WORK RIGHTS ON A STUDENT VISA
8105 condition (work rights) states that the holder must not engage in any work in Australia before the holder’s course of study commences.
From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for student visa holders will be re-introduced.
Student visa work restrictions were relaxed throughout the pandemic, and completely removed in January 2022 to allow primary and secondary student visa holders to work over their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight to address workforce shortages.
The Australian Government has announced that student visa holders already working in the aged care sector on 9 May 2023 can continue to work unrestricted hours in the aged care sector until 31 December 2023.
From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for all other student visa holders will be re-introduced and capped at the increased rate of 48 hours per fortnight. This ensures that student visa holders are able to focus on obtaining a quality Australian education and qualification, while remaining able to support themselves financially, gain valuable work experience, and contribute to Australia’s workforce needs.
However you can work full time when:
(a) to work that was specified as a requirement of the course when the course particulars were entered in the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students; and
(b) in relation to a student visa granted in relation to a masters degree by research or doctoral degree if the holder has commenced the masters degree by research or doctoral degree.
fortnight means the period of 14 days commencing on a Monday.’
An example of how 40 hours a fortnight is calculated: After their course has commenced, a student visa
holder works the following numbers of hours over a four week period:
- week one – 15 hours work
- week two – 25 hours work
- week three – 25 hours work
- week four – 10 hours work.
In the above example, the total hours worked in week two and week three is more than 40 hours. This means the student is non-compliant with the work limitation and may be subject to visa cancellation.
Student visa work hour restrictions
|Student type||When course is in session||When course isn’t in session|
|Coursework students who have started their degree||40 hours per fortnight||Unlimited hours|
|Research students who have started their degree||Unlimited hours||N/A|
|AusAwards or Defence students||40 hours per fortnight||Unlimited hours|
SECONDARY APPLICANT’S ON STUDENT VISAS WORK HOURS
Your partner can work full time as condition 8104 covers both master by research and coursework even though 8105 which is for the MAIN applicant ONLY allows only full time work for master by research or doctoral students.
8104 (all family members)
|Condition number||Who this applies to||Description|
|All family member visa holders||You cannot work more than 40 hours per fortnight. A fortnight means the period of 14 days starting on a Monday.
You must not start work until the primary student visa holder has started their course.
Exceptions – family members of the following students can work unlimited hours once the primary student visa holder has started their course:
Condition 8104 limits visa holders, other than family members of students studying a masters or a doctorate degree, to working no more than 40 hours a fortnight. A fortnight means the period of 14 days starting on a Monday.
Due to current workforce shortages, the Government has temporarily removed the limit on working hours for student and secondary training visa holders. This temporary measure applies to all sectors of the economy. This will end on 30 June 2023.
Until 30 June 2023, if you are a member of the family unit of a primary student visa holder, you may find and start work prior to the student’s course commencement.
After the 30 June 2023, the number of hours a student visa and secondary training visa holder will be allowed to work will again be capped. Further information will be provided closer the date.
Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders
Due to exceptional circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to ensure the supply of critical services, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force will take a flexible approach to student visa holders working beyond their usual work limitations, but only in specified industries.
There is no requirement for NDIS providers to register with the Department of Home Affairs. These providers should see the letter provided to them by the NDIS Commission for further details. See a list of NDIS providers.
Employers must continue to follow Australian workplace law. Overseas workers, including international students, have the same rights under Australian workplace law as all other employees.
These temporary measures will be reviewed by the government regularly. Employers will be advised when these measures no longer apply.
While these measures are in place, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force will:
- exercise their discretion under s116(1)(b) of the Migration Act 1958 to not cancel the visas of students who work in excess of 40 hours each fortnight to support your organisation
- not refer student visa holders for investigation of any potential offence under s235 of the Migration Act 1958 that might relate to the hours worked by a student visa holder in breach of their visa conditions
- not refer you or relevant third-party labour hire companies, as an employer, for investigation of any potential offence under s245AC of the Migration Act 1958 that might relate to allowing a student visa holder to work in breach of their visa conditions.
Student visa holders
Student visa holders do not need to apply for this temporary measure. You should contact your employer.
Working in Australia after you graduate
If you’re interested in staying in Australia to work after you graduate, you’ll need to get a new working visa before your student visa expires. As a graduated international student you may be eligible for:
- The Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) if you have completed a Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degree.
- To submit an Expression of Interest through the Australian Government’s SkillSelect, seeking approval to stay in Australia as a professional worker.
- State and territory government nomination for skilled and business migration.