Working in Sydney

Working while studying

The Australian student visa allows students to work up to 40 hours per fortnight. However, AFTT recommends students work no more than 16 hours a week to allow enough time to study.

You will need a Tax File Number and you may have to pay taxes. You will have to lodge a tax return each year. You can apply for a Tax File Number through the Australian Tax Office website.

Be sure to keep your Tax File Number secure and private. The Australian Tax Office website has more information about this.

Know your rights

All workers in Australia have rights. These are:

  • A minimum wage, that varies between jobs.
  • Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
  • Breaks and rest periods, and
  • A healthy and safe work environment.

If you feel your employer does not grant you these rights, you can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman to lodge a complaint. If you are unsure, contact International Services for advice.

Look for a job

You can look for a part time job on these sites:


It’s important to manage your finances properly while you are studying.

In addition to your tuition, you can expect to spend $390 a week on living costs. This includes your accommodation, transport and food, but does not include your textbooks, holidays or flights.

You should prepare a budget. A budget helps you plan your expenses. It helps you to see the amount of money coming in, and the amount of money going out. All your regular expenses should be included in your budget.

You should also track your spending. Your spending should match your budget. If they don’t match, you will either have to makes changes to your budget, or make changes to your spending. Visit for useful budgeting and money tracking tools

You can download the ‘TrackMySPEND’ app for free.

Opening a bank account

You can open a bank account online and transfer money before you arrive in Australia. Then to collect your bank card you will need to bring your passport and CoE to the bank branch.

If you prefer to open a bank account after you arrive, you will need your passport and CoE.

Australia’s major banks have student-friendly bank accounts that are tailored to international students. They charge low or no monthly fees. These include Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), Westpac and ANZ. They all have branches in the city centre.