could be 20 hours a week or it could 15 hours in the first week followed by 25 hours in the next. However, it is important to note that if you do 15 hours in the first week, and 25 the next, then the following third week cannot be more than 15 hours. In other words, the second and third weeks also count as a fortnight. Working beyond the stipulated hours could lead to a revocation of your student visa.

There are a few important notes to keep in mind:

  • You can only work once your study session begins.
  • In the event that your course curriculum includes that you work, then the 40 hour per fortnight limit doesn’t apply.
  • The limit also doesn’t apply to students who are categorized into the Post Graduate Research Sector during their research or doctoral thesis. Conversely, they must abide by the 40 hour limit during any and all preliminary coursework.
  • You cannot work part time without a Tax File Number. You can apply for a TFN from their official website.

In cases, where a student is a professional taking up higher studies in Australia, they may find work in accordance to their previous degrees and qualifications. But if you’re not such a professional, you can seek part time work in following areas:

  • Retail jobs in stores
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Hotels and/or motels
  • Farms
  • Telemarketing and sales
  • Clerical roles
  • Tutoring

In conclusion, the Australian government grants all students the same rights and privileges when it comes work while pursuing studies. Therefore, you can expect to earn the minimum wage as stated under the Fair Work Act 2009, which is AU $17 per hour.