One of the benefits of being an international student in Australia is that you can get permission to work part time while you study. Your visa information is held electronically by the Australian Department of Immigration (DIAC) and can be accessed at any time using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system. Employers, banks and Government services can also check details about your visa entitlements on VEVO once they have your consent to do so. For information on how to access VEVO please visit the DIAC website. However, you cannot start work until you have commenced your course in Australia. If you have approval to work, you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight while your course is in session (excluding any work undertaken as a registered component of their course of study or training) and they can work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks.

Subclass 574 visa holders can work unlimited hours once their higher degree by research course has started. Family members of students are not allowed to work until the student begins their course. They are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight at all times. Family members of students who have started a masters or doctorate course on a subclass 573, 574 or 576 student visa may work unlimited hours. After the completion of course, student visas cannot be converted to work permits.

If you are offered a job, your employer has to apply to the Home office for your work permit. International students often find work in retail, hospitality and administration. You could expect to earn a $6-15 an hour, depending on the kind of work you do and your age. You may be paid more for working on Sundays or public holidays.

Spouses can accompany full-time students on a dependent visa, provided they can show adequate funds for his or her support. Spouses can work full time if their stay is for a year or more.