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Student Dependent Visa Australia: Bringing Your Family on Your Study Journey

Studying abroad can be an enriching experience, not just for the student but also for their family members. Earning a degree in Australia can be a transformative experience, but it can be even more rewarding when shared with your loved ones.

Fortunately, the Australian government recognizes this, allowing international students to bring their families along through Student Dependent Visas.

In this guide, we'll dive into the specifics of the student dependent visa in Australia, focusing on the process, costs, and eligibility criteria, tailored especially for Pakistani students studying in Australia.

What is a Student Dependent Visa in Australia?

A student dependent visa is a practical and documented way to be with your loved one. It is granted to the family members of a student visa holder to accompany them during their studies.

Dependent visas are usually available to close family members of the primary visa holder. This means you can bring your spouse, partner, or unmarried children under 18 (or under 25 if they're financially dependent and studying full-time) with you to Australia.

Types of Dependent Visas

There are two main types of dependent visas relevant to Pakistani students:

Subclass 500 Dependent (Student Visa)

This visa allows spouses and children under 18 (or 25 if unmarried and financially dependent) to accompany the student visa holder.

Subclass 590 Student Guardian Visa

This visa is for parents or legal guardians of students under 18 who will be studying for more than 12 months.

Eligibility for Student Dependent Visas

To be eligible for a student dependent visa, your family members must:

  • Spouse/Partner: You can bring your spouse or partner.
  • Unmarried Children: You can bring your unmarried children under 18 years old.
  • Older Dependent Children (exceptions exist): In some cases, you can bring unmarried children who are:
    • Between 18 and 25 years old, studying full-time in Australia, and financially dependent on you.
    • Over 18 years old and have a disability that requires significant care and support.

Additional Eligibility Criteria

  • Main Applicant: You must hold a valid Subclass 500 Student Visa.
  • Genuine Relationship: You must demonstrate a genuine and continuing relationship with your dependents (marriage certificate, relationship evidence for partners).
  • Financial Requirements: You'll need to provide evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents during your stay in Australia. This includes living expenses, education costs, and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for everyone.
  • Health Requirements: Some dependents may need to undergo health checks to meet visa requirements.

To apply for a student dependent visa, one must have sufficient funds to support their case; the more funds in their account, the higher the chances they have for their visa being accepted.
Need help strengthening your dependent visa application? HS Consultants can guide you through the process and increase your chances of success.

Application Process

The application process for a Student Dependent Visa in Australia can seem complex, but here's a breakdown to help you navigate it:

1. Check Eligibility

  • Make sure you and your dependents meet the eligibility criteria outlined earlier.
  • Verify if any exemptions or exceptions might apply to your specific situation.

2. Choose Your Application Method

  • Online: Applying online is the preferred method. You can complete the application form, upload documents, and pay fees electronically.
  • Through a Registered Migration Agent: They can handle the application process for you, but fees apply.

3. Gather Required Documents

  • Form 157A: Application form for each dependent.
  • Form 919: Nomination of student dependents form (completed by the main student visa holder).
  • Passports: Valid passports for each dependent.
  • Identification Documents: Birth certificates, marriage certificate/partner declaration.
  • Evidence of Relationship: Marriage certificate, joint bank statements, etc.
  • Proof of Financial Support: Documents demonstrating sufficient funds for your stay, including living expenses, student costs, and OSHC.
  • Education Documents: Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for your student visa, school acceptance letters for children.
  • Health Documents: If requested, medical certificates for dependents.
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC): Evidence of OSHC for each dependent.

4. Submit Your Application

  • Online: Follow instructions on the Immi website.
  • Migration Agent: They will handle the submission.

5. Processing Time

  • Applications can take up to 4 months to process.

Additional Tips:

  • Start early! Begin gathering documents well in advance to avoid delays.
  • Ensure all documents are clear, legible, and translated if necessary.
  • Pay close attention to application deadlines and instructions.
  • Consider seeking professional guidance from a study abroad consultant.

