Work component hours

Information on WIL hours and student visa work limitations during your course is ‘In and Out of session’.

Work conditions for student visa holders

According to Student Visa conditions after the commencement of a course, international students are permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when their course is in session and unlimited hours when their course is out of session.

Work component hours (WIL hours) that are formally registered as part of their course are not included in the 40 hours per fortnight limitation. WIL can only be registered as part of a CRICOS registered course where it is a compulsory element /requirement in order to gain the qualification. The legislation specifies that work won’t count towards the 40 hour limitation if the work was specified as a requirement of the course when the course particulars were entered in the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Elective courses with work requirements

If an elective is a requirement of the course but not a compulsory requirement to complete the course, it cannot be registered on CRICOS.  The work component hours (WIL hours) itself were not specified when the course was registered with CRICOS, students can still complete these electives but it would be counted towards the 40 hours per fortnight work limitation. This may be the case even if the student is not being paid for undertaking the work. However, volunteer work, that is work that would not normally attract remuneration, may be exempt. The student must seek advice from the Department of Home Affairs on their type of volunteer work.

If the student is a postgraduate research student and has commenced their masters by research or doctoral degree in Australia, there is no limit on the number of hours they may work.

Therefore to check if a student can do WIL hours beyond 40 hours per fortnight limitation, you are required to check if the WIL unit is a  compulsory/core requirement to complete their course and the WIL hours are registered on CRICOS.

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