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Study & Work in Australia

Students enrolled for more than 3 months course in Australia must have a Student Visa.  After commencement of the course, international students can request for permission to work. To get it, they need to visit the closest immigration office with the passport, fill the form 157 P signed by the school, the letter from the school saying that the person already initiated the course and pays a tax of about A$ 60. All this process can also be done online and usually takes around one week to process the application. The permission to work (stamp in the passport) has the same duration as that of the visa, and will expire on the day of the student visa expires. The permission to work can be applied by all international students (from 16 years old and above).

International students can work any time during the day or night depending upon the timetable is not in conflict with the schedule of the course. The immigration understands this permission as an allowance, helping the student to pay some expenses, but not as the main objective. International students can work legally 20 hours per week, and during national holiday and vacation, they can work full time. We do not know how these hours are verified, but if students miss classes to work and have attendance problems with less than 80 %, the school has authority to report to immigration, which means inviting troubles. Business breaching the law may also receive fines.  

The Spouse or partner of international students can also have a part time job or 20 hours per week. Only the partner of student in courses such as PHD or Master with research can receive the permission to work full time and do not need to be studying. If the International student is accompanied by kids (less than 18 years), they also can work on part time basis, but the kids need to be enrolled in a course. The study for the children is not free for international students and they will have to be enrolled in full time course. In a couple, only one person needs to apply and pay for the Student Visa and the course. The partner can share the living expenses and may work part time, so it may help. But it is necessary to pay an extra amount for the OSHC Health insurance covering the family or the couple, and in the application for the student visa, it will be necessary to show extra income to support the family or couple (or show sponsors for both

With the limitation of time occupied by the study, students have to look for jobs available outside the traditional working hours; as they will be probably busy until 3 pm (most English Courses are between 8am to 3 pm).  Many Shopping Centers and commercial city centers in Australia close early around 5:30 pm. But there is a strong demand for evening and night work within the hospitality industry, and that fits very well, as this jobs offer flexible working hours in all kind of occupations in restaurants or hotels. There are some nocturnal jobs, as cleaners in commercial offices and in the IT industry but for this one it is necessary to have a specific knowledge. There are many opportunities in commercial and services business such as in Pizza places where students are contracted to prepare and deliver pizza (to deliver you will need to have a car) and many restaurants have students as waiters and preparing food. So it’s perfectly possible to find a job to conciliate the course, and also work in the weekends and during holidays.

International students receive permission to work with their visa grant

Note: Before you start working you must apply for an Australian tax file number (You can find the application information on the Australian Taxation Office website)

Your rights while working in Australia

Before commencing paid work in Australia you should be aware of your rights and responsibilities as an employee

  • Make sure you are being paid at or above the minimum rate of pay, as set out by the Fair Pay Commission.
  • Take time to carefully read through any contract or Australian Workplace Agreement you are asked to sign.
  • Think carefully about doing unpaid ‘trial work’. You should be paid for all work you undertake (unless you are volunteering or undertaking work experience arranged through your education provider)
  • Below is a list of websites that can help you with any questions, such as if you’re getting paid the right amount, or where to get advice if you think you have been unfairly dismissed.

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