Bringing your family 

As an international student, you could be eligible to bring your family with you to Australia.

Thousands of international students bring family members with them to Australia each year. It’s a great way for your family to learn about other cultures, explore a new country, learn in diverse classrooms, develop their language skills and build lifelong connections. 

You can include family members when you lodge your student visa application, including:   

  • your partner (spouse, de facto or same-sex partner) 
  • your dependent child/children under 18 years of age, and/or 
  • your partner’s dependent child/children under 18 years of age.  

You will need to provide evidence showing your relationship with your dependent family members. This may include marriage certificates and birth certificates.   

Your family members will also need to provide evidence that they meet certain health and character requirements. This may include medical examinations and police clearance certificates. 

You will also need to prove that you can financially support your family when you are in Australia.  

More information on how to include your family in your student visa application is available on the Home Affairs website.  

Bringing your partner

A spouse or de facto partner can be added as a secondary applicant to a student visa application.  

Couples may need to provide evidence to support the claimed relationship, including a marriage certificate and/or proof of living together. Spouses and de facto partners must also satisfy the Department of Home Affairs that they are genuine temporary entrants.  

Your partner may have different working rights to you. For more information on visa conditions, check the visa grant letter or use the Visa Entitlement Verification Online system (VEVO).  

Bringing your child/children

The Australian Government will only grant a student visa to your child if they are under 18 years of age at the time a decision is made on your own visa application. If they are 18 years or over, they will need to apply for their own visa. 

You will need to pay for any dependent children to go to either a public or private school in Australia. The starting age for schools in Australia is around five years of age, but the exact start can be different in each state and territory.  

For children under the age of five years, you can consider childcare or kindergarten services. Some Australian education providers, including universities, have childcare facilities on or near to campus. There are also private and not-for-profit childcare centres located in all cities. 

For all childcare services, it’s a good idea to research the options and costs before you arrive. You should look for the type of care that suits you and your child best, and a service that is in a convenient location (e.g. near to campus or where you plan to live). It’s also a good idea to make childcare enquiries early, as there is often a waiting list. You can add your child’s name to more than one waiting list if you are not yet sure about your service needs or exact location in Australia.  

For more information on your child’s visa conditions, check the visa grant letter or use the VEVO system. 

Bringing your parent (if you are under 18 years of age)

 If you are a student under 18 years of age, an adult can come to Australia to provide care and support for you on a Student Guardian visa if they are:  

  • a parent, custodian or relative who is 21 years or older 
  • have enough money to support themselves, and you, during their stay, and
  • able to provide you with accommodation, welfare and other support.  

Your parent or guardian cannot work in Australia and they must live with you. Student guardians must also satisfy the Department of Home Affairs that they are genuine temporary entrants. 

Bringing your family at a later time

You will need to declare family members when you lodge your student visa application, even if they do not plan to travel with you to Australia straight away. If you do not declare them when applying for your student visa, they will not be eligible for a student visa to join you in Australia at any stage.  

Your family member(s) can apply as a subsequent entrant at a later time, separate from your application, in ImmiAccount.  

If a person became your family member after you lodged your application and before a decision has been made on your visa application, you must inform the Department of Home Affairs of the change in circumstances.

Support for you and your family 

Your education provider will offer support services. You should start by contacting your provider’s student services for more information regarding accommodation, childcare and schools. Some education providers also offer services such as childcare and English language classes for your family.  

Your local state or territory student centre will also offer a wide range of student support services.