If you need help understanding the law, talk to the legal advisers at your university, college or school. The support staff at the Study Melbourne Student Centre may also be able to help.

You may also be able to get help from a community legal centre for specialist legal advice. Community legal centres offer free advice.

Legal help at Study Melbourne Student Centre

If you need help understanding the law or you have a legal problem, Study Melbourne Student Centre support staff can refer you to a legal service that provides the advice you need.

Phone: 1800 056 449 (free call from landline phones)
Email: info@studymelbourne.vic.gov.au

International Students’ Work Rights Legal Service

As an international student, how many hours can you work? What does ‘cash-in-hand’ mean? What is the minimum wage you should be paid? 

Our International Students’ Work Rights Legal Service is a free, confidential and independent legal service, provided by employment lawyers, to help international students. This service is available Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, by appointment only. To make an appointment or ask a question please contact our friendly staff by email.

Read more about Your rights at work on our website.

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for detailed information about your rights to pay, holidays and time off as well as what to expect when your job ends.

International Students’ Accommodation Legal Service

If you are an international student living in Melbourne and paying for accommodation, you have the same rights and obligations as everyone else living in Victoria. This includes:

  • what you need to do when it comes to paying a bond
  • the minimum standards to expect of a rooming house and its rooms
  • what to do if there is a problem with where you are staying.

Our International Students’ Housing and Accommodation Legal Service is a free, confidential and independent legal service, provided by lawyers, to help international students.

This service is available every tuesday and every friday, by appointment only. To make an appointment or ask a question please contact our friendly staff by email.

Understanding the law in Victoria

Everyday-Law is a Victorian website with information about Victoria's legal system. The site is published by Victoria Law Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit organisation funded by the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner.

Read more about the law and Victoria's legal system on the Everyday-Law website.

Tip

The Everyday-Law website has information available in languages other than English.

Legal services where you study

Some universities, colleges and schools have legal services on campus. Others may refer you to legal services off-campus.

Ask the student support services staff at your university, college or school.

Victorian legal services

Victoria Legal Aid provides free legal advice. They may also be able to help you in your own language.

Visit the Speak to us in your own language page on the Victoria Legal Aid website.

Telephone: 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday 8.45am to 5.15 pm.

Community legal centres

Community Legal Centres (CLCs) all around Victoria provide legal advice and support to members of their local community.

Find a community legal centre by suburb or postcode to see which CLC is closest to you.

Some community legal services specialise in particular aspects of law.

Your rights as a consumer - Consumer Action Law Centre

Your rights as a tenant - Tenants Union of Victoria

Refugee and immigration legal issues - Refugee Legal

Specialist legal advice for women - Women's Legal Service Victoria

Other helpful legal information resources

The Inner Melbourne Community Legal Information Resource is a free tool for international students living in Victoria. It provides information on legal issues concerned with where you live, work and study. The resource is available in English, Spanish (Español), Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) and Chinese (中文).

The Resource covers 16 scenarios based on issues commonly experienced by international students, including:

  • Housing rights
  • Fines
  • Being in an unsafe or controlling relationship
  • Being made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe
  • Problems with education providers
  • Problems at work
  • Being asked to get an ABN
  • Being treated unfairly because of your race
  • Car accidents and insurance

Each scenario directs you and your support network to identify legal problems and advises who to contact if you need legal help. The information contained in the Resource was written by community lawyers with the help of international students living in Victoria. It is not legal advice.

If you need help understanding the law or you have a legal problem, Study Melbourne Student Centre support staff can refer you to a legal service that provides the advice you need.