Bringing your family
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) allows most students to bring their family members to Australia as their dependents. Dependent family members include your spouse or de facto partner and dependent children. You must declare all your dependent family members in your student visa application, even if they do not travel with you. For further information, please read the How to apply for family members to join you section of DHA’s website.
The cost of supporting a family in Australia is very high and it is important to ensure that you have sufficient funds to support them financially. You may find it is easier to arrive in Australia first, and to bring your family later.
- Do you have sufficient funds to pay for airfares, OSHC, accommodation, food, clothing etc for your family?
- Will your family be able to adjust to life in Australia?
- If your family does not speak English, what problems may they face?
- Will your children struggle to adjust to the education in Australia / or when returning to your home country?
- Will your spouse be able to gain employment in Australia?
- Will your spouse's career in your home country be disrupted?
If you would like to bring your children to Australia, you must be aware of the following schooling issues:
- It is a DHA requirement that school-age dependents (children aged 6-16) of international students undertake formal schooling while they are in Australia.
- You will need to provisionally enrol your child in a school before you can apply for a dependent visa.
- You are responsible for school fees (unless exempt) and other costs including school uniforms, books, stationery, school trips or activities. You may need to pay for one semester’s school fees when you provisionally enrol your children.
- When choosing the most appropriate school for your child, it is best to ask questions about the school's curriculum, size, extra-curricular activities and the size of individual classes.
- You should also take into consideration the distance from the school to your campus, the suburb in which you intend to live and the method of transport you plan to use.
For more information about Australian Government Schools please contact:
Queensland - Education Queensland International
New South Wales – Department of Education International
Victoria – Victorian Government Schools International Student Program
South Australia – Department for Education and Child Development
Western Australia – Department of Training and Workforce Development
Childcare is expensive and can be difficult to secure. You should start researching childcare options before you arrive. It is more difficult to find places for children under 24 months of age. Places for older children (3 – 5 years old) are easier to obtain.
To learn about the availability and suitability of different childcare options, you need to approach childcare centres directly. Most childcare centres have long waiting lists, so you might want to register on several waiting lists. Some centres charge an application fee. We suggest that you visit the childcare centres that you are considering before making a final decision on your childcare arrangements.
The Australian Child Care Index can assist you to find child care services in your area.
If you become pregnant in Australia, please contact your Overseas Student Health Cover provider to confirm what services are covered and to arrange an upgrade to a family policy. Children born in Australia are only Australian citizens if at least one parent is an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of the child’s birth.
Having a child may impact on your ability to complete your studies, therefore, you may need to change your Confirmation of Enrolment and extend your visa. Contact the International Student Support Team for further advice.