Australian Study Visas | Student Visa (subclass 590) | Registered Migration Agent

Student Guardian visa (subclass 590)


The Student Guardian visa (subclass 590) allows you to:

stay in Australia as the guardian of an international student younger than 18 years of age studying in Australia on a student visa


The requirements for The Student Guardian visa (subclass 590) are:

be a parent or person who has custody of the student, or a relative who is 21 years or older and has been nominated in writing by a parent or someone who has custody of the student
not bring family members younger than 6 years of age, except under certain circumstances
be able to provide accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student unless you are applying for this visa with the support of the government your home country

This visa is for someone to come to Australia to provide care and support for:

  • a student visa holder who is under 18 years of age or
  • a student visa holder who is 18 years of age or older and needs care and support due to exceptional circumstances.

You can apply for this visa from in or outside Australia.

What this visa lets you do

This visa lets you:

  • stay in Australia for as long as the student stays or up until the student turns 18 years of age
  • study an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) for less than 20 hours per week
  • study another course for up to three months.

The visa does not generally allow you to work.

You can care for more than one student.

Generally, there can be only one Student Guardian visa holder per student visa holder.

How long this visa lasts

You can stay in Australia for the same length of time as the student visa holder or until the student turns 18 years of age.

source: Department of Home Affairs

To be eligible for this visa you must:

  • be a parent or person who has custody of the student, or a relative who is 21 years or older and has been nominated in writing by a parent or someone who has custody of the student
  • not bring family members younger than 6 years of age, except under certain circumstances
  • be able to provide accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student unless you are applying for this visa with the support of the government your home country.

You must also:

  • meet health and character requirements
  • have enough money to support yourself, any dependants accompanying you and the student.
  • have adequate health insurance for you and any dependants coming with you
  • not owe any money to the Australian government or have arranged to repay any money owed
  • only stay in Australia temporarily
  • provide biometric information if we ask for it.

Pre-qualifying visas

If you are applying in Australia, you must hold a current substantive temporary visa, but not one of the following:

  • Domestic Worker (Temporary) – Diplomatic or Consular visa (subclass 426)
  • Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) in the Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or consular) stream
  • Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (subclass 995) – primary visa holder only. This means a family member of a Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (subclass 995) can apply for a Student visa in Australia.
  • Transit visa (subclass 771)
  • Visitor visa (subclass 600) in the ‘Sponsored Family’ stream or in the ‘Approved Destination Status’ stream.

A substantive temporary visa is any visa except a bridging visa, criminal justice or enforcement visa. It allows the visa holder to remain temporarily in Australia.

Bringing children

You can only bring children under six years old if either:

  • there are compelling and compassionate reasons
  • the granting the visa would significantly benefit the relationship between the Australian Government and the government of another country. If this is the case, you must be at least 21 and the student must be supported in writing by a parent or person who has custody.

The child must meet the same health requirements as you and have health insurance for the duration of their stay in Australia.

Children six years old or older can come with you but they must apply for their own student visa.

source: Department of Home Affairs

Financial requirement

You need to have enough money genuinely available to support you, the student and children coming with you for the duration of your stay in Australia. You will declare this in your visa application.

You must show evidence of financial capacity by providing one of the following:

  • evidence of funds to cover travel costs and 12 months’ living costs for yourself and any other children coming with you
  • evidence that your spouse (who is not travelling to Australia) will support you and your dependants and has an annual income of at least AUD 70,000.

If the grant of the visa will significantly benefit the relationship between Australia and the government of your home country, you only need to show evidence of funds for yourself and dependents, not the student.

Minimum 12-months’ living cost for your stay in Australia

: The financial capacity requirement relates to your eligibility for the grant of the student guardian visa. The living costs we ask you to declare or provide with your visa application are indicative of the cost of living in Australia. You need to be aware that actual living costs vary according to the area in which you intend to live and it is recommended that you research this yourself.This is indicative of the cost of living in Australia. Actual living costs vary depending where you live.

Access to funds

You must have genuine access to funds. The funds shown in the visa application must be available for use to financially support you and your family members during your stay in Australia.

Funds to support you and your family members must come from an acceptable source such as:

  • money deposits with a financial institution
  • financial institution or government loans
  • scholarships or sponsorships.

When we assess your application, we decide whether the funds shown will be genuinely available by taking into account factors, such as:

  • the nature of the relationship between you and the person providing the funds, where applicable
  • your income, assets and employment or that of the person who is providing the funds
  • your previous visa history and that of the person providing the funds.

