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 our International Student Employment and Accommodation Legal Service that provides the advice you need.

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

As an international student, you may have the following questions:

  • How many hours can I work?
  • What does ‘cash-in-hand’ mean?
  • What is the minimum wage I should be paid?
  • How do I pay my accommodation bond?
  • What are the minimum standards for a rooming house and its rooms?
  • What if there is a problem with where I am staying?

Our International Student Employment and Accommodation Legal Service is a free and confidential legal service to help international students. This service is provided by independent lawyers specialising with work rights and tenancy law at the Study Melbourne Student Centre, 17 Hardware Lane, Melbourne.

To make an appointment or ask a question please contact our friendly staff by email or call 1800 056 449.

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.

You can also contact the Tenants Union of Victoria or Consumer Affairs Victoria for more information about your accommodation rights and responsibilities.

Speak with expert employment and accommodation lawyers

Senior lawyers like Caitlin and Cassandra help to deliver our International Student Employment and Accommodation Legal Service.

This service for international students is free, independent and confidential, allowing you to speak with a lawyer about any employment or accommodation concerns.

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.