Working in Australia

If you are a German planning to work in Australia, there are a few formalities to take care of before you can start applying for jobs. Does your visa allow you to work in Australia? How will your salary get paid? Do you have to pay taxes?

At Germans in Australia, we specialise in answering these questions and offer consultancy for individual cases.

Visa Requirements

You are only allowed to work in Australia if your visa allows you to. For example, on a tourist visa, you are not allowed to take on any sort of occupation while in Australia.

Some visas restrict the type of work and amount of hours you are allowed to work. If you come to Australia on a student visa, you can get a visa extension that allows you to take on a job next to your studies, but only for 20 hours per week. This is so that you don’t neglect your studies.

On a Working Holiday Visa, you are only allowed to stay with one employer for a maximum of six months. This is because the Working Holiday Visa is essentially a holiday visa with an option to pad up your travel budget, not a work visa.

If you have a job offer in Australia, or you are planning to do an internship for longer than six months, you should look into other visa options. There is a business visa that allows you to live and work in Australia anywhere between one and several years. So if you have a job offer in Australia, or the German company you work for is sending you to Australia for a while, you should consider the business visa. Please refer to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for more information.


As soon as you enter a work contract in Australia, you need to register for taxes. You do this by applying for a Tax File Number (TFN) with the Australian Taxation Office. You can register for your TFN online here and once you have a TFN, it will stay with you your whole life, even if you leave Australia for a period of time and then return. You can re-activate your ax file nuber even years later.

Some business activities in Australia require you to register for an ABN, or Australian Business Number. You will need an ABN if you open your own business, or you work as a contractor or freelancer, and in some other occupations. ABN applicants need a Tax File Number and you have to meet certain requirements to obtain one, one of which is that you are an Australian resident for tx purposes. Check with the Australian Taxation Office to see whether you are eligible.

Other Work Requirements

There are some further work requirements depending on the type of work you do. If you are planning to work in a pub or bar, you will need a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. It’s a one-day course that you can take almost anywhere in Australia. Simply search for your nearest certifying office online and enrol.

If you work with children or as a nurse or doctor, you might be subjected to police check, and you might asked for a Working with Children permit. all these requirements are best checked once you start applying for the type of work you want.

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