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Working in Australia

Work restrictions

Only Australian citizens, permanent residents and New Zealand citizens holding Special Category (subclass 444) visas have no conditions placed on working in Australia.

Other visas carry conditions on working such as Student and Working Holiday Maker visas.

It's important to know the rules for your visa. Your visa may limit:

  • the type of work you can do in Australia
  • how many hours you can work
  • what job you can do

You can check your visa conditions with VEVO.

Note: A Visitor visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) does not allow you to work in Australia. Any non-citizen on a Visitor visa or ETA who is working in Australia is doing so illegally.

Know your rights in the workplace

There are minimum pay rates that you must be paid for all time that you work.

You must get a pay slip each time you are paid.

If you are being paid less than the minimum rate or not receiving a pay slip, your employer is breaking the law.

There are other rules about work in Australia such as the times you can work and how often you have a break.  To find information about the minimum pay rates and entitlements for your job Fair Work Ombudsman.

Working in Australia on a visa

Do:

  • Check and follow the rules for your visa.
  • Remember it is against the law for a person to ask you to pay money for a job or a visa. Be wary of job offers that require you to make an upfront payment or give back some of your pay.
  • Keep your passport and travel documents with you. It is a crime for your employer or anyone else to take your passport or personal items from you.
  • Know that your employer can't cancel your visa, even if it's been breached. Only the Department of Home Affairs can grant, refuse or cancel visas.
  • Seek help if your employer threatens to cancel your visa, report you to the Department or force you to perform work duties that you are not comfortable doing. Find information about workplace conditions at the Fair Work Ombudsman.
  • Know that it is a serious criminal offence for an employer to force you to work by threatening or deceiving you, restricting your freedom to leave or forcing you to pay off an unexplained debt. This behaviour should be reported to the Australian Federal Police on 131 237.

Don’t:

  • Enter into work arrangements with people who promise permanent residence in Australia. Only the Department of Home Affairs can grant permanent residency.