Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I employ an international graduate?

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.

2. Why not an Australian born graduate – our kids need jobs first?

Few Australian born graduates have the language and international cultural insights that overseas born students do. South Australia’s future is focussed on export and to be competitive we need multi-lingual professionals in our businesses.

3. Don’t I need to sponsor an international student or graduate if I want to employ them?

Once the 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 2 to 4 years, depending on their level of qualification. There is no cost to employers, no sponsorship arrangements and no obligation to commit to long-term contracts – a person with a 485 (post-study work stream) visa can be employed under the same conditions as an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident.

International graduates can hold other valid working visas. See here for more information. 

If the applicant is still studying, they would likely 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 – refer to questions 6 and 7 below.

Recent international graduates may also be eligible to be nominated by the State Government for a skilled visa, and providing skilled work experience may assist them to qualify. See here for more information.

4. How will an international student fit into my workplace?

One of the reasons international students are looking for employment in South Australia is so they can gain a greater understanding of our culture and receive valuable work experience. They will be keen to take on your business culture – from footy tipping to Friday night drinks – and most have an incredibly strong work ethic and willingness to succeed.

5. Does the work have to be full time?

No. International students and graduates are happy to participate in a variety of work placements. These student placements could be for academic credit and must be completed by the student to complete their degree and qualify. From part time work to unpaid or paid internships either during their course or after graduation – there are many ways to make it work. As a guide, placements can last from 15 – 30 days spread over several weeks or over one semester. All placements must comply with the Fair Work Act.

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.

6. What is a Student internship/placement?

A student internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to students, called interns, to work at a workplace for a fixed, limited period of time. Some are paid while others are entered into on a voluntary basis.

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 4-12 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.

7. What is a Graduate Internship?

This is an employer driven opportunity undertaken during the first 12 months after a student’s Graduation Ceremony. The Internship is paid and regulated by the Fair Work Act.

8. Which professions are the graduates normally from?

Adelaide’s universities and higher education providers offer a wide range of courses but the majority of international students in South Australia are studying business and commerce, marketing, accounting, engineering, IT, hospitality and nursing. There are also many higher degree Masters and PhD graduates from health sciences, engineering, agriculture and business.

9. Which countries do our international graduates come from?

All over the world however, our top ten source markets of international students in South Australia are China, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Brazil, Japan and Singapore.

10. How big is the international education sector?

International education is one of the top five export industries for South Australia. In 2015 it was worth $1.166 billion in export earnings. Employing an international graduate helps to make South Australia an even more favourable destination for students, who often consider a destination based on employment outcomes.

11. Can I employ the student/graduate on a more permanent basis?

If you find your employee invaluable to your business and would like them to stay longer than the validity of their current visa, there are other visas and options available to individuals or employers via either state nomination or the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.  You may also wish to use the services of a registered migration agent to assist you.

12. What if they don’t perform and I want to terminate their employment?

Normal industrial relations conditions apply to international graduate employees. Please refer to the Fair Work Act for more information

13. Does it cost me anything to use this service?

This service is provided by StudyAdelaide which has established the Employer Portal in partnership with participating South Australian universities and higher education providers at no charge to the employer or student.

14. What are the flow-on effects to businesses that have expanded their exports by hiring an international student?

Many companies, including our case studies, have had the capacity to hire more staff, including locals due to increased production or footfall to their business. There is also an increase in packaging, storage, distribution, plus the multiplier effect to subsidiary industries within the local economy.

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