Work Rights on Student Visa (8105 Condition)

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.

The holder must not engage in work in Australia for more than 40 hours a fortnight during any fortnight when the holder’s course of study or training is in session.

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
8104
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:

  • students studying a master’s by coursework or research degree
  • students studying doctorate degree.

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.

You can work for ​more than 40 hours a fortnight if you are:

  • employed by an aged care Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID, before 8 September 20​20
  • employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider (NDIS)
  • enrolled in a health care related course and you are supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials
  • employed in the agriculture sector

​NDIS providers

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​

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 co​ndi​tions.​​

​​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:

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