Costs and Fees

The application fee for a Subclass 500 Dependent visa is AUD 600, and AUD 495 for Subclass 590. Additionally, dependents will need to cover health insurance costs, living expenses, and travel expenses. Plan for higher living costs in major cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
The visa application fees for dependents vary and should be checked on the official website of the Australian government.

Working Conditions for Dependents

The working conditions for dependents on a Student Dependent Visa in Australia depend on several factors, including:

1. Level of Your Student Visa

  • Master's by Research or Doctoral Degree: Your partner/spouse can work unlimited hours with this visa.
  • Bachelor's Degree or Other Courses: Your partner/spouse can generally work for 48 hours per fortnight (24 hours per week) during semesters and full-time during semester breaks.

2. Type of Dependent

  • Children Under 18: Cannot work unless they obtain a separate work visa.
  • Children Over 18: Generally, they cannot work unless they meet specific criteria, such as being financially dependent on you and studying full-time in Australia. They would then need a separate work visa.

3. Other Factors

  • Occupation and Industry: Certain occupations or industries may have additional requirements or limitations.
  • Employer: Some employers might have specific visa sponsorship policies.

Points to Remember:

  • Dependents must comply with all work visa conditions, such as tax obligations and reporting requirements.
  • Working hours cannot interfere with their studies or the main student's studies.
  • Dependents may need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) to work legally.

Additional Considerations

  • Healthcare: Dependents are covered by the student's Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
  • Education: Children can attend public schools, but fees apply. Explore scholarship and financial aid options.
  • Cultural Differences and Language Barriers: Be prepared for cultural adjustments and language barriers. Utilize resources like community groups and language learning programs.

If you still need any guidance, contact HS Consultants. We will guide you through each step to get your Australian student dependent visa.


Bringing your family on your study journey in Australia can enrich your experience and provide invaluable support.
By understanding the visa requirements, application process, and other considerations, you can ensure a smooth transition for your loved ones.
Embrace this opportunity to create lasting memories and share your academic success with your family.

FAQs: Student Dependent Visa Australia from Pakistan

Are there any specific challenges Pakistani families face when applying for dependent visas?
Several factors can impact Pakistani families compared to other nationalities. These include:

  • Limited Access to Documentation: Obtaining translated documents and verifying relationships can be more complex in Pakistan. Ensure all documents are properly certified and translated by accredited translators.
  • Financial Requirements: Demonstrating sufficient funds for your family can be challenging. Consider additional evidence like bank statements from both parents or sponsorships.
  • Visa Refusal Rates: Pakistani applications sometimes face higher refusal rates due to concerns about genuine relationships. Strengthen your application with compelling evidence and clear communication of your intentions.

Q: Can my dependent family members work remotely for companies outside Australia?
It depends. Remote work for companies outside Australia generally doesn't count towards the work hour limitations on dependent visas. However, clarify with the Department of Home Affairs and consult with an immigration lawyer for specific guidance.

Q: What are the cultural adjustment challenges for Pakistani families in Australia?

Adapting to a new culture can be daunting. Be prepared for differences in social norms, communication styles, and daily life. Utilize resources like community groups, cultural centers, and online forums for support and guidance. Additionally, research Australian cultural norms and expectations beforehand to ease the transition.

Q: Can my dependent children attend university in Australia on a dependent visa?

No, dependent visas do not grant access to higher education in Australia. Children wishing to study at university will need to apply for a separate student visa specific to their chosen program.

Q: What support systems are available for Pakistani students and their families in Australia?

Several organizations offer support and resources:

  • Pakistani Students Association in Australia (PSAA): Connects Pakistani students and provides support with academics, social integration, and cultural events.
  • Federation of Indian Students in Australia (FISA): Offers similar services for students from South Asia, including Pakistan.
  • Multicultural Australia: Government agency providing resources and information on settling in Australia.
  • Local Community Groups and Religious Organizations: Connect with Pakistani communities in your area for peer support and cultural guidance.

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