Working in Australia
Most student visas allow international students to work for up to 40 hours every two weeks while your course is in session, and for unrestricted hours during any scheduled course break. But before you undertake any paid work you need to make sure your visa allows you to work. Find out more at the Department of Home Affairs website.
If you have finished your studies and wish to work in Australia, there are a number of options that may be available to you. You should consider your post study work options by visiting the Department of Home Affairs website.
Your Rights at Work
Everyone working in Australia, including international students, has basic rights at work. Equal opportunities must be provided to all workers in Australia. It is illegal to disadvantage anyone in the workplace on the basis of race, religion, age, gender, marital status, sexual preference or disability.
Australia’s strict laws relating to employment conditions are there to protect you, providing you with:
- A minimum wage
- Protection from unfair treatment or dismissal
- Breaks and rest periods during longer working hours
- A healthy and safe work environment
For more information about your rights and responsibilities as an international student, visit the website of the Fair Work Ombudsman
Tax and Superannuation
Before you start working and in order to receive an income in Australia, you need a Tax File Number (TFN). Income includes wages or salary from a job, payments from the government, and money earned from investments including interest on savings accounts.
At the end of the financial year, which ends on 30 June, if you have been working then you must lodge a tax return. You can lodge a tax return and apply for a TFN online at the Australian Taxation Office website.
If you work in Australia then your employer is usually required by law to pay money into a superannuation or retirement saving account for you. These super guarantee contributions must be at least 9.5 per cent of your ordinary earnings and you are entitled to choose your own superannuation fund.
If you are eligible, you may be entitled to this money when you permanently leave Australia. For more information, visit the Australian Tax Office website.