Blue Card for International Students

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Girl working as a nanny with a Blue Card

Living in Australia as an international student could be one of the best experiences of your life.

Everything is new and surprising, you get to meet new people from all over the world, visit new places, practice your English and even get job experience. 

Getting a job can be exciting and a little frightening at the same time. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be hard.

Just keep in mind what are the requirements to work in Australia and make sure you fulfil all the expected qualifications for the position you want. 

Requirements could be, for example, a White card or a Blue card, that may be mandatory depending on the kind of job you are applying for. 

If you want to learn in which cases you would need a Blue Card and how to get one, keep reading.

What is a Blue Card?

A Blue card is a certificate issued by the Australian government in order to access any job in Australia that is related to the care of minors, or any job where you have to deal with children, including education, health counselling, support, sport and cultural sectors. 

The purpose of this certificate is to create a safe and supportive environment for children when participating in activities that are essential for their development.

Teacher with their students

Do you need a blue card if you are under 18?

If you are under 18, you will not need this certification, but remember that if you are underage, there are some specifications for you to work.

For example, the working hours vary, and if you are under 15, you can only do light work. Also, if you are under 15, you will need permission from your parents. 

In what other specific cases you don’t need a Blue Card?

If you work with a colleague who is under 18

You will not need a blue card if you:

  • Work alongside a person who is under 18.
  • Are involved in a team or club with members under 18.
  • Have to supervise a student that is doing an internship.

If you do infrequent work

You don’t need a Blue card if you are a paid employee that works:

  • Less than eight consecutive days, once a week, each week over four weeks.
  • Once in a fortnight each fortnight, over eight weeks.
  • Once a month, each month, over six months. 

If you guest speak at a school

If you are unlikely to be alone around children, like when giving a speech as a guest, you don’t need to hold a blue card. 

If you work as a registered health practitioner or in the police service

If you are working within your professional capacity as a registered health practitioner you don’t need a blue card either.

It also applies if you work as an ambulance service employee or a police officer. 

Doctor in an appointment with a child

How to get a blue card?

You must submit an application form and also get an employment screening, which is equivalent to having your blue card check.

You need to know that your employer is also able to apply on your behalf. 

What having a blue card check means?

It involves an evaluation of the following:

  • Any national charge or conviction.
  • If you are a respondent or subject to an application to a child protection prohibition order.
  • Disciplinary information held by professionals in the fields of teaching, childcare and foster carers. 
  • Disqualification orders.
  • Any information provided by the police commissioner regarding police investigations into allegations of child-related sexual offences even if there were no charges.

How much does it cost to get a Blue card?

To submit your application, you will have to pay $92,30 for the standard application fee.

How to know your application got accepted?

After you submit your application, you will receive a positive or negative response depending on your case.

  • The response will be positive if you, as the applicant, do not have any police records that suggest you are not eligible to work with children. You will receive a positive notice letter and your blue card along with it. 
  • It will be negative if they find out you have police and disciplinary information that suggest that you are not eligible to work with children. In this case, you will not be able to work in any regulated job or business, and you cannot appeal the decision.  

Remember that you can’t transfer this card to another person. However, you can transfer it in all areas of employment regulated by the WWC Act. 

Student happy with her blue card acceptance letter

How long does it take to get a blue card?

You will have to wait for at least 28 business days to get your Blue card.

It would take longer if you submitted an incomplete form.

It also would take longer if the blue card services find some police or disciplinary information in your records that makes it hard to determine if you are still eligible. 

When will you be able to work?

You need to hold the Blue Card before start working in regulated employment, regardless of how often you will be in contact with children.

However, it is not prohibited for you to start working while your application gets processed if your employer agrees.

Children taking particular classes

How long is a it valid for?

A blue card is valid for 3 years with exceptions, for example, if it got cancelled or suspended earlier.

If your blue card is close to expiration, you will be notified 10 weeks before the expiration day.  You will receive this notification via text message if you accept to receive notifications in this way. Otherwise, you will receive a letter in your postal address.

You need to submit the renewal application if you still want to work in child-related services. If you don’t want to, you will have to stop working until you can prove you applied for the renewal.

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