A guide to working in Australia for international students

Being an international student is an enriching and dynamic experience in itself. But it also opens many new doors for career development. Almost anyone on a student visa may be allowed to work for a certain number of hours per week. And many take advantage of this provision. In Australia, in particular, international students can pursue employment, as there are plenty of options available. With a robust economy and a strong emphasis on workplace diversity, working in Australia for international student offers a well-rounded and memorable chapter in one’s educational journey. The country boasts an inclusive work culture that offers unique and valuable professional experience. On top of that, it helps students earn extra to help with their living costs.

In this article, we’ll walk through what international students in Australia should know about their right to work while studying. We discuss Australia study visa updates, what the post-study work visa in Australia is and how students can make the most of the different opportunities at their disposal to work in Australia.


Australia study visa updates

Just last year, there were a couple of Australian study visa updates related to their right to work. This includes the cap for working hours for students in Australia. Here are two of those updates:

Effective 1 July 2023, international students are now restricted to working a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight (or 24 hours per week) during study terms and semesters.

Acknowledging the rising living expenses in Australia, the government has announced an increase in the financial requirements for student visa applicants. Starting 1 October 2023, international students must demonstrate evidence of AUD$24,505 in savings.

Staying up to date with these types of announcements can help international students plan ahead financially. It also allows them to understand what to expect and determine which work options and potential income streams are available to them once they begin studying in Australia.


About the post-study work visa in Australia

Of course, international students can’t just work while studying. Australia also has many provisions that enable them to work after graduating. With the post-study work visa Australia or the Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485), international students who have recently graduated with a degree from an Australian institution are allowed to live, work and study in Australia temporarily. The duration given upon applying for this visa can be anywhere between 2 to 5 years. This depends on different factors such as their completed degree or the passport they hold.


Tips on how students and graduates can find the right job

As there are different chances for international students to find work, during or after their studies, it could get overwhelming to find the right job. Here are a few pointers for them to keep in mind while on the job hunt in Australia:

Know your goals

Being honest about priorities, whether it be to gain additional income or dabble in the field of your choice, will make the job hunt easier and more focused.

Understand your work rights

Working rights (e working hours in Australia for international students) will vary depending on each situation, so it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what they can and cannot do.

Choose which type of job you can accommodate

Job seekers should know the differences between the different types of employment, such as full-time, part-time or casual work, and which of these they’re allowed to apply for based on their visa status. The nuances are usually in terms of worker’s hours, rights, entitlements and benefits (including wages).

Align work with your school schedule

Knowing the industry, scope and limitations of the job they want to apply for is important, but for international students, so is finding a job that will agree with their class schedule. This is a crucial consideration as their primary purpose for being in Australia is their studies, and they must be able to balance their different life aspects well. Study Australia says that “[p]ositions in businesses such as cafes, restaurants and retail outlets are popular because they have flexible schedules which can complement class timetables.”

Use credible job boards, networks and referrals to your advantage

Job seekers should make good use of their connections and communities while job hunting. Schools will usually have a bustling job board for their students, while graduates can benefit from referrals from their colleagues and professors.

Working in Australia is really an exciting prospect for international students, and staying informed about work opportunities will help them achieve this. For more information and tips about working in Australia, contact GSP’s business development experts today!

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