Working while on a Student Visa
If you are a student visa holder, you are automatically subject to Condition 8105.
What is Condition 8105?
Condition 8105 indicates that you must not work more than 40 hours in any given fortnight while your course is in session.
A common misconception is that you can only work 20 hours per week – this is not the case. You can work 40 hours in a week if you wish! However, during the week prior and the following week, you cannot work at all. It is therefore often easier to simply work 20 hours per week (or less).
These 40 hours per fortnight are calculated strictly and cannot be averaged out across the duration of your course.
What is defined as ‘work’?
‘Work’ for the purposes of your visa relates to any activity that results in remuneration. If an activity is undertaken but not remunerated – or if it is not undertaken but the remuneration comes through anyway – the visa holder would not be considered to have worked.
You may undertake volunteer work outside of the 40 hour limitation per fortnight if it is not your main purpose for being in Australia, the work involved would not otherwise be undertaken by someone who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen, and the work is genuinely voluntary – that is, it is for a non-profit organisation and no compensation for the work is received.
How about course-related work?
Work that is undertaken as a registered component of your course of study or training does not count towards the 40 hour limitation, as it is directly related to your course and a requirement for its successful completion.
How is ‘in session’ defined?
Your course is ‘in session’:
- For the duration of the advertised semesters, including exam periods;
- If your studies are complete but your CoE is still in effect, or – in the case of masters by research or PhD students – once your thesis has been submitted for marking;
- If you are undertaking another course during a break from your main course, and the points will be credited towards your main course
You may be allowed to defer or suspend your enrolment due to compassionate or compelling circumstances. This would require an extension of the CoE, but the course would be considered ‘out of session’ during the period that you are not studying.
During ‘out of session’ periods, you have unlimited authority to work whilst you still hold a valid student visa.
If you have any queries about your entitlements and restrictions while on a student visa, feel free to get in touch with us – it is always better to clarify your concerns than to be at risk of breaching your conditions.