How to apply for permission to work

If you were granted a Student visa before 26 April 2008 and have not yet applied for Permission to Work, you and your family members may only apply for Permission to Work after you have started your course in Australia.

Applying online is the quickest way for students and their family members to lodge Permission to Work applications. Applications received by post may take up to seven days to process and applications lodged in person may take longer.

Applying online

The table below outlines the three-step procedure to apply online for Permission to Work on a Student visa.

Step Action
1 Ask your education provider to notify the department electronically to confirm that you have started your course.
Important: Allow at least one hour for the transfer of this information into the department's system before going to Step 2.
2 Check the charges for lodging an application for Permission to Work.
See: Fees and charges for visas
3 Complete the online application and follow the prompts to pay for the application.
See: Student visa online applications

Note: Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector (subclass 576) visa applicants must bring a letter from your Australian education provider, to any departmental office, stating that you have started your course before commencing your online application.

Applying by post or in person

The table below outlines the four-step procedure to apply by post or in person for Permission to Work on a Student visa.

If you apply:

  • by post, your application takes seven days to process
  • in person, please be aware that your application may take at least 28 days to process.

Note: There may be delays during February, March and April. To avoid these delays, we strongly advise applying online.
See: Student visa online applications

Step Action
1 You must have one of the following:
  • a letter from your education provider stating that you have started your course
  • the front of Form 157P Application for a student visa with permission to work signed and stamped by your education provider.
See: Form 157P – Application for a student visa with permission to work (198KB PDF)
2 Check the charges for lodging an application for Permission to Work. You can pay the application charge by EFTPOS, credit card, money order, or bank cheque made payable to the department.
See: Fees and charges for visas
3 Complete Form 157P – Application for a student visa with permission to work
4

Post or deliver your application to your nearest departmental office.
See: Offices in Australia

Last reviewed Wednesday 27 August 2014