Learn about working here while you study, including work conditions and rights for international students, paying taxes in Australia, and finding a job.

What you need to know

International students are permitted to work in Australia. However, the following conditions apply:

You cannot commence work until your course start date has passed. Your course start date is the first day of your first semester at ACU, not the start date of your Confirmation of Enrolment.

From 1 July 2023, you can work no more than 48 hours a fortnight while studying. Student visa holders have no work restrictions when their course of study or training is not in session.

If you have come to Australia with your spouse, s/he may also be allowed to work. You must confirm this with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) prior to your spouse starting work in Australia.

You must obtain an Australian Tax File Number (TFN) prior to commencing work in Australia.

Once you have been in Australia for six months, you must pay tax on any money you earn.

Finding a job

ACU Careers and Employability offers support to help students with resumes and interview skills.  ACU also offers a Student Jobs on Campus program.You can look for part-time jobs on popular job websites such as:

Obtaining a Tax File Number

Before you start working in Australia, you must register for a TFN from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You will be asked to provide your TFN to your employer prior to starting work. If you do not provide your TFN, you will be taxed at a higher rate.

Paying tax in Australia

Once you have been in Australia for more than six months, you must submit a Withholding Declaration form to your employer so that you can pay tax on any money you earn.

At the end of each financial year (June 30), you will receive a Payment Summary from your employer. You must use this document to lodge an annual tax return with the ATO.

Your rights at work

The Fair Work Ombudsman is committed to ensuring that everyone who is employed in Australia receives the pay and conditions they are entitled to at work. As an international student, you have the same workplace rights as everyone else. The Fair Work Ombudsman has information in 40 different languages to help you know what your rights are.

The Fair Work Ombudsman can provide more information on your rights at work

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) can provide more information on working in Australia.

The Australian Taxation Office can provide more information on working and paying tax in Australia.


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