Working at a hairdressing salon


Your international student visa allows you to work while you are in Australia, however there are limits on the hours you can work.

Generally, international students are allowed to work for 40 hours a fortnight during each semester and unlimited hours during semester breaks.

know your rights

Australia has laws protecting workers. These govern and guide what employers should pay and the type of working conditions employees should be given (hours, break times, occupational health and safety requirements, and leave entitlements).​

The International Students Fair Work Factsheet is produced by the Australian Government and outlines your rights in the workplace. 

​You should check the Department of Home Affairs website for detailed information about work conditions for student visa holders.

Watch Fairwork's video playlist below to understand your rights in Australian workplaces.


Translated versions of these videos are available on the Fairwork website

Work experience

If your study program includes an unpaid work experience requirement, then you may work more than the 40 hours per fortnight provided this is part of your program. You should contact Home Affairs before you proceed to make sure you are not breaching visa conditions.

Part-time work

You may decide to find a part-time job, to increase your income and gain work experience. Your international student visa allows you to work while you are in Australia.

You may be able to earn $15 - $20 per hour depending upon skills and experience, but you should not rely on these earnings to pay tuition fees. You can discuss work options with the International Student Coordinator at your college after you have started your course so that you can assess them in relation to your course commitments and workload.

There are often part-time jobs available in the hospitality and retail sectors, but competition is often strong. It is a good idea to prepare a resume and take the time to prepare for a job interview.

Getting a tax file number

​If you want to work while you are in Australia, you will need a tax file number. You can apply for a tax file number online with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Generally it takes two weeks for your application to be processed.

Useful links

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