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Australia offers you the opportunity to work legally within a time limit while you are studying. It is one of the few countries that still allow international students to do so.

Each visa has its own conditions and restrictions, but a student visa usually grants 20 hours of work per week (part-time) while you are studying and, you are allowed to work full-time while you are on holidays. However, it is important to note that when a student comes to Australia with family members depending of his visa, working rights for dependants may be different. Sometimes, student’s dependants have different working conditions/rights to the student’s, depending on the student visa class under which they have come. The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) establishes the number of hours a student and his dependant/s can work depending to the student visa type held. For this reason, we always recommend to check this information with DIAC as the Australian government is constantly revising and updating the laws that rule student visas conditions.

Usually, the dependants of master and PhD students are allowed to work full time. However, it is important to verify the type of work permit for each case with DIAC. On the other hand, dependants of students taking other type of courses (English, vocational, certificates and diplomas, and undergraduate programs) usually get a part-time work permit equivalent to 20 hours of work per week.

Australia has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the developed world. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s unemployment rate in April 2013 was 5.5%. In comparison, other developed countries such as the European Union recorded an unemployment rate of 12,2% during the same period, according to the Directorate-General of the European Commission (Eurostat). This gives us an important indication of the positive Australian economic position and strength. However, it is important to note that the Australian economy did not escape the adverse effects of the global financial crisis that occurred between 2005 and 2010 and that its impact is still being felt. Even so, Australia has maintained an economic stability that continues to offer a rather stable environment to its residents and international students.

Post-higher study work visa


At the end of March 2013, the Australian Government introduced changes to the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). These changes provide the opportunity, to certain international students recently graduated from bachelor, master or PhD programs in Australia, to stay longer in this country to gain work experience to add to their Australian studies.

Thus, this visa allows them to remain and work in Australia for an additional 2 to 4 years depending on the type of study program taken as follows:

  • Bachelors or Masters by Coursework: 2 years
  • Masters by Research: 3 years
  • PhDs: 4 years

This visa has two subclasses with different conditions and restrictions:

  • Graduate Work stream – This subclass is for those international students who have graduated in occupations that are in demand in Australia at the time they lodge their graduate visa application, according to the Australian Government’s Skilled Occupation List (SOL).


  • Post-Study Work stream – This subclass is for all those international students who have graduated from a bachelor, master or PhD program in any area of studies at an Australian university. However, their first Australian student visa must have been granted after 5 November 2011.

For more information about this visa please go to the following link of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship: http://www.immi.gov.au/visas/students/485/

Remember that Australian Engagement will assist you in your job search. There are many testimonials that provide evidence that it is possible to get a job. All depends on how you persevere when looking for jobs. In the following web sites you may find some current vacancies:









Australian Engagement helps you in:

  • Identifying the best study option for you
  • Enrolling at the education institution of your choice
  • Applying for scholarships
  • Applying for your student visa
  • Job hunting
  • Getting connected to official translators, registered immigration and tax agents, and travel consultants

             We also provide you:

  • Pre-departure appropriate advice and support during your stay
  • Virtual assistance and visa application  from anywhere in the world


             Counselling free of charge!


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