Much it is heard and said when it comes to applying for an Australian Student Visa as a DEPENDENT.

Many believe it is a highly complex process, an impossible quest for paperwork, or that they risk with it the success of their visa application. Some are simply told “it cannot be done”. In most cases, much of this fear stems from misguided information.

As every applicant case is unique, we have compiled a series of pointers to cast some light on the most frequently asked questions potential students have.

What documents are required when including a dependent in a student visa application?

There are 3 options to apply for a student dependent visa:

  1. 1) be married (in which case the marriage certificate will be sufficient), OR
  2. 2) be in a defacto relationship (evidence of 12 months living together in the same household and sharing financials is needed) OR
  3. 3) have a recognised registered relationship.

So, depending on the situation the applicant is in, the documentation required will vary.

In relation to recognised registered relationships…
How long does registering a relationship take in Australia and what documents are needed?

This depends on the state/territory, as it is NOT available across whole Australia. Some states / territories do not offer the option to register a de-facto relationship (i.e. Northern Territory). The registration process can take between 6 – 8 weeks until the certificate of registration is received, so it is recommendable to start the process as early as possible. Individual requirements depend on each state and territory, in example one of the applicants MUST live in a specific state/territory for a minimum of 6 months.

Required documentation also depend on individual states and territories authority registering relationship. In general some form of an Ian official ID is always required, i.e. passport, evidence of joint address, joint bank account etc.

Example of NSW requirements:

What happens if I already had my relationship registered in my home country, but this was not declared on my last student visa application when applying onshore or offshore?

As most students from overseas come to Australia to study English, the extensive visa questionnaire (in English) can sometimes be confusing especially when the applicants do not master the language. It is not uncommon that due to the lack of language and knowledge of Australia immigration law they unintentionally make an honest mistake and do not declare their registered relationship from their home countries at the time of application. The best way to rectify this incorrect declaration – if the relationship continues after arrival to Australia- is to register it in the state or territory they live in (if available).

What documents do I need to show if the rental lease is not in my own name (i.e. sub renting)? (i.e. sub renting)?

In the case of defacto relationship, where more documents/proof are needed, any proof of individual and or joint named physical mail received at the address of their residence is usually sufficient as long as it is from 12 months ago. In addition to that statutory declaration stating that the couple / applicants live at the address and signed by the person named on the lease is also a good proof of evidence. What is also advisable is to provide an evidence of the couples joint financials, i.e. joint bank account opened 12 months ago, indicating same address of residence.

GTE requirements: would one single GTE cover a couple? (GTE – genuine temporary entrant – statement describing various factors of the applicant)

Every applicant must have its own GTE, however if one GTE covers extensively all information needed for each applicant, one will be sufficient.

Change of Circumstances: What happens if throughout the duration of the student visa, covering student and dependent, the relationship ends?

The Department of Home Affairs MUST be notified of any change of circumstances at any point in time. Form 1022 must be completed and submitted to the Department.

The form can be found here:

Dependent children: what are the legal requirements when dependent children are included in the application? Do they need to be enrolled in a school?

Any dependent of age 5+ must be enrolled in school (primary / secondary school). The cost per child varies per state/territory between $6,000AUD-$12,000AUD per year. In order to enrol a dependent child to a government school one of the parents MUST be a full time international student. The enrolment process can take about 4 weeks.

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