International students are starting to arrive in Australia, ready to start the new school year and eager to find a job. As an employer, it is important you understand the work limitations imposed on international students.

Student visas have a work restriction, condition 8105, which states:

  • the student visa holder must not commence work in Australia before their course of study commences. This means that any student who arrives in Australia a month earlier than the start of their course, must wait until after their course commences to start work
  • student visa holders must not work in Australia for more than 40 hours a fortnight when their course of study or training is in session, this includes exam weeks. A fortnight is the period of 14 days commencing on a Monday
  • during term or semester breaks, a student visa holder is not limited by the 40 hour per fortnight work restriction and can work unlimited hours
  • work restrictions do not apply to work which is undertaken as a requirement of the course of study, or where the visa has been granted in relation to a master’s degree by research or doctoral degree, provided the visa holder has commenced that study.

In addition to undertaking the required work rights checks, when employing international students, we recommend you request from them a copy of the school calendar listing the semester or term dates. Every school is different and having the individual calendars will help you understand when the student is restricted to 40 hours per fortnight and when they can work unlimited hours.