INTERNATIONAL - Why TAFE NSW - Life in NSW - Working - Content


Part-time work is a great way to earn money as well as gain experience, practice your English language skills and make new friends.

There is plenty of part-time work available in Sydney and surrounding regions. Once you have started your course, your student visa means you can work on a part-time basis during academic terms. You can work up to 20 hours per week while your course is in session, and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks and vacations.

You must pay tax on your earnings at the same rate as other Australian residents. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website has more information about tax for international students.

Your workplace rights

The Fair Work Ombudsman is an independent government agency that provides free education and information about people's basic rights and protections in the workplace, including minimum pay and conditions. It also helps to resolve workplace issues, conduct investigations, and enforce relevant Commonwealth workplace laws.

For more information about your workplace rights, download the international students fact sheet at the Fair Work Ombudsman's website or call them on 13 13 94. If you need the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS), please call 13 14 50 and ask for the Fair Work Ombudsman. You can also follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

You can also find helpful video resources in sixteen different languages and other translated materials at the Fair Work Ombudsman's website at

Post-study work rights

The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) provides recent graduates with the opportunity to temporarily live, study and work in Australia following their studies to gain practical work experience to enhance their Australian qualification(s).

If you graduate with a VET qualification from an Australian education provider, with skills and qualifications that are relevant to specific occupations Australia needs, you will be eligible to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa – Graduate Work stream. A visa in this stream can be up to 18 months from the date the visa is granted.

If you graduate with a Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral Degree from an Australian education provider, regardless of your field of study, you will be eligible to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa – Post-Study Work stream. A visa in this stream can be for up to four years from the date the visa is granted, depending on the visa applicant's qualification.

For more information about post-study work rights:

Finding Work

There are a number of ways to find part-time work, such as:

For more information on employment in Australia:


Unpaid volunteer work can help you gain experience, improve language skills and meet new people.

Interested in volunteering? Then visit

Tax File Number (TFN)

A tax file number is an identity number issued to you by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). If you are planning to work in Australia, it is highly recommended that you apply for a tax file number (TFN). For more information:

Do I need a TFN?

  • It is not compulsory to have a TFN. However if you don't have one, you may pay more tax than necessary on your income or on the interest on savings in your bank account.
  • When you earn money from a part-time job you must pay Australian taxes. At the end of each financial year (30 June), you may claim back the income tax from the ATO and get a tax refund.
  • Your employer and your bank (if you open a bank account) will ask you for your tax file number.

When should I apply for TFN?

  • Before you start part-time work
  • You can only apply for a TFN after you arrive in Australia

Ask your International Students Coordinator at your school or college to help you apply.