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Student Visa Holders: 48hrs / Fortnight Max!

contracts hours of work international student visa Jul 03, 2023

Calling all current student visas holders!

As of 30 June 2023, there are now limitations in place on how many hours you can work while 'in session' as a University student. The number of hours a student visa holder can work is 48 hours (per fortnight).

Keep in mind: the total of 48 hours per fortnight refers to all jobs, not per employer. Hence, students with multiple jobs need to proceed with caution if they work close or up to 48 hours per fortnight.


In session? What does this term mean?

  • 'In session' refers to the University semester and teaching weeks that students are required to partake in.
  • The good news is, while you're on Semester break, student visa holders can work up to full-time hours without any limitations.
  • Students may be required to provide evidence of this to their employers. Employers - we recommend you ask for evidence of this before allowing your staff to work up to full time. 


Why has a limit been placed on maximum working hours for student visa holders?

  • This has been introduced so international students can focus on obtaining a quality Australian education.
  • Pre-Covid times a similar cap existed, of 40 hours per fortnight. This cap has been reintroduced but amended (increased). 


However, there are some exclusions:

  • This amendment does not apply to student visa holders working in the aged care sector, who are able to work unrestricted hours until 31 December 2023.


Actions for Employers:

  • Confirm which staff are on a student visa. 
  • Check their contract and roster to ensure compliance (less than 48 hours per fortnight unless exempt). Contract variations and roster changes may be required.
  • Ensure they and their managers know they cannot work more than 48 hours' fortnight while in session
  • Confirm if the team member has secondary employment and ensure they know this cap is across all jobs they hold in total
  • Ask for evidence if a student says they are not in session and ensure this is kept on file.


Actions for Employees:

  • Check your visa conditions and know your obligations. 
  • Ensure your Manager is also aware. 
  • Read your contract and check your rosters - let your Manager know ASAP if they are in breach. 
  • Count your total working hours across all jobs. If there's too many, you need to take swift action to reduce. 


If you have any questions about whether these limitations apply to you, please contact the Employii team at [email protected]

For more information, head to the Department of Home Affairs. 



Author: Chelsea Finlay (HR Officer).