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As an international student, you will have a student visa for the duration of your course at CDU. There is a range of entry requirements that you will need to meet both for CDU and your visa application.

Applying for a student visa

The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for issuing visas to students who wish to study in Australia. As an international student visa holder, you have a set of responsibilities related to your visa conditions.

You are obligated to make yourself aware of these responsibilities and ensure you do not breach your visa conditions. The Department of Home Affairs may cancel your visa should you breach any visa conditions.

More information on student visa applications.

Key visa conditions

There are a number of conditions attached to your student visa. You are obligated to make yourself aware of these responsibilities, and ensure you do not breach your visa conditions. 

International student fee payment

You must continue to satisfy the requirements for the grant of your student visa. This means, for example, that you continue to have sufficient financial capacity to support your study and stay in Australia.

International student fees are stated in your letter of offer and CoE before commencing at CDU. Fees must be paid in full by the first day of classes each semester. If you are unable to pay by this date, you must apply for a tuition fees extension online. If you have any questions regarding payment of your fees, please contact the International Compliance Officer via email.

As a student visa holder, it is required that students remain financially able to pay their fees. The financial struggle cannot be considered when assessing other applications such as CoE extension and Reduced study load.

More information about payment methods, visit Pay your CDU fees.

Change of address

According to your student visa conditions, you must tell your education provider:

  • the address where you live in Australia within seven days of arriving in Australia
  • if you change the address where you live within seven days of the change
  • if you change education provider within seven days of receiving the electronic confirmation of enrolment certificate or evidence of enrolment.

If you move or change your mailing address, it is your responsibility to immediately update those details on MyStudentInfo.

Overseas Student Health Cover

Under the policy, you must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), during your stay in Australia. If there are changes in your personal circumstances after your arrival in Australia which require an upgrade in your OSHC policy, you must contact your OSHC provider to organise the change in your policy.

Charles Darwin University organises OSHC cover through Allianz Care Australia, but students can arrange equivalent health cover through any preferred provider. If you extend your studies, you must renew your OSHC. For further information on OSHC, please read the Department of Health FAQs. 

For any queries about your OSHC, you can meet Allianz representative Michelle Jacutina on campus every Wednesday (11.00 am – 16.00 pm) in building Blue 5.1.28 Casuarina campus. Alternatively, Michelle can be contacted by email.

Working in Australia

As an international student in Australia, you are permitted to work part-time when your course is in session.

Work and your visa

If you’re on a student visa you can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session. However, during official study breaks and holidays, you can work as much as you want. Please note that Summer Semester isn’t compulsory for most courses, so if you’re not enrolled in any units, you can work unlimited hours then too. However, if Summer Semester is compulsory for your course, you can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during the trimester.

Finding work

Our Careers and Employment team can help with all matters relating to building your career.

Contact the Careers and Employment team and improve your chances of securing the career that you want by talking with expert staff and accessing resources that will build your skills and knowledge to give you a competitive edge in the job market.

Your rights at work

Everyone who works in Australia, including international students, is protected by a set of workers’ rights. For example, it’s illegal for a potential employer to ask you to work for free as a trial. Other rights include getting formal pay slips, working in safe conditions, and being comfortable at your workplace. Visit Fair Work Ombudsman to find out more about your rights at work.

Working after you finish your degree

Once you finish your studies at Charles Darwin University, you might be able to stay in Australia and work with a post-study work visa. You can apply for this visa if you:

  • Applied for, and were granted, your first student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011.
  • Have completed an eligible qualification from an Australian educational institution.

Eligible qualifications are:

  • a bachelor’s degree
  • a bachelor’s degree with honors
  • a master’s by coursework degree
  • a master’s (extended) degree
  • a master’s by research degree
  • a doctoral degree

You must also meet the two-year study requirement.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs to find out more about post-study work visas.

Applying for a new student visa

Students requiring a visa extension must submit an application to the Department of Home Affairs. You may need to apply for CoE Extension in order to obtain a new electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from CDU.

Please note that DHA gives priority to visa applications lodged online. Please visit the Department of Home Affairs - Studying in Australia.

Enrolment and attendance

As your student visa conditions specify, you must remain enrolled in a registered course (unless you are a Foreign Affairs or Defence sponsored student or secondary exchange student in which case you must maintain full-time enrolment in your course of study or training).

Note: A registered course is one that is on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

You must maintain enrolment in a registered course that is the same level as, or at a higher level than, the registered course for which you were granted a visa. See the Department of Home Affairs - Your study situation has changed.

You must maintain satisfactory attendance in your course and course progress for each study period as required by your education provider.

Schooling arrangement for school-age dependents

The Department of Home Affairs requires that dependent children between the ages of six and eighteen attend school on a full-time basis as a condition of the dependent visa.

Each State and Territory has different requirements for school-aged dependants and information about this can be accessed on each Government Education website.

Under 18 student requirements

When you enter Australia on a student visa before your 18th birthday, you must have appropriate accommodation, support and welfare arrangements in place as required by the Department of Home Affairs. CDU does not offer welfare arrangements and therefore will not be issuing a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter.

Stay in Australia with a nominated guardian

If you’re an international student under 18, and plan to live with your parent, person who has legal custodian or an eligible relative while studying in Australia, you will need to verify this before applying for a student visa. This person must have appropriate visa or have applied for a Student Guardian visa (subclass 590) and must:

  • be an eligible relative as a a spouse, de facto partner, child, brother, sister, step-child, step-parent, step-brother, step-sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, step-grandparent, step-grandchild, step-aunt, step-uncle, step-niece, or step-nephew  of  the applicant; and
  • be nominated by a parent of the applicant or a person who has custody of the applicant; and
  • be at least 21 years of age and have good character

Please visit the Department of Home Affairs website for further information on welfare arrangements for international students under 18.

Your first point of contact

Once you arrive in Australia, your first point of contact is the International Student Support Officer. Please contact them via email:

Please note that if you’re in immediate or imminent danger on campus, please contact CDU Security on 1800 646 501 or call NT Police on 000.

Sexual assault & harassment

Charles Darwin University is committed to providing a safe and respectful learning, working and living environment. Sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable.

The Respect. Now. Always. Campaign, led by the Australian Human Rights Commission and Universities Australia, seeks to prevent sexual assault and harassment by raising awareness, supporting students requiring assistance and giving bystanders the confidence to speak up.

National Support Line

CDU has joined with other Australian universities to fund a 24/7 National Support Line to operate until 30 November to ensure that student victims and survivors of sexual assault can access round-the-clock specialist support.

The support line complements the phone and face-to-face counselling services that already operate at CDU. The National Support Line number is 1800 572 224.

CDU offers a range of services and support to students and staff to get help or make a report.

The laws in Australia for under 18 years of age

People who are under 18 in Australia are NOT allowed to:

  • drink alcohol or smoke
  • entry in to a licensed premises (for example: bars, nightclubs or casinos)
  • gamble

Reporting a breach

Under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, universities are required by law to report to The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) the non-compliance of students who fail to meet course requirements or fail to satisfy attendance requirements.

Students reported for breaching these visa conditions are likely to have their student visas cancelled by DHA.