Annual income option

The annual income requirement is AUD 70,000 or more. The income must be one of the following:

  • the personal income of your spouse
  • in the form of official government documentation such as a tax assessment (or country equivalent)
  • showing income earned during a period ending less than 12 months before the visa application was lodged. For example, a tax assessment issued in December 2015, for a visa application lodged in July 2016, would be acceptable.

Health insurance

You must provide evidence that you have enough health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia. This can be Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) or another health insurance product from Australia or your home country that provides a similar level of cover.

The student visa holder must have their own health insurance.

Identity and relationship documents

You must provide identity documents and proof of your relationship with the student. This can include a birth certificate showing the names of both parents.

You must also provide:

  • a birth certificate showing the names of both parents
  • the pages of each applicant’s current passport showing photo, personal details and passport issue and expiry dates
  • two recent passport photographs (45 mm x 35 mm):
    • the photograph should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background
    • the applicant’s name must be printed on the back of the photograph
  • proof of change of name, if applicable.

Genuine temporary entrant requirement

When we assess whether you plan to stay in Australia temporarily we will consider:

  • your personal circumstances in your home country
  • your potential circumstances in Australia
  • your immigration history
  • anything else that relates to your plan to remain in Australia temporarily.

Show proof that you are staying in Australia temporarily, such as:

  • evidence of immediate family members in your home country
  • your visa or residence status in your home country and your right to return
  • proof of property or other significant assets in your home country
  • a return air ticket
  • a letter from your employer confirming your leave.

Bringing children

If a child under six years old is coming with you but someone with a legal right to decide where that child lives is not coming to Australia, also provide:

source: Department of Home Affairs

After you apply, we may ask you to:

  • attend an interview
  • provide additional information
  • provide biometric information
  • provide police certificates
  • undergo health checks.

You can find out if you need health checks, and then complete them, before you apply for this visa by completing the online application My Health Declarations.

You can be in or outside Australia when a decision is made on your application.

If you apply for this visa from outside Australia, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia or leave your job until you have received notification from us, in writing, that you have been granted a visa.

Update your details or provide more information

If your circumstances or contact details change after you apply, you can make changes to your application by logging into ImmiAccount. If you cannot access ImmiAccount, print and complete one of these forms:

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw your application at any time before a decision is made using:

Processing times

To reduce visa processing times, submit all documents with your visa application. Failure to submit all documents may lead to processing delays or visa refusal.

The exact time it will take depends on a number of factors such as:

  • whether you have provided all supporting documents with your application
  • whether we need additional information from you and how you respond to any requests for this information
  • whether you need to undergo health checks or provide biometric information
  • how many applicants there are for this visa.

You will only be granted a visa after the student has been granted their visa.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • the visa number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was not granted
  • your review rights and any times limits for applying for a review (if applicable).

Visa conditions

You must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws. Different visa conditions apply to you and your family members. If you breach your visa conditions your visa could be cancelled.

Visa conditions might include, among others:

  • student guardian must remain with nominating student and provide for their general welfare, accommodation and support
  • student guardian must not leave Australia without the nominating student
  • student guardian must maintain adequate health insurance for yourself and any dependent children living with you
  • student guardian must not work while in Australia.

You can view your visa details including conditions in Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

If you have been granted a visa with the support of the government in your home country, you will have different visa conditions.

Entering and leaving Australia

You can enter and leave Australia temporarily during the term of the visa, but you cannot leave Australia without the nominating student unless you make alternative welfare arrangements.

If you need to leave Australia without the student, you must provide us with evidence that:

  • there are compassionate or compelling reasons for doing so, and
  • you have made suitable alternative arrangements for the student’s accommodation, general welfare and support until you return.

The alternative arrangements must be approved by us and the student’s education provider. Discuss your circumstances with the education provider a soon as you know you need to travel.

There are two ways you can make alterative welfare arrangements:

  1. Nominate an alternative student guardian who must be, except in limited circumstances, a parent or relative aged 21 years or over. To do this, use Form 157N Nomination of a student guardian. This form outlines documentation you need to provide when nominating a student guardian. Send this form, the education provider’s approval (in a letter or email) and the required documentation to your nearest office before you leave Australia.
  2. The student’s education provider can take responsibility for the student’s welfare by issuing a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter which will state the start and end dates for approval of welfare arrangements.

We will tell you if the alternative welfare arrangements have been approved. If we decide that the welfare arrangements are not suitable, you cannot leave Australia without your nominating student(s).

If you need to leave Australia permanently and your student needs to continue to study, new welfare arrangements must be approved.

If you do not comply with the conditions of your Student Guardian visa (subclass 590), your visa might be cancelled, and DIBP could also cancel the nominating student’s visa.

source: Department of Home Affairs

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