Australian visas for partners and families

Dependent family members on a student visa

A student visa would usually allow you to bring close family members as dependents on your student visa.  This is defined as:

  • A spouse or partner (including same sex partners) who you have been living with for 12 months.
  • Your, or your partner's children, under 18 or who are still in continuous education (i.e. studying A-levels).

Please note that the work rights granted for the dependent partner will depend on the course of study of the student:

  • If the student is studying a bachelor degree, the dependent partner can work up to 40 hours per fortnight.
  • If the student is studying a masters degree (coursework or research) or a doctorate degree the partner will have full and unlimited work rights.

Travelling with school age children

If your children are travelling with you as dependants on your student visa, you will have to pay fees for them to go to any Australian school (regardless of whether the school is state or private). School fees vary according to the age of your children and the state or territory that you live in, but expect fees of around A$4,000 to A$17,000 per year, per child.

Approximate state school fees

South Australia A$4,500 - A$5,500
New South Wales A$5,000 - A$6,000
Tasmania A$7,500
Victoria A$8,500 - A$12,500
Australian Capital Territory A$10,000 - A$15,000
Queensland A$11,500 - A$15,500
Western Australia A$13,000 - A$17,000

Please note: These are the range for school fees of dependent children of student visa holders, please note there are no fees for children of students studying a masters degree in Western Australia and no fees for children of students studying a PhD.

Where can I find help on schools?

Go to the relevant Department of Education website for the state or area that you intend to study and live in. These are as follows:

Travelling with children over the age of 18 or other family members

Children over the age of 18 are no longer classed as dependents in Australia unless they have been in continuous education (i.e. they are over 18, but still studying A-levels or other qualification).  So, if your family member is over 18, and not an eligible dependent, they will need to have their own visa in order to travel to Australia with you.  Please note that at 18, they are eligible to apply for entry into an Australian university or college themselves and travel on their own student visa.

Families travelling with a Temporary Skilled Work Visa (Subclass 457)

If you are travelling to Australia under a sponsored temporary work visa (subclass 457) and are bringing your children they will NOT need to apply for their own individual student visas. They will, however, enter university as an international student and consequently you will need to pay the international fee rate for each child that is studying.  They will not be eligible for any student loan schemes in Australia.