Once you have received your visa, there are requirements you must meet in order for it to remain valid, including;
- You must remain enrolled and maintain satisfactory course progress and attendance.
- If you wish to change your qualification level you will need to apply for a new student visa.
- Provide your Australian address to your institution so they can contact you, and let them know if you change address.
- You must continue to be able to support yourself financially while you’re in Australia.
- Do not breach the working conditions applicable to your visa.
Visa help and assistance
The Department of Home Affairs website provides all information in relation to visa requirements, responsibilities and compliance. Please click here to visit The Department of Home Affairs website.
- Your institution’s international student support staff can provide you with assistance about the visa you’ll need for your course
- Education agents can also help with your visa application and paperwork (as well as your course application).
Work while you study
Working while you study in Australia can help complement your study and living experience. There are a number of reasons you might want to undertake part time work while studying in Australia, including assisting with living expenses and gaining work experience in your study area.
Most student visas allow students, 48 hours of work a fortnight while their course is in session. Working 48 hours a fortnight is equivalent to approximately three days per week. A fortnight is a period of 14 days starting on a Monday. Students can have unrestricted hours during any scheduled course break, but before you undertake any paid work you need to make sure your visa allows you to work. Find out more at the Department of Home Affairs website.
Australia has a wide range of industries and many have part time employment opportunities, including:
- Retail– supermarkets, department and clothing stores.
- Hospitality– cafes, bars and restaurants.
- Tourism– hotels and motels.
- Agricultural– farming and fruit-picking.
- Sales and telemarketing.
- Administration or Clerical roles.
If you have existing qualifications and/or professional work experience, you may be able to secure casual or part time work in your field.
Paid or unpaid internships can be a great way to get exposure to the professional, financial and creative industries. Learn more about getting an internship on the Internships page in the Education System section of this website.
There are many charities and non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia and they always need volunteers to help out. It can be a great way to meet friends, get some hands on work experience and give back to the community. To find out more about volunteering, start your search at: http://www.govolunteer.com.au/
Everyone working in Australia, including international students or those on working holiday visas, have basic rights at work. These rights protect entitlement to:
- A minimum wage and superannuation.
- Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
- Leave, breaks and rest periods.
- A healthy and safe work environment.
To find out more about your work rights visit the Australian Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman’s website(opens in a new window) or call them on 13 13 94. You can also read about (PDF 68.6KB)(opens in a new window) some common myths about being paid and working in Australia as an international student.
If you’re a temporary resident working in Australia your employer has to pay super for you if you are eligible.
When you leave Australia, you can claim your super as a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) if you meet all the requirements. To find out more about super for temporary residents visit the Australian Taxation Office (opens in a new window)website.
In Australia, employers (your boss) must also do all they can to make sure your job does not hurt you or make you sick. This law is called work health and safety (WHS) or occupational health and safety (OHS).
The law also says your boss must have insurance for you in case you are hurt at work. This is called workers’ compensation. If you are hurt or get sick at work, the insurance may pay for your medical treatment and for your wages until you can work again.
This covers all workers in Australia, even if you are on a temporary visa. Visit Safe Work Australia(opens in a new window) for more information or to download(opens in a new window) the latest checklist.
You will also need to get a tax file number to work in Australia. Visit the Australian Taxation Office(opens in a new window) website to find out more information on getting a tax file number, as well as information about paying taxes in Australia.
There are plenty of ways to find work that suits you, including:
- Newspapers and online job sites.
- Some institutions provide job notice-boards on campus and online. Contact your institution’s international student support staff to find out what options your institution offers.
- Register your details at a recruitment firm; many of them help place people in casual or short-term work.
Living costs in Australia
Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part of your financial preparation. For your reference, here are some of the costs associated with living and studying in Australia. (All costs are in Australian dollars and linked to the consumer price index.)
