Visa Information

If you live outside Australia you need to obtain a visa. It is important that you prepare your visit to in Australia because there might be certain conditions attached to it. We would like to give you some orientation with the following information.

Visa conditions

Depending on where you come from, your visa has certain conditions that you need to meet. These might include meeting course requirements, needing permission to get paid job or informing Cairns Language Centre of your current address.

Whatever the conditions are, you need to be absolutely certain about what they mean and you need to comply with them or you risk losing your visa.

If you need clarification of your visa conditions you are very welcome to contact the International Student Office at Cairns Language Centre or the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Visa options

These are the most popular visa types from students at Cairns Language Centre:

  • Tourist Visa: You may study in Australia for less than 12 weeks but are not allowed to work.
  • Working Holiday Visa: Allows you to study in Australia for up to four months, work up to six months for one employer and stay in Australia for one year.
  • Student Visa: You may study longer than 12 weeks and are allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight.

Find out more about Australian visas from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Student Visa

You need a student visa if you would like to study in Australia for longer than 12 weeks.

On 1 July 2001 the Australian government introduced many changes to student visa regulations for Overseas Students in Australia. Your academic performance and attendance are of high importance. You must satisfy the following program requirements (Condition 8202):

  • Remain enrolled full time in a registered program.
  • Have satisfactory academic results.
  • Attend at least 80% of the contact hours scheduled for each semester/term.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) – $AU46 per month per person.

Government regulations state that all international students, and their dependents, traveling on a STUDENT VISA must maintain OSHC during their stay in Australia. Your OSHC card may take some weeks to be issued but please note that you are covered from the day you arrive in Australia. This is important in case you require medical attention.

Your Visa is not granted

If you are not successful in obtaining a visa, please contact us. We may be able to help. If we cannot help, you must send us a copy of the visa refusal form and we will arrange to refund fees paid. We will refund all fees other than one week’s course and accommodation fees to cover administrative costs.

Employment in Australia

If you would like to work in Australia, you need to apply for a student visa with permission to work. An application for permission to work can only be made once you are in Australia and after you have commenced your studies. This will generally allow you to work 20 hours a week during semester and more hours during holidays.

You can apply for permission to work online on

Workers in Australia require a Tax File Number. You can apply online on

Work Rights Permit

If you have Condition 8101 listed on your visa, you will not be able to work in Australia unless you apply for permission to work. Applications for a permit to work can only be made in Australia after you have commenced you studies. Once your work permit is approved you will be granted one of these conditions:

  1. Condition 8105: allows you to work 20 hours a week, (other than work which is a registered requirement of your program), when your program is in session. When your program is not in session you can work an unrestricted number of hours.
  2. Condition 8104: you are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week, regardless of whether your program is in session or not.

No change of Education Institution within the First 12 months: You must remain enrolled at Cairns Language Centre for the first 12 months of your program or for the duration of your program if it is less than 12 months (Condition 8206).

You are not allowed to take Leave of Absence except on these grounds:

  • Illness with evidence of medical certificate, or
  • Exceptional compassionate circumstances, for example, .bereavement (death in family)
  • Cancellation of Enrollment: If you cancel your enrollment you must leave Australia within 4 weeks or contact DIMIA to discuss visa options. Note that cancellation of your enrollment will result in cancellation of your visa.

Please contact Cairns Language Centre administration for more information or help regarding your visa conditions.

Some visa conditions require that you complete your course of study within ‘minimum standard time’. This is usually the period of time issued on your visa. If you are unsure about your progress or are having difficulties with any of your subjects, you should contact the Director of Studies.

The sooner you get help, the more likely you will avoid problems with your visa. You are entitled to appeal against any academic assessment you have received and Cairns Language Centre can help you do so.

Attendance records are taken in all courses. You must let your teacher or our International Student Office know if you need to miss classes due to sickness or other exceptional circumstances. Cairns Language Centre has health and counselling services if you need them. Contact us for information about what services are on offer.
Notification details are stated in your visa. Check the details to avoid confusion. Condition 8533 requires that you notify your education provider (Cairns Language Centre administration) of your address in Australia within 7 days. You are also required to notify the Department Of Immigration Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMA) in writing of a new address 2 days before you move, according to Conditions 8506.

Also, if there are any problems with your visa the Department will send you a letter, and in some cases you will only have 28 days to respond. If they do not hear from you within 28 days, they can automatically commence cancellation of your visa. Not receiving the information because you have moved is not considered an excuse.

If you go home during the semester break make sure you notify the International Student Office at Cairns Language Centre. If you have problems with your visa you need to contact Cairns Language Centre Administration as soon as possible so that you can get legal advice.