Legal troubles international students can face in Australia

Understanding the law and legal aid addresses in Australia will help Vietnamese students avoid trouble when traveling, working part-time or renting a house...

Oz Nguyen is an interpreter with over 30 years of experience in assisting the Vietnamese community in Australia, including international students. He shares his experience about the legal troubles that Vietnamese students in Australia may face and how to get help.

The laws in each state of Australia are more or less different, depending on the area, people must follow federal or state law. Legal knowledge will help you understand your rights and obligations, reduce potential risks, and integrate into Australian society smoothly.

One of the popular activities of international students is to work part-time. To avoid trouble later, you should agree on some conditions in advance. For example, whether the salary is taxable; whether to pay a superannuation; how are overtime and weekend wages calculated; Are you entitled to leave, sick leave or not? Common problems in the workplace are not being paid for probation, mental abuse, unsafe working conditions, and low wages.

Your school's international student support office can help mediate. However, if the matter is serious, you should collect evidence, witnesses and report to the Fair Work Ombudsman for them to handle. The Fair Work Ombudsman is an independent agency whose role is to promote harmonious, effective workplace relationships. The Fair Work Ombudsman also monitors, investigates, investigates and enforces workplace compliance across Australia.

University of Sydney - a university that attracts a large number of international students in Australia. Photo: Lae-edu

As an international student, you must understand your visa conditions well. Attendance to school is an important requirement. If you are absent for a long time, you are warned, please see the international student counseling office of the school to explain the reason and circumstances. For example, there is an unexpected family event, you have a mental crisis, your life is disrupted and these affect your studies. If your reasons are not convincing, the school may notify the Department of Immigration. Another possible problem is that if you work more than the allowed hours, the Immigration Department may cancel your visa. In serious cases, it is advisable to seek representation from an attorney because they have expertise, which can help you to keep your visa.

The third type of trouble that almost every international student has encountered is renting a house. Most Vietnamese international students, because they are afraid of paperwork or cannot prove their income, often rent houses or share private rooms, not through real estate companies. The disadvantage in this case is that landlords rarely comply with government requests, so when disputes arise, tenants are not protected by law. For example, the government requires landlords to pay a security deposit to the competent authority, when you return home, if there is no damage, this agency will promptly transfer the money back to you. However, most private landlords keep the bond, when you move out, if there is a dispute, it is very difficult to get your money back. Renting through a real estate agency can also be bullied if you don't know the law. For example, if the landlord wants to come to check, he must notify at least 24 hours in advance, but he cannot go in and out on his own.

If you have a problem with your tenancy, such as damage or conflict with your landlord or tenant, you should contact the university's international student support office for help in peaceful negotiations. If the matter is serious they will recommend a contact such as Tenants Victoria or Consumer Affairs Victoria. Tenants Victoria is a non-governmental organization whose role is to both help private landlords and promote and protect tenants' rights in the state. Consumer Affairs Victoria provides information and advice to consumers, businesses, tenants, landlords and property managers about their rights, responsibilities and related legal changes.

Most international students travel by public transport. You can find information about public transport services, fares, regulations and fines on the website of Public Transport Victoria, the governing body for train, tram and bus services. of the state.

Tickets for a day of traveling by public transport in the inner city of Melbourne are currently $9.20 (150,000 VND), a bit high, so sometimes many people smuggle tickets. If you are found without a ticket, resting your feet on a chair or littering, you will be fined $273 (over 4 million VND). You can write a letter asking for a waiver if there is a good reason. If you can't get it and intentionally ignore it and don't pay the fine, you can be taken to court and put your name on the black book of the credit information storage agency, it will be very difficult to borrow money from the bank, rent it. home or even connect to electricity, water, the Internet.

Nowadays, many international students have self-driving cars. Many of you buy a car but don't buy insurance. When there is an accident, there will be a lot of headaches. The person who collides with it has to bear the full cost, small defects can also cost thousands of AUD because the cost of repair in Australia is very expensive. The affected side can count both property damage and loss of income. So if you have bought a car, you should buy insurance.

When you are hit by a car, you must stop immediately, exchange information about your name, age, and address. Do not drive if you have been drinking because you will lose your license. When you lose your driver's license and still secretly drive, you can be prosecuted to court and often be fined very heavily, and insurance will not compensate if an accident occurs. These offenses are criminal offenses that will affect the application of other visas in the future.

All localities in Australia have Legal Aid to provide legal assistance to low-income people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, regardless of natives or foreigners. Therefore, when facing serious legal problems, do not hesitate to seek Legal Aid in your area.

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