Visas For Partners and Dependents
Bringing your family to Australia
Having your family with you while you study in Australia can be a wonderful opportunity for them to share this experience with you, learn more about Australia, our vast culture and way of life. But there are many important things to consider – from how you’ll support your family financially while you’re studying to how well they’ll adapt to life in Australia.
Eligible family members
Family members eligible to be included in your student visa application are:
- a spouse you’ve lived with for at least the past 12 months
- dependent children (including your step children or partner’s dependent children) who are unmarried and have not yet turned 18.
Before you apply for a spouse or partner visa
Some of the things you’ll want to consider before deciding to bring your family to Australia include:
- your financial ability to support yourself and your family
- your spouse or partner’s English language ability
- limited work opportunities for your spouse or partner
- your children’s schooling needs and how well they’d cope moving to Australia
- your childcare needs
- the healthcare needs and cover for your family
- how your family will cope with homesickness and being away from family and friends in your home country
Including your family on your student visa application
If you plan to bring your family to Australia while you study, and even if they’ll arrive after you, it’s important to include all family members on your student visa application. If you don’t include them and they later wish to join you in Australia, you’ll need to re-apply for a new student visa with your family members as part of the application. You’ll also need to explain why they weren’t included on your original student visa application.
If the person becomes a family member after you’ve applied for your student visa (such as when you have a baby or get married) then you’ll be given an exemption, but you’ll still need to supply the right documentation.
Documents needed for your student visa application
Everyone’s situation is unique and so the documents you’ll need to supply as part of your student visa application will be different. However, there are some documents that most people will be required to supply when applying for a student visa and want their family members to join them in Australia. Examples of these documents are noted below but visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website’s Document Checklist Tool.
- evidence of their identity such as a certified copy of their birth certificate or passport
- proof of their relationship to you and other family members
- a copy of your main passport page
- evidence of enough money to support yourself and your family while studying in Australia
- evidence of enrolment in a school for school-aged family members
- evidence of health insurance for your whole family.
Work rights for family members on a student visa
After you start your course, you and your family members can legally work part-time for up to 40 hours per fortnight while on a student visa in Australia.
Each member of your family who wants to work while you’re studying will need to apply for an individual Tax File Number (TFN) from the Australian Taxation Office after you arrive in Australia. They will also need to set up an Australian bank account to receive wages from their employer.
You can check your work rights and those of your family members using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service.
Get up-to-date visa information
Visa requirements and costs can change, so to get the most up-to-date information, visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.
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