Employing international students and graduates in Australia
Does your organisation embrace a diverse workforce? Monash University is truly international, with students and graduates from over 170 countries who can offer you:
- their innovative ideas
- multilingual skills and cultural diversity
- international and regional networks
- insight into overseas markets.
Recent changes in government policies have simplified the process for employers to employ international students during or after their study in Australia, notably with the introduction of the post-study work rights visa (subclass 485).
Post-study work rights visa
Did you know that most international students upon graduation are eligible to apply for a post-study work rights visa (subclass 485)? This allows them to work in Australia for a specific duration depending on their qualifications.
- Bachelor / Masters by Coursework – two years
- Masters by Research – three years
- Doctoral Degree – four years
There are no visa sponsorship costs for you to pay when recruiting applicants who hold these new visas.
- Find out more about the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485).
- View Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) to check if applicants have suitable work rights in Australia.
Under the Fair Work Act (2009), all people working in Australia, including international students/graduates have the same rights and protections in the workplace, including minimum pay and conditions.
Temporary visa expires
The following options may be available if you choose to continue employing the worker after their temporary visa expires.
Please seek independent advice about the following options:
- nominate the employee for permanent residency through the Employer Nomination Scheme
- if your business in located in regional Australia, you may nominate employees under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
- apply for a Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) Visa for the employee if you are unable to find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill the role which can permit work in Australia for up to four years.
Employees may also be eligible to apply for permanent residency themselves if their work experience in your organisation is relevant to their nominated skilled occupation.
- View more on the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189).
Sponsoring an employee for temporary and permanent residency could have cost and other implications. View the Department of Home Affairs (HA) website or seek independent advice from a registered migration agent.
Skilled migration visa processing times
Regional sponsored and employer-sponsored visas receive priority processing by the Department of Home Affairs. The estimated processing time for an employer-sponsored visa is between three to twelve months so you should consider whether to sponsor the employee for temporary or permanent residency at least six months prior to the conclusion of their current work visa. Check the skilled migration visa processing times for the latest processing time.
When the application is lodged the employee may be provided with a bridging visa that could allow them to continue working in Australia while the application is assessed.
Fair recruitment practices
It may be unlawful to exclude international students and graduates (who have rights to work in Australia) from your recruitment.
Find out more from the web pages below:
- Protection from discrimination at work, Fair Work Act 2009
- Know your rights: Racial discrimination and vilification, Racial Discrimination Act 1975
- Recruitment responsibilities for employers, Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (VIC).
Unpaid work experience
You should check the Fair Work Ombudsman for full details about unpaid work.
Short vocational placements
We can connect with you with Monash faculties to match your requirements with course skills to develop suitable unpaid work-integrated learning placements.
More flexible work entitlements
International students now have greater flexibility to undertake paid work while they study. Students are able to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during semester. They can work unlimited hours during semester breaks. Masters by research and doctoral degree students can work unlimited hours once they start their course.
This flexibility allows international students to work on short-term projects or extra hours during peak periods. Find out more by viewing work conditions for student visa holders.
Information for businesses, agents and trade professionals about employing and sponsoring workers. Visit the Department of Home Affairs Employer Hub.
Workplace Cultural Diversity Tool
The Australian Human Rights Commission has a free online Workplace Cultural Diversity Tool to help businesses to assess themselves and enhance productivity through a culturally diverse workplace.
Live in Melbourne
Provides information about services offered to prospective skilled and business migrants, Victorian industry and employers, and migration agents. Find out more at Live in Melbourne.
Employing overseas talent
Victorian employers seeking to connect with overseas qualified professionals in Melbourne, can find information on employing overseas talent.
Assessment of overseas qualifications
The Victorian State Government Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) assists employers to appropriately interpret overseas education and qualifications.
Seeking migration advice
Only a registered migration agent can legally give immigration assistance in Australia, with or without cost. An agent can explain the visa options that are available to your prospective employee and recommend a suitable option should you decide to sponsor an international graduate on a permanent basis. For information to help you when using a migration agent, visit Using a migration agent in Australia. To search for a registered migration agent, visit the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).
It is not compulsory to use a migration agent to lodge a visa or sponsorship application with the Department of Home Affairs. The department has information on applying for a visa yourself.
This page sets out information of a general nature obtained from government websites at the time of publication and does not constitute legal or migration advice. Check the websites referenced for up to date information and seek legal or migration advice from a lawyer or registered migration agent.