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student visa work hours

Student Visa & Working Hours

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Student Visa Working Hours Explained

As you may already know it's possible to work up to 48 hours per fortnight on a student visa to Australia, but there's a few things to keep in mind here. Firstly, all student migration information should be sourced from a migration agent or an official Government website. No exceptions.

Here’s a handy website, maintained by the Australian Government, so you know what you’re reading is legit. For the latest information please check:


Subclass student’s visa work restrictions will fall under 8105 and most spouses’ visa will fall under 8104.

Student Visa Work Hours FAQS

Do I need to work 24 hours per week?

Some websites suggest that a student must work 24 hours per week. That is incorrect. A student may work 18 hours 1 week and 30 the next or, 48 hours in the last week of a fortnight. As long as 48 hours is not exceeded, it doesn’t matter when it’s worked in a fortnight. Please refer to the table below to see what hours you may be able to work depending on the type of study undertaken.

If my spouse comes on my student visa, can they work unlimited hours?

Some websites also mention that a spouse may work unlimited hours or the same hours as their spouse. That is only true if the main visa holder is studying a Masters or a Doctorate. Also, if the main visa holder is not studying a Masters or a Doctorate, then the spouse can only work 48 hours per week, no exception, even during course breaks.

Is there a maximum wage I can earn as a student?

The only true ‘unlimited’ statement is the amount of money that a student can legitimately make during the said 48 hours / fortnight. For example, if a freelancer charges $450 / hour for photography, for 48 hours per fortnight, then that is fine. There is not a ceiling on the earnings of legitimate services should you find a buyer willing to pay for them.

Check your working conditions in Australia by course type

Please refer to this handy table below to check what your, and your spouse, work rights are in Australia on a student visa. Note that volunteer work is not included in the hour limits below.

What type of course are you enrolled in? Hours per fortnight allowed during term? Hours per fortnight allowed during scheduled course breaks? How many hours can my Spouse work (per fortnight)? How many hours can my Spouse work during scheduled course breaks (per fortnight)?
ELICOS 48 Unlimited 48 48
Undergraduate 48 Unlimited 48 48
Diploma 48 Unlimited 48 48
Certificate 48 Unlimited 48 48
Masters 48 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Masters (Research) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Doctor Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

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