How to Beat the Student Visa 20 Work Hours Limit, Badly

chance upon ur blog and I will be in Perth soon for tradesman course. I understand that student visa holders are allowed to work 20hrs per week, is there any way to cheat the system to clock more hours? Kindly advise.



Welcome to Perth.

There are many ways to cheat and I thought nobody will ever ask. As I have never done this before, any advice coming from me will be rated high risk.

Ways to cheat the system
  • There are less policemen working at night so work at night. Furthermore, because visibility is poorer in Perth after the sun sets.
  • Don't clock the hours when you clock them. You know, like how our factory workers refusing to punch their card when they are late for work, then tell the supervisor the machine is not working.
  • Grow some fancy plants in pots and sell them in the Sunday markets. Heard Cannabaceae sells well here.
  • Get your employer to pay you by apples and tell the authorities your hobby is barter trading.
  • Get your employer to pay you by interest-free credit notes after your 21st hour. Claim them when you are no longer student.
  • Get a medical certificate from the doctor in Singapore certifying you have dyscalculia as your defence in case you get caught. If you can't do that, get an easy one from China, since most Aussies cannot tell the difference between a Singaporean and a PRC.
  • Don't make friends with tax people.

If the above are no-go for you, try these money saving tips;

Money saving tips
  • Give tuition to your weaker schoolmates for sex. It saves you the money bringing chicks out so you can work less.
  • Tap your neighbours' internet access via wireless and offer to pay them a small token.
  • Pluck fruits and herbs from the streets (at night of course), eat some and make shampoo with it.
  • Offer to cook meals for people for free food.
  • Work for your landlord for free rental.
  • Don't get a car (I'm serious). Cycle to school and go home after school.

Even more advice
  • Many students are able to finance their entire course and basic living expenses by working 20 hours a week. This is rarely enough for entertainment. So if you are a self entertainer like me, you'll survive with 20 hours.
  • The 20 hour limit is removed during school holidays. So work your guts out and earn the money you need.
  • Get the highest possible paying job as you can. Quality beats quantity. The most high paying casual jobs are the most unpleasant so toughen up the mind.
  • Focus on finding jobs related to the trade you are learning. Those hours will be the best invested.


  1. Do I sense sarcasm in both 'ways to cheat the system' and 'money saving tips'?

  2. Hello! Some tips are real helpful like tapping on the internet, etc. Never thought of that!

    If you are thinking of beating the system, it means you are either on a tight budget or you do not have enough for your living expenses for the duration of the course. These are my assumptions so please pardon me if I am wrong.

    I'm a student in Melb who lives on a tight budget. While I have enough for rent and my education, I estimate that I may not have enough for the remaining three months. So I try to stretch my money...

    Some ways I try to save money is to always cook my meals at home. I avoid eating out or rather, I will portion my money for having meals with my friends. For example, if my pocket money is $100 a week, I will put a budget of $5 per weekday and leave the rest for the weekend (including marketing and grocery/household shopping). So if I know that I am going to have dinner with friends, I will make sure I will "save" $20 during the weekday so that I will spend "lavishly" during the weekend. So how do I save that $5? I eat a full breakfast and pack my lunch. I do not shop for clothes and do not go for entertainment like movies. These are not necessities if I am living on a budget.

    That said, it has been difficult to find a casual job because some jobs do require certification like barista cert, childcare cert, etc. And I am more keen in looking for casual work that is related to what I want to do in the future. So while I patiently job search, I'm living as prudently and wisely as possible.

    Also keep a lookout for supermarket deals and prices of fresh food that you are buying. It helps. It's all about adjustment and changing mindsets for the time being. It's possible if you adjust your needs vs wants.

    1. If you really want to save money you can still survive on groceries on $10 to 15 a week ( not including sauces and spices).

      20 years ago my student grocery list includes

      1kg long grain plain rice $1 no name brand
      2 kg chicken wings $ 5 - 6 total
      1 loaf no name sandwich bread (thinner) $1.50
      1 kg frozen veg no name brand $1.50
      2 bags of chicken frame $1 total

      Where sometimes available, I buy over ripe fruits (like banana) packed in bags for urgent sales in fruit shop often $1 each.

      Fridays was my shopping days since I found out the shops want to clear stocks that was not sold during week days so that they get fresh stocks for the weekend rush. I walk 6 km round trip with my groceries since there is no direct bus that gets to the shops (thus would easily cost $4 extra since I didn't qualify for student concessions, if I have to change buses). Doesn't matter if it is inter or summer.

      I never eat out.

      As for home cooking, I cook the chicken frame until meat falls off then freeze the soup for the weekend. For weekdays I cook the chicken wings as a casserole with frozen veg which is portioned out for 5 days.

      I pack one sandwich with choc hazelnut or peanut butter jam for lunch at uni, sometimes nothing for lunch if the bread runs out (I do eat the same thing for breakfast), which is why I am used to skipping lunch nowadays.

      I also knew friends who shop at paddy market in Sydney (which opens on fri to sun) on Sunday late afternoon to catch lelong prices by sellers desperate to get rid of veg stocks and fish before the market close for 4 days. I don't go to these market since the fresh food are invariably more expensive even at lelong prices.

      Now the grocery prices have changed.

      Plain Rice $1.50 kg no name
      Chicken frame costs $3 a kg (last time 2 bags for one dollar gives me about z3kg)
      The others like wings and frozen veg funny enough costs roughly the same
      Price of bread is only $1

      So assuming similar shopping list (except frames) would cost about $15.

      Would I do it again?

      Hell, no. It was the worst years of my life in terms of social life and home life when I was studying.

      But i am writing this just to let you know you can actually save a lot of money if you are determined. $100 per week can be luxury and I don't know why you want to spent $5 for lunch if you are short of money. There are plenty of office workers and professionals who pack lunch from home to save money and time (they dont even by coffee for lunch)

      Adjust your expectations if you are short of money.

      Although back then I don't have to worry about keeping a expensive luxury called a mobile phone since no one owns one, and Internet was just starting, few ppl I know had even heard of email back then.

    2. Btw a barista course back then costs me $100 about 20 yrs ago. now you can get a cert for $75 so if you really want the barista work, the cost of the cert is no big deal.

    3. Hey, thanks for your experience!

      Yup, I also pack my lunch. The same loaf of bread with peanut butter cos it is more sustaining. I will also vary with low GI biscuits that cost about 50c for one pack of 4 biscuits. That will last me till dinner.

      Ha ha ha... and I do agree with you, that once I complete my Masters through as much scrimping and saving, I wouldn't want to do the whole process again. Can totally understand what you mean.

      I too don't take trams in Melb and I will walk as far as I can.

      But yes... all these for the experience in Melb and my Master's. It is just temporary. But the experience is really worth it.

  3. - Drive a satki black vios around for the valuable networking opportunities you will receive

  4. Many Indian taxi drivers are full time students but also work as full time driver.
    The truth is - nobody cares.

  5. Be the ghost worker. Mutual agreement wif the boss to get him pay cash at the end of your shift.