Know Your Working Rights With Student Visa 500

Australian Visa

The Australian student visa 500 allows international students to complete their studies in different sectors and work at the same time. The studies include higher education, research studies, vocational education, English language courses, foundation studies and school studies. From June 2017 onwards, all student visas are being issued under Subclass 500.

Work rights on student visa 500

The Visa Subclass 500 holders can work for up to 40 hours fortnightly and 20 hours per week as per Condition 8105, when the course is in session. The visa allows you to work part-time when the course commences.

Some more information about student visa 500

  • you will not be allowed to work until your course has commenced
  • you may work for unlimited hours when your course is not in session
  • If you are on student visa 500 and is pursuing masters through a research or a doctorate course, you are allowed to work for unlimited hours while studying provided the work is part of the curriculum.

How work hours are calculated?

It is very important to know how the work hours are calculated because Condition 8105 is easily misunderstood. You may end up working less hours than you are entitled to or breaching Condition 8105 unintentionally. To understand how work hours are calculated first you need to understand what is considered as work and what is considered as volunteer work.


As per rules, an activity that results in remuneration is defined as work. A student 500 visa

holder is said to have worked:

  • When they attend a workplace following a timesheet or roaster, however, this will not include unpaid breaks
  • When they are connected to an electronic device that keeps track of work activity
  • When they get their remuneration along with a pay slip but there should not be any documentary evidence showing they were not working during that period

Volunteer work

Being a 500 visa holder, you can opt for volunteer work in addition to the 40 hour work limitation fortnightly provided:

  • Your primary objective is to study in Australia and any voluntary work being less important
  • The voluntary work has not been accomplished by a permanent resident, an Australian citizen and a New Zealand citizen who is eligible
  • The work should be voluntarily done for a non-profit seeking organization and that you have not been paid for that either in cash or kind

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Work hour calculation

A period of 14 days starting on Monday is defined as a fortnight. The 40-hour work limitation in a fortnight refers to all the fortnights at the time when the course is in session. Average calculation of the fortnight based on the duration of the course will not be considered.

For example, as a student visa holder you have worked for 15 hours, 25 hours, 25 hours and 10 hours respectively in week1, week2, week3 and week4. In the fortnight of week1, week2 and week3, week4 the 40 hour work limitation has been complied with.

However, in the fortnight of week2 and week3, the total work hour is 50 and the work conditions have been breached. To be on the safe side, it is best to work for 20 hours or less in a week so that it comes to 40 work hours or less in a fortnight.

If the work is undertaken as a part of the course of study and is aimed at obtaining the degree, it will not be counted in the 40 hour work limitation in a fortnight.

When a course is considered to be “in session”?

  • During ongoing semesters including the time of examination
  • When the course is complete but the CoE is still effective. However, this is not applicable to PhD students and the course is considered as out of session when students submit their thesis even if the CoE is still effective. The PhD students can work for unlimited hours till they receive the marks for their thesis.
  • When students pursue another course during a break from the main course, the points get added to the main course

Unlimited work rights

Candidates with a validVisa 500have unlimited work rights provided they complete their course as per schedule and are not in session. Those students whose enrolment has been cancelled due to the educational provider’s fault also has unlimited working rights till they get enrolled in a new course and the course commences.

Work rights for multiple courses

Students who wish to pursue more than one course can work in between when one course gets completed and another course is yet to commence. Students who have applied for another Student Visa 500for pursuing another including those on bridging visa can also work. However, they are not supposed work from the date on which the new visa gets approved till the commencement of the new course.

Work right for partners

A partner is allowed to work for 40 hours fortnightly on a student visa only when the main applicant has started with the course. However, family members of student visa holders having masters through research or PhD are allowed to work for unlimited hours.

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How to check your work rights?

You get to know about your work rights from the 500 visa grant notice or check VEVO (visa entitlement verification online system). You can work for 40 hours fortnightly and unlimited hours during school holidays, if there is Condition 8105 mentioned on your visa.

How work hours are checked by immigration?

The Australian Immigration Department can ask about the details of work hours either from you, your employer or the tax office. If they find that you have worked more than the allotted hours, the immigration department may cancel the Student Visa Subclass 500 for violating the conditions.

If you are confused about your work rights and need advice, get in touch with Immigration Agent Adelaide. They not only help you to get a student visa but guide you all the way to permanent stay in Australia.


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