Working in Adelaide

Permission To Work

From 26 April 2008, people granted student visas will automatically receive permission to work with their visa grant. Most student visa holders will no longer need to apply separately in Australia for permission to work. Please note that you will NOT be able to work in Australian until the first official day of classes when the education provider will confirm your study commencement. Your education provider may do this automatically on the first official day of classes, or you may need to request that they do.

Working While Studying

  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 the term 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.

Finding Work

You may find it difficult to find work in Australia as you will be joining the general Australian population in your search;
therefore you should not rely on income from employment when budgeting to pay for living expenses. There is no
guarantee that employment companies will find work for you.

There are many different ways to find a job in Australia:

Earning an Income

Taxes are managed through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The tax you pay depends on how much you earn.

Getting a Tax File Number
You must obtain a Tax File Number to be able to work in Australia. A tax file number (TFN) is your unique reference number to our tax system. When you start work, your employer will ask you to complete a tax file number declaration form. If you do not provide a TFN your employment will be taxed at the highest personal income tax rate, which will mean less money in your wages each week.

You can apply for a TFN online at or phone 13 28 61, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. For the ATO translating and interpreter service phone 13 14 50.

Taxation Returns
If you pay too much tax you are entitled to a refund. To get a refund you will need to lodge a tax return. You can lodge online using e-tax (free), by mailing a paper tax return, or by paying a registered tax agent to complete and lodge the return for you. If you lodge by e-tax your refund will normally be issued within 14 days.

  • Lodge online using e-tax at
  • For a Registered Tax Agent visit
  • Tax returns are lodged at the end of the Australian Tax Year – 1 July to 30 June.

If your monthly wage is more than AU$450, your employer must contribute an additional sum equal to 9% of your wage into a superannuation (pension) account for you. In most cases, you can access your contributions when you leave Australia permanently, although the contributions will be taxed. To check your eligibility to claim your superannuation and to apply for your payment visit – you will need to provide the details of your superannuation fund.