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Student Guardian Visa (Subclass 590)

This is a temporary visa for a person who needs to come to Australia to provide care and support for:

  • a student visa holder who is younger than 18 years of age
  • a student visa holder who is older than 18 years of age and who needs such care and support due to exceptional circumstances

This visa can be applied in or outside Australia:

  • at the same time as the student
  • after the student has applied
  • after the student has been granted their visa, in which case the student would have demonstrated that other welfare arrangements were in place to meet their visa requirements
General requirements
  • 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 exempted
Other requirements
  • meet health and character requirements
  • have enough money to support oneself, accompanying dependant(s) and the student.
  • have adequate health insurance for oneself and accompanying dependant(s)
  • only stay in Australia temporarily
  • if applying in Australia, must hold an eligible substantive temporary visa
Financial requirement

The applicant needs to have enough money genuinely available to support oneself, the student and accompanying children for the duration of stay in Australia. The applicant is required to declare this in the visa application.

If the applicant is required to provide evidence of financial capacity, s/he can demonstrate this by providing one of the following:

  • evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia and 12 months’ living, course and (for school aged dependants) schooling costs for the student and accompanying family members
  • evidence of meeting the annual income requirement 

The applicant must have genuine access to funds. The funds shown in the visa application must be available for use and must come from an acceptable source.

Health insurance

The applicant must provide evidence that s/he has enough health insurance for the duration of stay in Australia. This can be Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) or another health insurance product from Australia or the applicant’s home country that provides a similar level of cover.

Identity & relationship cocuments

The applicant must provide identity documents and proof of relationship with the student.

Genuine temporary entrant requirement

When the department assess whether the applicant plans to stay in Australia temporarily the department will consider:

  • the applicant’s personal circumstances in home country
  • the applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia
  • the applicant’s immigration history
  • anything else that relates to the applicant’s plan to remain in Australia temporarily.
Visa entitlements

This visa allows the visa holder to:

  • 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 the visa holder to work.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Under which condition(s) is a Student Guardian, when applying for Student Guardian (subclass 590) visa, exempted from providing accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student?

A Student Guardian, when applying for Student Guardian (subclass 590) visa, is exempted from providing accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student if s/he is applying for this visa with the support of the government in the home country.

Q. What are the pre-qualifying visas that an applicant must hold when applying for this visa in Australia?

If the applicant is applying in Australia, s/he 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) granted on the basis of the holder being a diplomatic or consular representative or of a foreign country
  • Transit visa (subclass 771)
  • Visitor visa (subclass 600) in the ‘Sponsored Family’ stream or in the ‘Approved Destination Status’ stream
Q. Under which condition(s) can an applicant bring children under six years old as accompanying dependents?

An applicant can bring children under six years old as accompanying dependents only if:

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

Yes, children six years old or older can accompany the applicant but they must apply for their own student visa.

Q. Can an applicant provide care to more than one student?

Yes, an applicant can care for more than one student.

Q. Can there be more than one Student Guardian visa holder for a single student visa holder?

No, there can be only one Student Guardian visa holder per student visa holder in general.

Q. How much is 12-months' living cost that the applicant must demonstrate?

The applicant must demonstrate 12-months living cost, as applicable.

  • Student Guardian visa applicant: AUD 19,830 per year
  • Child, if applicable: AUD 2,970 per year for each child

This is indicative of the cost of living in Australia. Actual living costs vary depending where the applicant lives.

Q. What is an acceptable source to demonstrate the availability of funds to support oneself and accompanying family members?

Funds to support oneself and accompanying family members must come from an acceptable source such as:

  • money deposits with a financial institution
  • financial institution or government loans
  • scholarships or sponsorships.
Q. How are the funds shown assessed to be genuinely available for the intended purpose?

The funds shown will be assessed to identify if they will be genuinely available by taking into account factors, such as:

  • the nature of the relationship between the applicant and the person providing the funds, where applicable
  • the applicant’s income, assets and employment or that of the person who is providing the funds
  • the applicant’s previous visa history and that of the person providing the funds.
Q. What are the requirements to demonstrate annual income as source of funds?

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

  • the personal income of the applicant’s 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.
Q. What are the acceptable identity and relationship documents?
  • 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.
Q. Who can the applicant prove that s/he intends to stay in Australia temporarily?

The applicant can show proof that s/he is staying in Australia temporarily, such as:

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

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