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Applying for a Student Dependent Visa in Australia

Applying for a Student Dependent Visa in Australia

Embarking on an educational journey in Australia is an exciting opportunity for international students. However, the prospect of leaving family behind can be challenging. Fortunately, Australia's Student Dependent Visa offers a solution, allowing students to bring their loved ones along.  In this article, we will explore the intricacies of applying for a Student Dependent Visa in Australia, including eligibility criteria, visa application process, and financial requirements. It aims to guide international students through the complexities of ensuring their family members can join them in Australia, making their academic adventure a shared and fulfilling experience.

Understanding the Student Dependent Visa

A Student Dependent Visa in Australia is designed for the dependents of international students studying in Australia. Dependents can include a spouse or de facto partner and unmarried children under the age of 18. In some cases, it may also include other relatives who are dependent on the student. Eligibility criteria include proving the relationship and meeting financial requirements, ensuring dependents can be adequately supported. The visa application process involves the submission of necessary documents, health checks, and proof of funds. This visa provides an opportunity for families to stay together, enhancing the educational experience for international students in Australia while ensuring dependents can live, and possibly work or study, during their stay. For those planning to visit Australia, it's essential to also consider aspects such as an eta visa Australia for a smooth entry process.

Eligibility Criteria for Student Dependent Visa

Understanding the eligibility criteria for a Student Dependent Visa is crucial for international students in Australia who wish to bring their family members along. The key requirements are centered around the relationship to the student, the student's visa status, and the nature of their study program.

To apply for a Student Dependent Visa, there are specific eligibility criteria that must be met:

1. Relationship Status: 

The applicant must be a spouse, de facto partner, or a dependent child (usually under 18 and unmarried) of the international student.

2. Primary Visa Holder Status: 

The international student must hold a valid Australian student visa. This is a fundamental requirement, as the dependent's visa is linked to the status of the student.

3. Course Requirement: 

The international student should be enrolled in a full-time course leading to a recognized degree or diploma in Australia. Short-term or language courses typically do not qualify for bringing dependents.

4. Financial Capacity: 

Demonstrating sufficient funds to support the dependents in Australia is essential. This includes evidence of adequate finances to cover living costs, health insurance, and education for children, if applicable.

5. Health and Character Checks: 

Dependents must meet Australia’s health and character requirements, which may involve medical examinations and police certificates.

These criteria ensure that international students and their dependents can sustain their stay and adhere to the regulations governing the Student Dependent Visa in Australia. Understanding and meeting these requirements is the first step towards a successful application.

Visa Application Process

The Visa Application Process for obtaining a Student Dependent Visa in Australia is a crucial aspect for international students wishing to bring their families along.

Initially, the student must hold a valid Australian student visa. The dependents, typically a spouse or children, must satisfy the eligibility criteria, which includes proving their relationship to the student.

1. Gathering Documentation: 

To start the application, gather necessary documents such as evidence of relationship, proof of the student's enrollment in an Australian institution, and documents showing financial requirements have been met. This includes proof of sufficient funds to cover living, tuition, and travel expenses. The application is usually submitted online through the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.

2. Health and Character Requirements: 

Applicants must also fulfill health and character requirements, including undergoing health examinations and providing police clearance certificates from countries they have lived in. It's important to ensure that all information provided is accurate and complete to avoid delays or rejections.

3. Application Submission: 

Once the application is submitted online through the Australian Department of Home Affairs website, the processing time can vary. Applicants are advised to apply well in advance of their intended travel date. Successful applicants will be granted a visa aligned with the duration of the primary student’s visa, allowing dependents to reside in Australia for the duration of the student's course.

Financial Requirements

When applying for a Student Dependent Visa in Australia, meeting the financial requirements is a crucial component. The Australian government needs assurance that international students and their dependents can sustain themselves financially during their stay. This is to ensure that they do not become a burden on the country’s social and health services. Firstly, applicants must provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover their living expenses, including accommodation, food, and transportation. This also extends to covering school fees for dependent children, if applicable. The exact amount required varies depending on the number of dependents and the length of stay, but it generally represents a significant sum. In addition to living expenses, applicants must show they can afford the cost of return airfares and the international student’s tuition fees. 

The proof can be in the form of bank statements, a letter from a financial sponsor or a scholarship program, and other financial documents demonstrating a steady income or savings. Moreover, the visa application might require showing an annual income threshold. This is particularly relevant when the dependent is a spouse or partner of the international student. Meeting these financial requirements is essential not just for the successful processing of the Student Dependent Visa but also for ensuring a stable and worry-free stay in Australia for both the student and their dependents.

Living in Australia with a Student Dependent Visa

While in Australia, dependents have the opportunity to explore the diverse culture, lifestyle, and scenic beauty of the country. However, dependents must understand the financial requirements and adhere to the conditions of their visa. This includes managing living expenses and understanding work rights, as Australia has specific work restrictions for visa holders. The visa’s duration is typically linked to the primary student's visa, ensuring family unity throughout the educational journey. 

Additionally, dependents should be aware of the eligibility criteria for extending their stay, in case the student’s course duration extends. Dependents have the right to work in Australia, but there are some conditions related to working hours. Children have the right to attend school in Australia. Overall, living in Australia under a Student Dependent Visa can be a fulfilling experience, provided the regulations and requirements are diligently followed.

Renewal and Duration of the Visa

The duration of the Student Dependent Visa is generally aligned with the primary student’s visa. In case the international student extends their course, dependents can also apply for a visa extension. The process for renewal is similar to the initial application process, with an emphasis on continuing to meet the eligibility criteria and financial requirements.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Applicants may face challenges such as navigating the complex visa application process, providing sufficient proof of relationship, and meeting the financial requirements. It is advisable to seek guidance from immigration experts or use resources provided by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.


Applying for a Student Dependent Visa in Australia requires thorough preparation and understanding of the eligibility criteria, the visa application process, and financial requirements. It offers an excellent opportunity for families to stay together while an international student pursues education in Australia. With careful planning and adherence to the guidelines, dependents can join the international students in Australia, making the educational journey a shared family experience.