Right to Work in Australia

Only Australian citizens, permanent residents, and certain New Zealand citizens have unrestricted rights to employment in Australia. All other people in Australia need a visa that enables them to be in and work in Australia lawfully.

Not all visa holders in Australia have the right to work. Some visas have no work rights, such as visitor visas. Others have work rights subject to limitations, such as working holiday visas or student visas. 

How BDO can help

Our team will provide you with easy-to-understand advice and guidance on each employee or candidate’s visa status and work rights. We offer a quick turnaround, and these work rights checks can be provided to corporate clients on a fee-for-service basis or a monthly subscription cost.

Employer obligations

All employers must check whether a person they’re employing has work rights in Australia and, if so, whether their right to work is unrestricted. An employer must comply with any restrictions a visa is subject to. Failure to do so can leave the employer (and others) subject to civil or criminal sanctions.

To ensure compliance, employers should check Australian Citizenship OR non-citizen visa status before or during hiring. And in the case of non-citizens, “at reasonable times” throughout the employment cycle.

Confirming working rights

If you employ many temporary visa holders (such as bridging, student and working holiday visa holders), monitoring work rights, visa expiries, and changes can be challenging.

As specialist corporate immigration lawyers, BDO Migration Services can assist you in mitigating the risk and maintaining compliance. Our quick and efficient verification process will give you confidence that you’re acting within the law when you employ international citizens.

Steps to obtain the right to work 
within Australia

Collate the applicant’s documents as outlined in the Identification Summary list below, along with a copy of the employee’s/candidate’s CV (if available).

Identification summary:

  • Passport
  • ImmiCard
  • Convention Travel Document – also known as a Titre de Voyage
  • Document for Travel To Australia (DFTTA)
  • PLO56 Evidence Card.

Email the relevant documents to workrightscheck@bdo.com.au.

Contact us

Contact our team to discuss your needs using the request for service form.

Meet our team

Maria Jockel

Maria Jockel

Global and National Immigration Leader, Legal Principal, Accredited Specialist, Immigration Law
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Rebecca Thomson

Rebecca Thomson

Principal Lawyer, Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator, Migration Services
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