Guarding the guardians: student visa subclass 580

Publish Date: Jun 06, 2011

International students under 18 years of age studying in Australia on a student visa may require a guardian. There may also be exceptional circumstances where a student over 18 years of age may need a guardian for religious or cultural reasons.

Student Guardian Visa 580 – what is it?

This visa is for foreign nationals applying to stay in Australia as the guardian of a student in Australia. Generally, a student guardian who has a child under six will not be eligible for this visa.

Student Guardian Visa allows the holder to:

· live in Australia for the same length of time as the student for whom they are guardian, or until the student turns 18 years of age;

· bring dependent children to Australia, but only if they are under six years of age and meet specific eligibility requirements; and

· study in Australia for up to three months (any more than three months, the guardian must apply for their own student visa).

This visa does not allow the holder to work in Australia, which is anything that would normally attract remuneration. Volunteer work is only possible if:

· the main purpose is to reside in Australia primarily for the care and support of the student and any voluntary work remains incidental to this;

· the work involved would not otherwise be undertaken by an Australian resident;

· the work is genuinely voluntary for a non profit organisation and that no remuneration is received in return for the activities.

It is acceptable for out-of-pocket expenses to be reimbursed.

How to become a student guardian

The student's parent or legal custodian must nominate a student guardian. The student's parent or legal custodian can nominate themselves as the student’s guardian. Both the Student Guardian Visa and Student Visa can be lodged at the same time, or after the student arrives in Australia.

Dependant on the dependant – assessment levels

The assessment level of the student who nominates the guardian affects the guardian’s eligibility for the Student Guardian visa. This includes the amount, type and source of funds that must be shown, whether a dependent child under six years of age can be brought with the guardian to Australia, and the location and time of the lodgment and application process.

A student's assessment level is determined by the passport they hold and their course of study. Their assessment level will be the one in place at the time they lodge their student visa application.

The line of time

The Student Guardian Visa allows the guardian to stay in Australia for the same length of time as the student for whom they are the guardian. If the student is less than 18 years of age, the visa will usually be granted until the student turns 18 years. This visa permits multiple entries to Australia.

Eligible guardians and their obligations

There are requirements that the guardian and their dependent family members must meet for a student guardian visa. They include character; health requirements, health insurance, Australian Govenrment debts, financial reqruiements, andAustralian Values Statement.

There are certain obligations and conditions that must be continued to be upheld while living in Australia.

‘No further stay’ condition

The guardian cannot apply for any other visa while they remain in Australia, unless it is a further student guardian visa, or a visa to engage Australia's obligations under the 1951 UN convention relating to the status of refugees.

Departing Australia

A guardian cannot leave Australia without the student for whom they are the guardian, unless there are compassionate or compelling circumstances to leave the country, and alternative arrangements are made for the student's accommodation, general welfare and support until the guardian’s return. If the student is less that 18 years, the alternative arrangements must be approved by the education provider.

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