COVID-19 has introduced a lot of changes into migration law. One of the latest changes to the law is the relaxation of working hours for student visa holders. Together with the Australian Border Force, the Department of Home Affairs will be taking a flexible approach to student visa holders working beyond the usual work limitations.
Student visa holders are not allowed to work for more than 40 hours per fortnight (8105 condition- work rights) as part of the visa condition. However, there is now a temporary relaxation of the rules in certain circumstance.
You can work for more than 40 hours a fortnight if you are:
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:
Whilst there is a relaxation of the rules, employers are still expected to follow Australian employment law.
Students who intend to work more than 40 hours per fortnight should discuss an arrangement with the employer. Students are not required to place an application to work more hours.
During this period, Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force will exercise their discretion not to cancel a student visa if they work more than 40 hours per fortnight.
Previous update: Student visa holders able to work more hours
Student visas are subject to condition 8104 or 8105, which allow limited work in Australia. Under these conditions:
|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|
|Graduate researchers who have started their degree||Unlimited hours||N/A|
|AusAwards or Defence students||40 hours per fortnight||Unlimited hours|
|Dependent type||When course is in session||When course isn’t in session|
|Dependants of student visa holders enrolled in a Master or Doctorate degree||Unlimited hours||N/A|
|Dependents of all other student visa holders||40 hours per fortnight||N/A|
One way to gain work experience and professional skills is to work as a volunteer. Hours spent volunteering will not count towards your student visa work hour limits, if:
For more information, see the Fair Work Ombudsman fact sheet on unpaid work.
How is 40 hours per fortnight calculated?
A fortnight is a 14-day period which starts on a Monday and ends on a Sunday. You may not work more than 40 hours during any fortnight.
For example, if you worked the following hours:
You would have worked more than 40 hours during the second fortnight (weeks 2 and 3) and would be in breach of visa conditions.
When is my course in session?
Your course is considered in session:
To find out the Semester 1 and Semester 2 dates, as well as the examination period dates, see your University/college dates page.
How can someone else check my work restrictions?
Many organisations across Australia, including employers, recruitment agencies and banks, can also check your work conditions after getting your consent.
If someone wants to you to verify your work rights, provide them with a copy of your visa grant letter or a link to Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).
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: