As demonstrated in our case studies, employing an international student or graduate is not difficult, and is an excellent way to grow your business both in Australia, and abroad.
In these FAQ’s, we’ve attempted to bust some common myths, and answer your frequently asked questions about employing an international student or graduate.
Once an international student has graduated, they can apply for the temporary graduate visa (subclass 485). The post-study work stream of the 485 – we call it the “easy 485” visa – is for international students who graduate with a higher education degree from an Australian education provider, regardless of their field of study.
It enables graduates to be employed for a period of two to four years, depending on their level of qualification. If the student graduated in South Australia, they qualify for an additional year, making it a minimum of three years, up to five years, of working rights.
A person with a 485 (post-study work stream) visa can be employed under the same conditions as an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident.
Aside from the 485 visa, international graduates can hold other valid working visas, too. Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more information.
If an applicant is still studying, it is likely they would be on a student visa which enables them to work up to 40 hours per fortnight, or full-time during semester breaks.
You could consider employing an international student for an internship or placement and go on to offer them full-time employment once they’ve finished their study.
Recent international graduates may also be eligible to be nominated by the State Government for a skilled visa. Providing skilled work experience may assist them to qualify. Visit the Move to South Australia website for more information.
There are also many higher degree Masters and PhD graduates from health sciences, engineering, agriculture and business.
With a growing number of international students choosing to study engineering and IT in Australia, the defence, technology, engineering and science industries are well-placed to unlock the benefits of employing an international student or graduate.
Internships may be part-time or full-time. They are usually part-time if offered during a university semester and full-time if offered during holidays, when they typically last four to 12 weeks. Internships are a great way for students to gain work experience. They can be extra-curricular (no academic credit) or can be used as credit towards an undergraduate degree program and regulated by the Fair Work Act.
- Increased productivity – students can undertake new projects, or projects that have fallen by the way-side due to limited resources.
- New skills – student interns may have skills that you’d like to develop in your organisation, and can build the capacity of your team members in these areas.
- Enthusiasm – students provide fresh ideas, enthusiasm and positive energy.
- Future talent – identify future employees in promising student interns.
- Cost effective– increase your businesses output, for a low - or no - cost to your business.
Some examples include undertaking a competitor or industry gap analysis, trade mission preparation, developing a distribution strategy, hosting international delegations, translating marketing material, or establishing and running language and country-specific social media channels.
Read through our case studies for more inspiration.
If they graduated in South Australia and remain in South Australia for the initial duration of their visa, they can then extend their visa by an additional year, to make it three years in total for a Bachelor qualification through to five years for a PhD qualification.
From part-time work to unpaid or paid internships, either during their course or after graduation, there are many options for both employers and international students or graduates.
Employers sourcing students and graduates through our partner universities and higher education providers must comply with the Fair Work Act. Please speak to these providers for more information.
If you are exporting products, running an inbound tourism enterprise or welcoming international customers into your business, then having someone in your business who can speak and read the language, use foreign social media (such as WeChat) and advise about cultural expectations will open trade doors much more quickly and effectively than you can by yourself.
You can expect that the cultural exchange will be a two-way street. Employing an international student or graduate in your business is a great opportunity to expand your horizons and learn from different cultures, too!
The graduates come from a range of cultures, which may include different holiday celebrations, religious practices or traditions. While it would be thoughtful to acknowledge their celebrations or traditions, it is not necessary to make special arrangements to accommodate them (for example, a prayer room).