If you live outside Australia, you need to obtain a visa to study in this country. Please consider the following information carefully to fully prepare for your stay.

Visa conditions
Visa options
What if your visa is not granted
Permission to work 


Visa Conditions

Depending on where you come from, your visa will have conditions you need to meet. These might include meeting course requirements, permission to seek employment, or providing Cairns Language Centre with your current address.

Whatever the conditions are, you need to be certain that you understand and comply with them or you risk losing your visa.

If you are confused about your visa conditions or wish to clarify any details, please contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Visa options

Below are the most popular visa types held by students at CLC:

  • Tourist Visa: You may study in Australia for less than 12 weeks but are not allowed to work.
  • Working Holiday Visa: You may study in Australia for up to 17 weeks, work up to six months for one employer, and stay in Australia for one year.
  • Student Visa: You may study longer than 17 weeks and can work 40 hours per fortnight.

While we do our best to keep our visa information up to date, the best place to confirm details is the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

What if your visa is not granted?

If you are not successful in obtaining a visa, please contact us . You must send us a copy of the visa refusal form and we can then refund fees paid, deducted to cover our administrative costs. *

*Equivalent to one week’s course and accommodation fees

Permission to work

If you would like to work while studying in Australia, 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.

Find out more about working in Australia here.

Student visa

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

To meet your student visa requirements your academic performance and attendance are of high importance. You must satisfy the following program requirements:

  • Remain enrolled full time in a registered program
  • Achieve satisfactory academic results
  • Attend at least 80% of the contact hours scheduled for each semester/term
  • Maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for yourself and any dependents traveling with you. OSHC is $AU46 per month, per person.  Your OSHC card may take some weeks to be issued but you are covered from the day you arrive in Australia
  • No change of education institution within the first year. 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

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 your studies. Once your work permit is approved you will be granted one of these conditions:

Condition 8105: You may 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.

Condition 8104: You may work a maximum of 20 hours per week, regardless of whether your program is in session or not.

Leave of absence

A leave of absence is only permitted on the following grounds:

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

Please contact CLC for more information regarding your visa conditions.

Academic progress

Some visa conditions require that you complete your course of study within ‘minimum standard time’. This is usually the period 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 seek help, the more likely you will avoid problems with your visa. You are entitled to appeal against any academic assessment you receive, 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. CLC has health and counselling services if you need them.

Notification of address & change of address

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 seven days. You are also required to notify the Department of Immigration Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMA) in writing of a new address two 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 CLC. If you have problems with your visa you need to contact us as soon as possible for legal advice.

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