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Most student visas allow you to take your family members to Australia as your dependents. Family members in context of Australian migration include your partner, your children or your spouse’s dependent children.  Taking them along with you on a student visa needs carful planning. First of all, you must prove that you can support them financially. The cost of supporting a family in Australia is very high. For more information regarding documentary evidence of financial capacity, please visit this website.https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/stud/more/student-visa-living-costs-and-evidence-of-funds

Issues to Consider

Rather than taking your family together with you to Australia, some students may find it useful to arrive first, settle into studies, find appropriate accommodation, adjust to living in Australia and then arrange for their family to join them.

Before making a decision to bring your family to Australia it is important to consider the following issues:

  • The cost of OSHC cover can be very high for couples and families as compared to single student
  • The cost of airfares for your family to and from Australia
  • Possible higher rent for a larger home
  • Limited employment opportunities for your spouse
  • Extra costs for food, clothing and other necessities
  • The effect on you and your studies if your family is not happy in Australia
  • Whether your children will adjust to school in Australia
  • Waiting lists for child care centres; and
  • Whether to come alone to Australia first and arrange things for your family, or to all come at the same time

Child Care

Finding suitable childcare in Australia requires patience and planning. Waiting lists for places in most childcare centres are long.

Many schools offer before and after school care programs (usually 7:30am–8:45am and 3:30pm–6:00pm). Children who need these programs must be registered with the school.

Schools

If you would like to bring your children to Australia with you, you must be aware of the following schooling issues:

  • It is an immigration policy that school-age dependants of international students undertake formal schooling while they are in Australia.
  • Children who have their fifth birthday on or before 31 July of that calendar year are eligible to start school.
  • You will need to provisionally enrol your child in a school before you leave your home country and you will normally have to pay the school fees one semester in advance. The school will issue an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment Form (eCOE) stating the program and its duration, so that you can obtain the appropriate visa for your child.
  • You will be responsible for school fees and other costs including school uniforms, books, excursions, and stationery.
  • 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 education institution, the suburb in which you intend to live and the method of transport you plan to use.

Keeping in Contact

Before you leave home, you should provide your family and friends, and your education provider with details of your flights to Australia and where you will be staying when you arrive. (Do not change these details without informing them.) Once you have arrived in Australia, you should then let your family and friends know that you have arrived safely. It is important to always let someone know where you are and how to contact you by phone, by email or by post. It is a mandatory requirement of your visa grant to inform your education provider of any change to your contact details, which includes your phone number and address of your accommodation.

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