Updated Work Policy for International Students in Australia: Unlimited Work Hours During Semester Breaks

Navigating Part-Time Job Policies for International Students in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide

Australia, renowned for its high-quality education and vibrant culture, has always been a magnet for international students. However, the cost of living and studying in Australia can be substantial, prompting many students to seek part-time employment. This guide delves into the current policies, working hours, income ranges, and sector-specific details relevant to international students working part-time in Australia.

Work Policy for International Student in Australia
Work Policy for International Students in Australia

Part-Time Work Regulations

As of July 2023, international students in Australia are subject to a cap of 48 hours per fortnight (24 hours per week) for part-time work. This regulation applies to both new and currently enrolled students. This cap is designed to ensure students can balance work and study effectively, although it has been met with mixed reactions from the student community.

Working Sectors and Income Range

International students in Australia find employment across various sectors. While specific data on sector-wise income for these students is not readily available, it’s evident that the income varies depending on the job role and sector. Typically, these roles include retail, hospitality, tutoring, and administrative work.

Post-Study Work Rights

In a significant move, the Australian government has extended post-study work rights for international students graduating in fields linked to labor skills shortages. Bachelor’s degree graduates are now eligible for 4 years of post-study work rights, Master’s graduates for 5 years, and doctoral graduates for 6 years. This extension is particularly applicable to sectors like health, teaching, engineering, and agriculture, reflecting the country’s current skill shortages【6†source】.

Working Policy During Semester Breaks

As of July 1, 2023, the work policy for international students in Australia allows them to work up to 48 hours per fortnight during the semester. However, during university holiday periods, including the summer vacation, these students are allowed to work unlimited hours. This policy provides an excellent opportunity for students to earn more and gain additional work experience during their breaks. It’s important for students to ensure that their employment doesn’t conflict with their visa conditions and academic commitments. Source

Scope and Opportunities Post-Graduation

The extended post-study work rights significantly enhance the opportunities for international students in Australia. Graduating in a field with a labor shortage not only provides an extended stay but also increases the chances of gaining relevant professional experience and possibly, permanent residency.

Working Policy for International Students in Australia Summary

The work policy for international students in Australia, effective from July 1, 2023, is designed to balance the needs of students for work opportunities while ensuring their primary focus remains on their studies. The key aspects of this policy include:

  1. Work Limit During Semesters: International students are limited to working up to 48 hours per fortnight (which is a 14-day period starting on a Monday) during the academic semester. This cap is intended to ensure that students have enough time to focus on their studies.
  2. Unlimited Work Hours During Breaks: During scheduled university holiday periods, including summer and winter breaks, international students are permitted to work unlimited hours. This relaxation in work hours allows students to earn more and gain additional work experience during their breaks from study.
  3. Eligibility and Tax File Number: Students must ensure they are eligible to work in Australia and obtain an Australian Tax File Number (TFN). The TFN is required for taxation purposes and remains the same even if the student changes jobs, personal details, or residency status.
  4. Postgraduate Research Students: Students pursuing postgraduate research degrees are allowed to work unlimited hours throughout the year, provided they maintain full-time enrollment and complete their course within the duration specified in their electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE).
  5. Dependent Family Members: If an international student has dependent family members included on their student visa, these dependents are also eligible to work.
  6. Compliance with Visa Conditions: It’s essential for international students to comply with their visa conditions, including work limitations and academic requirements, to avoid any impact on their visa status.
  7. Rights and Responsibilities: International students working in Australia are subject to the same workplace rights and responsibilities as Australian residents. This includes rights related to minimum wage, workplace health and safety, and non-discrimination.

This policy provides international students in Australia with the opportunity to support themselves financially and gain valuable work experience while ensuring their academic progress is not compromised. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s advisable for students to consult official Australian government sources or their educational institution’s international student office.

Sector Wise Part-time Income Range for International Students in Australia

Based on the information gathered, here’s an estimation of the average part-time income range for international students in Australia, categorized by different working sectors:

  1. Retail and Hospitality: International students working in retail and hospitality can expect to earn between AUD 21.88 to AUD 30 per hour. This sector includes jobs in supermarkets, department stores, restaurants, cafés, bars, and similar establishments. Source Source
  2. Administration and Office Jobs: Those employed in administrative and office roles, such as customer service agents, data entry clerks, and receptionists, can earn an average hourly wage between AUD 22 and AUD 35. Source
  3. Tutoring: Tutoring is another viable option for international students, with the pay ranging from AUD 25 to AUD 50 per hour, depending on the subject and level of the student. Source
  4. Delivery and Driver Jobs: Jobs in delivery and driving, including roles like meal delivery, ride-sharing, and package delivery, typically offer an hourly pay between AUD 21.38 and AUD 35.
  5. Construction and Labouring Jobs: For those engaged in physically demanding jobs like laboring in warehouses or construction sites, the hourly pay can range from AUD 22 to AUD 45.
  6. Other Part-Time Jobs: Additional roles include working as a mail carrier (AUD 19-22/hour), delivery person (AUD 18-25/hour), personal trainer (AUD 20-25/hour), cleaner (AUD 18.5-25/hour), freelancer (varies based on job and skills), and head server (around AUD 25/hour).

Source:1 Source:2

Here’s the table summarizing the different job sectors, their descriptions, and the average hourly wage ranges for international students in Australia:

Job SectorDescriptionAverage Hourly Wage (AUD)
Retail and HospitalityJobs in supermarkets, department stores, restaurants, cafés, bars, etc.21.88 – 30
Administration and Office JobsRoles like customer service agents, data entry clerks, receptionists22 – 35
TutoringTutoring students depending on the subject and level25 – 50
Delivery and Driver JobsMeal delivery, ride-sharing, package delivery21.38 – 35
Construction and Laboring JobsLaboring in warehouses or construction sites22 – 45
Other Part-Time JobsMail carrier, delivery person, personal trainer, cleaner, freelancer, head serverVaries (e.g., 19-22, 18-25, 20-25, 18.5-25, etc.)
Sector Wise Part-time Income Range for International Students in Australia

This table provides a broad overview of the potential earnings for international students in different employment sectors in Australia.

The numbers provided are approximate and may differ based on the employer, the sector of employment, and geographical location. It’s also important for international students to be aware of their tax responsibilities in Australia, as taxes are imposed on international workers studying or working in the country. For tax purposes, international students are considered non-residents, and the tax rates they pay are based on their income, with different rates applying to different income brackets.

It’s crucial for students to manage their time effectively to balance work and study and to stay updated with the rules and regulations regarding working on a student visa in Australia.

Additional Resources

For more detailed information, international students are advised to consult the official Australian government websites and their respective educational institutions. Staying updated with the latest policies and regulations is crucial for making the most of their study and work experience in Australia.


Navigating part-time work policies as an international student in Australia requires staying informed about the latest regulations and understanding the scope of opportunities post-graduation. While the recent cap on working hours might pose challenges for some, the extended post-study work rights offer a promising future for those pursuing degrees in high-demand fields.

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