Visa Summary

International students studying in Australia on a student visa may require a guardian if they are under 18 years of age. There may also be exceptional circumstances where a student over 18 years of age may need a guardian for religious or cultural reasons.

Who is this visa for?

The Student Guardian visa is for foreign nationals applying to stay in Australia as the guardian of a student who is studying in Australia.

You will need to read this information if you are:

  • applying for your first student guardian visa to Australia
  • already in Australia on a student guardian visa and want a subsequent visa

In most circumstances, if you have a child under six, you will not be eligible for the grant of a Student Guardian visa.

In very limited circumstances, where you have a child under 6 who holds a passport of a country that is subject to Assessment Level 1 or 2 under the Schools Sector (subclass 571) student visa and you present compelling and compassionate circumstances as to why you should be granted a Student Guardian visa and you meet all other requirements, you may be eligible for a Student Guardian visa.

What does the visa let me do?

If you are granted this visa, you can:

  • live in Australia for the same length of time as the student for whom you are guardian, or until the student turns 18 years of age
  • bring dependent children with you to Australia, but only if they are under six years of age and meet specific eligibility requirements
  • study in Australia for up to three months. If you lodged your application on or after 24 March 2012, you have unlimited part-time study rights for English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) study only, (this means that you may study any ELICOS courses less than 20 hours per week for the duration of your visa)

    Note: If you intend to study any course other than ELICOS for more than 3 months, you must apply for a student visa

How does this visa work?

Nominating a student guardian

The student's parent or legal custodian must nominate you as the student's guardian. If you are the student's parent or legal custodian, you can nominate yourself as the student's guardian.

You can lodge your application for a student guardian visa at the same time that the student lodges their student visa application, or after the student arrives in Australia.

Assessment levels and streamlined visa processing

The requirements of this visa depend on the assessment level of the student who nominates you as their guardian or whether the student who nominates you as their guardian is eligible for streamlined visa processing. It affects:

  • amount, type and source of funds you must show
  • whether you can bring a dependent child under six years of age with you to Australia
  • where you can lodge and how long your application will take to process

A student's assessment level is determined by the passport they hold and their course of study. Their assessment level will be the one in place at the time they lodge their student visa application. More information about assessment levels is available in this Assessment Levels table.

Length of stay

This visa allows you to stay in Australia for the same length of time as the student for whom you will be the guardian. If the student is less than 18 years of age, your visa will usually be granted until the student turns 18 years.

This visa permits multiple entries to Australia.

Visa application process

You can lodge your application in or outside Australia. However if you are in Australia and the student nominating you is subject to Assessment Level 2, 3 or 4, you must provide exceptional reasons why the visa should be approved.

You can apply for this visa by post or in person. You cannot apply online using eVisa.

Note: Complete applications are likely to be processed more quickly. If you cannot provide all the supporting documentation when you lodge your visa application, advise the department what documents are missing and when you expect to be able to provide them. Incomplete applications may be delayed or, in some cases, refused.

  • Print complete the application form
  • Read the student guardian visa information
  • Have the student's parent or legal custodian complete the student and
  • nomination form
  • Attach all necessary documents to your application

Lodging your application

Lodge your application by post or in person to your nearest departmental office.

Note: You can lodge at the same time as the student for whom you are guardian, or after the student arrives in Australia.

Visa Requirements

Student Guardian Eligibility

General eligibility requirements

You must:

  • be a parent, person who has legal custody, or a relative of the student for whom you will be guardian
  • be at least 21 years of age
  • be able to provide accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student

Genuine temporary entrant requirement

Your individual circumstances must demonstrate that you genuinely intend to stay in Australia temporarily.

The factors that are considered during assessment of the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement include your personal circumstances in your home country, your potential circumstances in Australia, your immigration history and any other matter that is relevant to your intention to remain in Australia temporarily.

The information provided in your application form and supporting documentation will be used to assess the GTE requirement. You may be requested to provide additional information in relation to the factors set out above.

