Working while studying

Working part time while you are studying in Tasmania is a great idea. You can earn some extra money, it gives you another chance to practice your English and you can learn more about Tasmania.

When you are working in Australia while you are on a student visa, there are strict rules on how many hours you are allowed to work. It is very important that you understand these rules, because if you break the law while you are working, you may find your student visa is cancelled.

Most people who are on a student visa in Australia are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week while studying and full time during the holidays. Students often find work in the hospitality, service industries or in unskilled labour earning approximately $14-$20 per hour.

This means that part time work alone will not be enough for you to live on while you are in Australia. However, if you are caught working beyond the maximum amount of hours there will be penalties, including the cancellation of your student visa.

Before starting work, think carefully about how it will affect your studies and your social life. Can you find a good balance between study, work, and your social life? Remember that your main reason for being in Tasmania is to study and if your studies suffer because you are working too much, you may impact your course progress which can result in visa cancellation.


  1. You are not permitted to start work until you have commenced your course of study
  2. You can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during your study and unlimited hours when your course is not in session.
  3. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) considers your course to be ‘in session’:
    • for the duration of the advertised semesters (including periods when exams are being held);
    • if you have completed your studies and your Confirmation of Enrolment is still in effect;
    • if you are undertaking another course, during a break from your main course and the points will be credited to your main course.
(Source: Department of Immigration and Border Protection)

View a full list of student visa conditions


Work after Study

If you choose to remain in Australia to work after finishing your studies, you will require the right visa type. For information about visa types, visit the DIBP website or speak to a professional migration consultant.


Some people intend to migrate to Australia by applying for permanent residency after completing their studies. There is an established process for migration that is facilitated by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). No education provider, including the Tasmanian Department of Education, TasTAFE, or GETI, is legally permitted to give you advice on migrating to Australia.

People studying in Australia on student visas are protected by the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) legislative framework, which ensures the quality of Australia’s educational institutions. However, this legislation also requires education providers to only offer places to those students whom they consider to be genuine, in that their primary purpose for being in Australia is to study.

There is no link between studying a particular course and permanent residency in Australia. Gaining an education in a regional area like Tasmania is no guarantee of a successful migration outcome.

Be wary of any education or migration agent who guarantees that permanent residency will be an outcome of studying a particular course or in a particular place.

For more information on migration, you should contact a professional migration agent or visit the DIBP website.