Moving abroad and starting a new life as a student can be an extremely tough, depressing and lonely experience for anyone. Most people leave their families and spouses behind to start afresh, all alone. There is a big solution for that though, a visa that not many people are aware of; the student dependent visa (500). Student dependent visa is not an individual visa. It is the same subclass as student visa (subclass 500).
An international student with a student visa of 12 months or longer is allowed to bring their family members, spouses or their kids of less than 18 years of age to enter the country on a dependent visa.
You must declare your family members in your visa application form in order to be eligible to bring them as dependents on your Australian student visa, even if they are not travelling with you to Australia. If you do not declare all family members in your visa application, they might not be eligible to apply for a dependent visa once you arrive in Australia and there are chances of a refusal.
There is an exception for partners. If the primary applicant does not include their partner in the visa application form for the simple reason that they were not in a relationship at the time, they are eligible to apply separately if they can provide substantial evidence to claim the same.
Eligibility Criteria for Australian Dependent Student Visas
For dependent spouse or partner
- The dependent must be your spouse (the person you are married to) or de facto partner (including same sex partners)
- If the dependent is your de facto partner, you must have been living with your partner for at least 12 months, and you must share a genuine and exclusive relationship with your partner (see more about partner visas)
For dependent children
- The dependent child must be your child or that of your partner
- The child must not be married or engaged to be married or in a de facto relationship
- The child must be less than 18 years of age and must be still in continuous education (i.e. studying A-levels)
If you are including your dependent family members in your original student visa application, then you must include all your family members on your original Form 157A (Application for a student visa).
If you are applying for family members to join you after you have started your course in Australia, then you must submit the following documents:
- Form 919(Nomination of student dependents)
- Form 157A (Application for a student visa)
- An original letter from the education provider stating:
- The course you are studying
- The duration of the course and the expected date of completion
- If you are satisfying all course requirements
- Evidence to prove your relationship with your dependent in the form of legitimately issued birth certificates or marriage certificates
- Evidence of having enough funds to support your dependents in Australia
- Evidence of school enrolment for your school-aged dependents
- Evidence of health insurance for each dependent
Rights Granted Under Dependent Student Visa
Dependent applicants are allowed to work in Australia. The rights are dependent on the course of study of the student which include:
- A dependent partner can study in Australia for any course of 3 months or lesser duration
- For a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree, the dependent partner will be allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight
- For a student pursuing a master’s degree or a doctorate degree or doing research work, the dependent partner will have full and unlimited work rightsAll other conditions can be read here.
6 Steps to follow for the dependent visa application
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