Character

You must be of good character to enter Australia. The information you provide on the 'Character' section of your application will be used to assess your character.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements and may need to undergo a health examination. The requirements vary based on:

  • your length of stay in Australia
  • other health risks in your home country or countries you have visited for more than three months within the last five years

You may be allowed to complete your health examination before you lodge your visa application, but no more than six months before the student's course starts.

Health insurance

You must have health insurance in the form of Overseas Visitor Health Cover for yourself and any dependent child included in your application, for at least the first year of your stay in Australia.

You must provide a receipt or other proof of your health insurance payment with your application.

Debts to the Australian Government

To enter Australia, you must:

  • have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government
  • have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government

Financial requirements

There are specific financial requirements you must meet in order to be eligible for this visa.

Australian Values Statement

If you are aged 18 years or over, you must declare that you will respect Australian values and obey the laws of Australia. For this visa, the values statement is included in the general declaration section of the application form. When you sign the application form it means you will also be signing the values statement. You will not be required to have read the Life in Australia book, but may do so if you wish.

You are also encouraged to gain an understanding of Australia, its people and their way of life, before applying for this visa.

Family Member Eligibility

Your family members are generally not eligible to come with you to Australia as dependants on this visa. However, a dependent child under six years of age may be eligible if both of the following conditions apply:

  • the child has a passport for a country with assessment level 1 or 2 for a Schools Sector (subclass 571) student visa
  • there are compassionate and compelling reasons for granting the visa

Health requirements

A dependent child accompanying you to Australia must meet the same health requirements as you and may need to undergo a health examination

Health insurance

You must have health insurance cover for a dependent child accompanying you to Australia. They can be included in your Overseas Visitor Health Cover.

Australian Values Statement

All visa applicants aged 18 years or over, must declare that they will respect Australian values and obey the laws of Australia. For applicants of this visa, the values statement is included in the general declaration section of the application form. By signing the form applicants will also be signing the values statement. Applicants for this visa will need not have to read the book ‘Life in Australia’, but may do so if they want.

Visa applicants are also encouraged to gain an understanding of Australia, its people and their way of life, before applying for this visa.

Conditions and obligations for holders of visa subclass 580

Student Guardian Obligations

You must continue to uphold all your visa conditions while living in Australia.

'No further stay' condition

You must comply with the visa's 'no further stay' condition. This means that you cannot apply for any other visa while you remain in Australia, unless it is one of the following:

  • a further student guardian visa
  • a visa to engage Australia's obligations under the 1951 UN convention relating to the status of refugees

Departing Australia

You cannot leave Australia without the student for whom you are the guardian, unless you provide the department with evidence that:

  • there are compassionate or compelling circumstances for you to leave the country
  • you have made alternative arrangements for the student's accommodation, general welfare and support until your return

    Note: If the student is less that 18 years, the alternative arrangements must be approved by the education provider

General obligations

You must:

  • not engage in work, however, voluntary work may be permitted
  • not engage in study or training for more than three months. If you lodged your application on or after 24 March 2012, you have unlimited part-time study rights for English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) study only(this means that you may study any ELICOS courses less than 20 hours per week for the duration of your visa)
  • maintain Overseas Visitor Health Cover for yourself and any dependent children living with you in Australia
  • continue to satisfy the primary criteria for the grant of the visa
  • live with the student for whom you are the guardian and provide appropriate accommodation, general welfare and other support

Family Member Obligations

It is your responsibility to ensure that any dependent children living with you in Australia continue to meet all their visa conditions. You must ensure that they:

  • maintain their Overseas Visitor Health Cover
  • do not come to Australia before you
  • continue to satisfy the criteria for the grant of a student guardian visa

'No further stay' condition

You must ensure that any dependent children living with you in Australia on a student guardian visa comply with the 'no further stay' condition. This means that you cannot apply, on their behalf, for any other visa while they remain in Australia, unless it is one of the following:

  • a further student guardian visa
  • a visa to engage Australia's obligations under the 1951 UN convention relating to the status of refugees