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Student Visa Subclass 500 Secondary Applicant


Who is considered a student visa secondary applicant?

A Secondary Applicant is someone who is a spouse, de-factor partner or a dependent child of a Student Visa (subclass 500 visa) holder.

What do I need to know before hiring these visa holders?

There are two key considerations for employers hiring family members of international students. You must:

  • Understand their work entitlements; and
  • Understand their immigration compliance requirements

What work rights are they entitled to?

  • Family members can only commence work after the primary student visa holder has started their studies in Australia.
  • Family members are generally restricted to working 40 hours per fortnight, even when the course is out of session. However, if the student is studying a masters degree by research or coursework, or a doctorate degree then the family member can work an unlimited number of hours.

What is considered “work”?

For immigration purposes “work” is defined as an activity that normally attracts remuneration. Family members of student visa holders could undertake volunteer work outside of the 40 hours of work limitation if:

  • The work involved would not otherwise be done by an Australian resident, and
  • The work is genuinely voluntary for a non-profit organisation and that no remuneration, in cash or kind, is received in return for this activity. 

How is a fortnight calculated?

 A fortnight is a period of 14 days commencing on any Monday and ending the following Sunday.

As an Employer, what are my obligations?

Prior to offering employment to this visa holder, you must be satisfied that the person has work rights to undertake the role.  Department of Home Affairs requires employers to take reasonable steps regularly to ensure that an overseas worker is not employed in breach of their visa conditions.

With family members of student visa holders, we recommend that you carry out a visa verification check at least once a month to ensure that their visa continues to be valid since their visa is directly related to their partner’s studies. 

What are the common visa conditions for this type of visa?

8104
Visa holder cannot work more than 40 hours per fortnight and cannot start work until the primary student visa holder has started their course.

Family members of the following students can work unlimited hours once the primary student visa holder has started their course:

  • students studying a master’s by coursework or research degree
  • students studying a doctorate degree

8201
Adult visa holders (18 years or above) are subject to this condition. This means that while in Australia they cannot study for more than three months.

8204
Visa holder must not undertake or change their course of study, thesis or research topic without the approval of the Minister, for a:

  • graduate certificate
  • graduate diploma
  • master’s degree
  • doctorate, or
  • any bridging course required as a prerequisite to a course of study or research for a master’s degree or doctorate

8501
Visa holder is required to maintain adequate health insurance

8516
Required to continue to satisfy the visa grant criteria

8518
School arrangements must be maintained while in Australia.
This condition applies to dependent student visa holders who are under 18 years of age, while they are in Australia.