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Student Visa Work Rights

Visa Work Restrictions

As an international student at Deakin College, you can work part time while you are studying. It is important to be aware of some specific rules that may affect you if you’ll be working while on a student visa.

If you are on a student visa, you are limited to 40 hours of work per fortnight during semester and unlimited hours during holidays. You won’t be able to work until after your course has commenced. If your employer requires confirmation of the Deakin College holiday period, you can lead them to our website or ask us for an official letter from Deakin College.

Be aware that your visa requires you to be a full-time student (studying at least 3 units per trimester) and complete your course within the duration specified in your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE).

If you have dependent family members included on your student visa, they are also eligible to work.

Make sure you are aware of all the working conditions for international students on the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs website.

Tax File Number

If you are working in Australia, you will need a Tax File Number (TFN) so that your employer can pay you and you can pay the right amount of tax. This is a unique number that stays the same even if you change your job, personal details or residency status.

When you start work, your employer will ask you to fill out a Tax file number declaration to provide them with your TFN.

You can apply for a TFN on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Your Rights at Work

Everyone who works in Australia, including international students, is protected by a set of workers’ rights. For example, it is illegal for an employer to pay you in cash with no payslip. Other rights include working in safe conditions, being paid the correct rate and feeling comfortable at your workplace.

Finding a Job

Once you commence your studies at Deakin College, you may wish to start thinking about getting some real-world experience by working part-time, undertaking an internship or volunteering for a cause. Working or volunteering while you study is a good way to both expand your life skills and make new friends.

Once you are a Deakin University student, you will have access to the best university careers service in Australia (Graduate Recruiters Industry Association in 2017 and 2018), DeakinTalent.

DeakinTalent provides an online jobs database and other online careers tools and resources to increase your chances of finding part-time work while studying.

Taxation in Australia

If you’re enrolled to study at Deakin College, you will most likely be regarded as an Australian resident for tax purposes. This means:

  • you pay tax on your earnings at the same rate as other residents
  • you are entitled to the benefits of the Australian tax system, such as the tax-free threshold (or part of it, if you’re here for only part of the financial year)
  • tax offsets
  • generally lower tax rates than a foreign resident.

It is important that you provide your employer with your Tax File Number and that you receive payslips detailing the amount you have earned and the tax you have paid.

Rights and responsibilities

The Australian Government’s Education Services for Overseas Students Act, or ESOS Act, provides consumer protection for international students on a student visa, aims to enhance the quality of the student experience and protects the student visa program.


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