Resources for employers

NSW Jobs Connect for International Students

International students have broad work rights in Australia making it easy for employers to engage their unique skills and experience. International students and graduates can help diversify your organisation, enhance cultural capital and expand international networks.

Are you a NSW employer ready to hire international students in your workplace? Sign the NSW International Student Business Charter and showcase your story through the NSW Jobs Connect campaign.

Submit your expression of interest

Employing international students and graduates

International students are a diverse and reliable source of talent and contribute global skills and experience to NSW workplaces.

International students and graduates represent an important talent pool who are highly skilled, qualified and motivated to pursue career development opportunities in Australia. Misinformation and misconceptions, however, around their working rights and visa sponsorship often arise. This can lead to resistance or refusal on behalf of employers to hire international students or post-study visa holders.

The International Education Association of Australia has produced two guides for employers to learn how easy it is to hire international students.

Download Guide to Employing International Students and Graduates

Download Employer White Paper

International student visas and working rights

Employers considering hiring international students need to abide by Australian employment law. The Visa Entitlement Verification Online system (VEVO) allows visa holders, employers and education providers to check visa conditions.

Part-time and casual work

Until 30 June 2023, all ongoing students as well as new student arrivals and secondary applicants are able to work more than 40 hours a fortnight in any sector of the economy and work before their course of study commences.

After the 30 June 2023, the number of hours a Student visa holder will be allowed to work will again be capped. The number of hours a Student visa holder works, ensures that Students focus on obtaining a quality Australian education and qualification.

This supports their living expenses while in Australia, but provides them with valuable opportunities to enhance their English, gain experience in the workplace and become more involved with the local community.

Post-study work arrangements

Recent international graduates can apply for post-study work arrangements with the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) scheme. Graduates can gain valuable experience and showcase their skills in the Australian workplace for 2–4 years, depending on their highest educational qualification:

  • bachelor degree (including honours): 2 years
  • masters by research and masters by coursework: 3 years
  • masters (extended): 3 years
  • doctoral degree: 4 years
  • Hong Kong and BNO passport holders who successfully complete a bachelor, masters or doctoral degree: 5 years

Visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website to learn more.

There are no costs for employers when recruiting applicants who hold these visas.

Additional ways to engage

Mentoring

Mentoring is a great way to connect with international students to share your insights with the next generation of employees. It is also a valuable opportunity to reflect on your own experience and improve your leadership, communication and coaching skills.

Most universities and other education providers run mentoring programs for both local and international students. Contact the careers and employment office at your local education provider or university.

Work-integrated learning

Employers are increasingly looking for graduates with industry experience. Work-integrated learning (WIL) aims to build the capacity of Australia’s workforce, improve graduate job prospects and meet the skills needs of employers.

WIL combines academic learning with practical experience directly related to students’ course of study. It can include work placements such as internships, shadowing programs and practical projects with industry and community organisations.

Contact the careers and employment office at your local education provider to find out about opportunities for becoming a WIL host.

Internships

Internships are a great opportunity to provide students with hands-on experience in their area of study. They can be paid or unpaid depending on the industry and the length of placement.

Employers looking to engage with international students as part of an internship can do so, as long as students abide by the conditions of their student visa (subclass 500).

Many institutions have internship programs, so check with your local education provider. There are also private recruitment and internship placement firms that help international students find internships.

Unpaid internships

Employers can offer unpaid internships if the placement is a formal part of the student’s course or training program, such as a Professional Year Program or a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course.

Students should not be engaged to perform ‘productive’ work that would otherwise be done by a paid employee. The main beneficiary should be the person undertaking the placement, rather than the employer.

Most universities and other education providers run mentoring programs for both local and international students. Contact the careers and employment office at your local education provider or university.

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website to learn more.