Student Visa Work Limitations

For students, beginning of a new year marks the countdown to commencement of new study sessions for the year ahead.


A conundrum faced by many international students is that although having sufficient funds for their stay, Australia, especially Sydney, remains one of the most expensive places to live in the world. At some point, many international students will ponder the prospect of paid local employment to supplement their expenses.


As a student visa holder in Australia, you can work up to 40 hours work per fortnight while your course is “in session” as defined below:


  • advertised semesters including exam periods

  • you have completed your studies but your CoE is still in effect

  • you are undertaking another course during a break from your main course, to be used as credits towards your main course


There is no work limit for international students whose course is “out of session” in situations such as:


  • You are studying a master’s degree by research or PhD and you have submitted your thesis

  • You are permitted to defer your course of study

  • You have completed your course as scheduled and you still hold a valid student visa

  • If your enrolment has been cancelled due to the default of your education provider, you have unlimited work rights until you secure alternative enrolment and commence this course



For international students with family members, the following restrictions applies to the family members:


  • Family members cannot work until the primary visa holder commenced their study

  • Once allowed, family members cannot work more than 40 hours a fortnight


For students undertaking master’s degree (research or coursework) or doctorate degree, the above restrictions does not apply to their family members. However, this does not include situations where the Master’s degree / PHD students has commenced the preliminary course only.


At SCA Connect, our experienced agents can provide you with the latest updates and assist you in navigating through the complex Australian visa framework. To book a consultation with one of our qualified Migration Agents please click here.



Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.

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