As an international student, it is a great benefit to find an Australian job to help ease the cost of living while studying. International students have the option to include family members (spouse, de-facto partner, and children) on their visa application so it is important to know if family members can seek an Australian job as well.
How many hours can you work as a student?
International students are able to work at an Australian job a total of 40 hours a fortnight while their study is in session. International students are not able to work an Australian job until their study has commenced, and are able to work unlimited hours when their study is not in session (e.g. during semester break).
Volunteer work and any work that is a part of the course requirement is not included in this 40 hours. Once international students have commenced masters degree by research or doctoral degree, they are able to work unlimited hours in an Australian job.
How many hours can your family members work?
Family members of an international student are able to work 40 hours a fortnight once the study has commenced (if they have obtained their visa after 2008).
If the international student is studying a masters or doctoral degree, the family members can work unlimited hours in an Australian job. Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) is an online service that can be used at any time by international students and their family members to stay track of what hours they can work at their Australian job.
Know your job rights before you start to work
It is important for international students and their family members to know their rights when obtaining an Australian job.
A fair rate of pay is mandatory, so students and family members should never get paid cash in hand or free on a trial basis.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is a great website to familiarize students and family members, who are seeking an Australian job, with their rights.
To make things easier, it is a good idea to open an Australian bank account and applying for a Tax File Number before applying for an Australian job.
Potential workplaces for you and your family
Common Australian jobs that international students and their family’s work are retail positions, hospitality, services (such as a petrol station) or in the industry that the student is studying. Most universities have online and on-campus services that can help international students and their families obtain an Australian job.
Be connected with relevant networks
Other organizations such as the Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS) help international students and their families with all sorts of resources such as workshops, seminars, and apps, to help find employment in an Australian job.