- Hostels and Guesthouses– $90 to $150 per week
- Shared Rental– $85 to $215 per week
- On campus– $90 to $280 per week
- Homestay– $235 to $325 per week
- Rental– $165 to $440 per week
- Boarding schools– $11,000 to $22,000 a year
Other living expenses
- Groceries and eating out– $80 to $280 per week
- Gas, electricity– $35 to $140 per week
- Phone and Internet– $20 to $55 per week
- Public transport– $15 to $55 per week
- Car (after purchase)– $150 to $260 per week
- Entertainment– $80 to $150 per week
Minimum cost of living
The Department of Home Affairs has financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a student visa for Australia. From 1 July 2016 the 12 month living cost is:
- You– $20,290
- Partner or spouse– $7,100
- Child– $3,040
All costs are per year in Australian dollars. To convert to your own currency, visit http://www.xe.com/(opens in a new window)
The Australian Government provides information and guidance on managing your finances. You can read more at www.moneysmart.gov.au(opens in a new window)
The ‘Insider Guides Cost of Living Calculator’ is also a useful tool to help estimate your cost of living(opens in a new window) in Australia www.insiderguides.com.au/cost-of-living-calculator/(opens in a new window).
If you experience financial trouble while in Australia, talk to your institution’s international student support staff for assistance.
The transport options available in Australia include buses, trains, trams and ferries. Your access to these transport services will vary depending on where you live. You will also be able to access private and public car services from taxis to hired limousines, available to take you from door to door.
Some larger education providers will also have their own in-house transport system, especially useful if you have to leave your campus late at night or live in a hard-to-reach area.
Public transport costs vary depending on where in Australia you live and the type of transport you are using. You should look at the relevant state or territory government website for where you are living to see the full range of services available, timetables, and the costs associated.
See information below about transport concessions in each state and territory, along with links to the relevant websites.
The Australian Capital Territory Government provides transport concessions to international students on presentation of their formal student identification card or upon successful application for an ACTION Students Concession Card. For more information on obtaining a Student Concession Card for the ACT please visit the ACTION(opens in a new window) website.
International students are generally not entitled to transport concessions in NSW. However, tertiary institutions are now able to offer international student discounted MyMulti passes, allowing students to save up to 35 per cent on the cost of travel on buses, trains, light rail and most ferries throughout Greater Sydney. More information about international student travel discounts(opens in a new window) is available.
A small number of international students whose study is fully-funded under specified Australian Government scholarships may be eligible for transport concessions. For further details, please refer to TfNSW’s Guidelines for Issuing NSW Tertiary Student Concession Cards (pdf 209KB)(opens in a new window).
In the Northern Territory primary, middle and senior school students travel free on presentation of a valid student card. University and VET students are entitled to unlimited bus travel for three hours on any scheduled public bus service at a cost of $1.00 on presentation of a valid student card. Full details can be found on the NT Department of Transport website.
Full‐time international students studying at a Queensland education institution in a course approved by Centrelink for Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance purposes are eligible for concessions on public transport. The Translink(opens in a new window)website provides full details on Queensland concession fares. Education Queensland International(opens in a new window) also provides details on the Fee Exemption Policy(opens in a new window).
The South Australian Government provides transport concessions for all international students on presentation of their formal student identification card. Further information on fares and conditions can be found at Adelaide Metro(opens in a new window).
Victoria has a comprehensive system of trams, trains and buses and an easy to use single ticket system.
Students may be eligible for a concession card(opens in a new window) if they are studying as part of an approved overseas exchange program, if they have refugee status or if they hold an Australian Development Scholarship. Please check with your education provider to find out if you are eligible. More detailed information on Victoria’s transport system can be found at Study Melbourne(opens in a new window).
International students who study in Tasmania qualify for the same travel concessions as local students. For detailed information on transport concessions in Tasmania please visit the Tasmanian Government Discounts & Concessions(opens in a new window) website.
International students studying full-time in Western Australia are eligible for public transport concessions. Transperth provides public transport services within the Perth metropolitan area, with an integrated bus, train and ferry network. This means that with just one ticket, students can ride on any bus, train or ferry and transfer between services within a given period.
For information about current concession passes visit the Transperth(opens in a new window) website. For general information about the public transport system in Perth visit the Study WA(opens in a new window) website.
If you hold a current drivers licence in your home country, you might be able to drive in Australia without sitting for any further driving tests. But remember that many state and territory governments require you to get an Australian drivers licence if you are here for more than three months. Your licence requirements, and any driving restrictions, are managed by the state or territory government where you are living. Visit the relevant state or territory government website or go to australia.gov.au(opens in a new window) to find out more.