Which Temporary Visas Have Work Rights?

As per recent data released from the Department of Home Affairs, there are now over 2.2 million temporary visa holders in Australia. This includes students, visitors, working holiday makers, temporary residents and bridging visa holders.

With many temporary visa holders now entering the Australian workforce, it is important for Australian businesses to understand which visa holders’ have work rights in Australia, and the conditions attached to each visa.

Temporary visas with full work rights

The following primary visa holders have full work rights in Australia but are subjected to condition 8107 which limits their employment to the approved sponsor.

  • Temporary Work (skilled) visa (Subclass 457)
  • Temporary Shortage Skills visa (subclass 482)
  • Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (Subclass 400)
  • Temporary Activity visa (Subclass 408)

The following visa holders have full work rights in Australia without any condition/ limitations as to their employment:

  • Partner (Provisional) visa - Subclass 309/820
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188
  • Temporary Work (skilled) visa (Subclass 457) dependants
  • Temporary Shortage Skills visa (subclass 482) dependants
  • Skilled Recognised Graduate visa (Subclass 476)
  • Special Category Visa (Subclass 444) granted to New Zealand Citizens
  • Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485)

There are other temporary visas which may also carry work rights such as temporary protection visas and skilled regional visas. These may have additional visa conditions that employers need to be aware of.

Temporary visas with work limitations


Working Holiday Makers

The main purpose of the program is to allow holders to visit Australia for an extended holiday. Working holiday workers can do any kind of over the course of the 12 months stay in Australia.

Working holiday makers can work full time but are subjected to the condition 8547 which limits the visa holder working with any one employer to a maximum period of six months, unless an extension is granted by the Department of Home Affairs. There are few exceptions to this rule depending on the location of employment.

For further information on WHV please please click here


Student visas

Most student visa holders are subjected to the condition which only permits them to work 40 hours a fortnight while university is in session and full time during semester breaks

Dependants on student visas are typically permitted to work only 40 hours a fortnight, unless the primary visa holder is studying towards a masters or doctoral degree.

In the last three years there has been substantial increase in the student visa cancellations for non-compliance. Therefore, it is important to carry out regular checks to verify their immigration status.

For further information on student visas please click here


Bridging Visa holders

Bridging visa typically allows the holder to remain in Australia after their current visa ceases, until their new substantive visa application is finalised. There are various Bridging visas, and the conditions imposed on the bridging visa is dependent on a range of factors.

Employers should carry out checks, at least every three months, to ensure that bridging visa holder has continued work rights in Australia.

For further information on bridging visas please click here


Updated: July 30, 2018


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