Visa holders & migrants
Visa holders and migrant workers have the same workplace protections as all other employees in Australia. We provide free advice and assistance to all workers to help them understand these legally enforceable rights.
On this page:
The Fair Work Ombudsman is here to help you. We are an Australian Government agency who helps regulate Australian workplaces. You can't get into trouble or have your visa cancelled for contacting us to ask for information about your pay or other workplace rights.
Find out more about How we can help.
It's important to know the rules for your visa. Your visa may limit the type of work you can do in Australia. Some visas have rules about how many hours you can work (for example, international students), or what job you can do (for example, a seasonal worker).
The Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs) can give you information about:
- which visa to apply for
- your rights and responsibilities under a visa
- how to change and cancel your visa
- how to apply for permanent residency.
To check your current visa details and conditions you can:
For More information on workplace conditions for certain visa types read our fact sheet on 482 and 457 visa holder's workplace rights and entitlements.
Visa protections – the Assurance Protocol
Your employer can't cancel your visa, even if you've breached your visa conditions. Only Home Affairs can grant, refuse or cancel visas.
We have an arrangement with Home Affairs to support visa holders who come to us for help. Under this arrangement, visa holders can seek help without fear of visa cancellation, even if they've breached their work-related visa conditions. For more information, see Visa protections - Assurance Protocol.
Paying for visa sponsorship
It's illegal for someone to ask for, receive, offer or provide a benefit in return for visa sponsorship or employment that requires visa sponsorship. This is called 'paying for visa sponsorship'. Examples of this include:
- an employer makes someone pay them money in exchange for sponsoring them on a Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)
- an employer makes someone pay back some of their pay each week in exchange for a visa.
If you think your employer is engaging in 'paying for visa sponsorship' activity you can contact the Department of Home Affairs .
Cashback schemes are also illegal. A cashback scheme is where an employer unreasonably requires someone to pay them in exchange for a job.
For more information, see Deducting pay and overpayments.
If you need our help about any deductions, cashback schemes or if an employer is asking for payment of any kind as a condition of a job offer, you can Contact us.
The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme supports Australian businesses in hiring workers from 9 Pacific islands and Timor-Leste when there are not enough local workers available.
All employees under the PALM scheme have the same workplace rights as other employees in Australia. Find out more about your rights and entitlements on our Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme page.
For more information about the scheme, visit the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme website .
Visa workers are entitled to the same minimum pay rates and workplace conditions as any other Australian employee with the same job in their workplace.
There are minimum pay rates that you have to be paid, based on the work you do. To find out the minimum pay rates for your job, use our Pay and Conditions Tool.
Some visas have extra salary requirements. Find out more about salary requirements for 482, 186 and 187 visa holders on the Department of Home Affairs website .
Your employer needs to give you a payslip every time you get paid. To find out what a pay slip is and what should be on it, see Pay slips.
Hours of work
You can easily keep track of how long you've worked for with our Record my hours app, which is available in multiple languages.
You also have minimum conditions at work. Conditions are rules about what employees get at work, such as how many hours they work and how often they get a break. These conditions are set out under law and in legal documents including:
We have information in different languages to help you understand your pay and what minimum conditions are when working in Australia on our Language help pages.
You can also watch our short video for information about Working in Australia.
Tax and superannuation
When you start a new job, you need to give your employer your Tax File Number (TFN). Your employer will take out tax from your salary or wage. Your payslips will show how much tax has been taken out.
For more information about tax, visit the ATO website .
If you're a temporary resident working in Australia, your employer may also have to pay super for you. Find out more about Super for temporary residents leaving Australia on the ATO website .
If you need our help you can:
- read our step-by-step guide on how to fix a problem if you’re a migrant worker being treated unfairly
- call us on 13 13 94 (you can get a free interpreter by calling 13 14 50 first)
- tell us if you’re having a problem anonymously using our anonymous report form
- Register for My account and ask us a question via our online form.
Getting help - International student examples
International students can come to us for help if they’re having workplace issues, without fear of their visa being cancelled. They can come to us for issues like not getting the right pay or other entitlements, like leave or notice of termination.
We have videos about how we can help. Find out more on our Find help for Young workers and students page.