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Establish an income

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Many university students need to work part-time work to support themselves while studying. Before looking for a job, think about how to balance studying and working hours. Full-time students should consider working no more than 8-10 hours per week. If you need to work more hours, consider reducing your study workload.

Before changing your enrolment, you need to:

  • discuss this with your faculty office or course adviser
  • consider whether this will affect scholarships or Centrelink payments.

International student visas allow:

  • up to 20 hours work per week during semester
  • full-time work during the semester breaks.

Finding work

Visit the Career Connect website:

Legitimate work arrangements

Students may be offered a job where they are paid cash and the employer does not deduct tax. This is illegal and may not be in your best interests. For example:

  • it may be more difficult to get compensation if you are injured at work
  • you may miss out on employer contributions to superannuation.

To protect your rights, see:

Taxation

If your only source of income is government assistance, you may not need to lodge a return. If you are working, you may need to lodge a tax return for income received during an Australian financial year (which ends on 30 June).

If you are working and receiving government assistance, ensure that either Centrelink or the employer deduct the appropriate amount of tax. Otherwise you may be required to pay extra tax at the end of the financial year.

See the Australian Tax Office (ATO).