Studying abroad in a new environment can be exciting and worrying at the same time, especially for minors. Australia has a lot to offer to international students who are under 18 years of age, in terms of visas, welfare, education support, etc.
Minor students included in parents’ visa
Minors can be included in their parents’ visa to come to Australia and study. In this case, they don’t have to apply for student visas separately. They are allowed to enroll in a school to study and are treated as international students.
School fees maybe different from state to state, and are also depending on the type of visa their parents are holding.
Please our article about school fees here: SCHOOL FEES FOR DEPENDANTS OF VISA HOLDERS
Minors studying in Australia as primary applicants
In this case, they will have to apply for a student visa in their own rights to be able to come and study in Australia. There are additional requirements for a student visa to be approved for minors, compared to students over 18 years of age.
The minimum age to obtain a student visa in Australia is 6 years old. Besides, students must also be:
- less than 17 years old when they begin Year 9
- less than 18 years old when they begin Year 10
- less than 19 years old when they begin Year 11
- less than 20 years old when they begin Year 12
Make welfare arrangements
If students are applying for a student visa and they are under 18 years of age, they must have adequate welfare arrangements in place while they are in Australia.
They can do so by one of the methods below:
- Nominate a student guardian: Nominate a parent, legal custodian or relative over 21 years of age as their student guardian. This person must have a visa (if they don’t already have a visa, they may be eligible to apply for visa subclass 509) to stay in Australia for the duration of the student visa or until they turn 18.
They must attach a completed Form 157N Nomination of a student guardian to your application. If your nominated guardian is applying for a student guardian (subclass TU-590) visa, both applications should be made at the same time.
- Arrange a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW). Unless they are a secondary exchange student or a Foreign Affairs or Defence student, organise for the education provider to approve the welfare arrangements. The education provider will issue a CAAW and advise Department of Home Affairs of the student’s welfare arrangements start and end date.
- Provide the Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) form if the student is a secondary exchange student. Attach a signed copy of the CAAW to the student visa application.
- Organise approval of the welfare arrangements from the relevant Minister, if the student is a Foreign Affairs or Defence student
** Important: Students must have welfare arrangements in place until they turn 18, even if they turn 18 before they course starts. Students must not enter Australia before the welfare arrangements start.
Change of welfare arrangements
It is important to remember that the condition of the student visa for underage students is the students must maintain the welfare arrangements as mentioned above until they turn 18. If, in any circumstances, they cease to have the welfare arrangements (e.g no longer having guardian, moving out of the approved accommodation without approval), they risk having their student visas cancelled and may have to return to their countries.
In case students want to make changes to the welfare arrangements (e.g change of guardian or accommodation), they must first seek approval from the education provider through the International Student Support and Welfare Manager. They will guide through the formal process and documents required.
Besides the above additional requirements, students under 18 years of age will also need to meet other standard requirements for a student visa. Please refer to our Student Visa Subclass 500 for information about other requirements.
In Australia, the minimum age to work is from around 13 to 15 years old, depending on the industry. Student visas generally allows students to work for up to 48 hours/ fortnight during semester, and unlimited hours during the school breaks.
It is worth noting that employees under 21 years of age are consider junior employees, hence the pay will be calculated by percentage of the relevant adult pay rate, depending on students’ age. Please refer to Fair Work website to understand your pay rate and employment entitlements.