Bringing your family

If you have dependants, you may be able to bring them with you to Australia.

You can apply to bring your family to Australia on your initial student visa application, or you can apply to have your family join you after your course begins.

You should declare your immediate family members on your visa application, even if you don’t plan to travel with them to Australia. If you don’t declare them, your family members won’t be eligible to join you in Australia at a later date.

There’s a lot to consider before you decide to bring your family to Australia, including living costs, visa restrictions, health cover and education. You can find out more below or at the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you want your family to join you in Australia as dependants, you should:

  • provide them with a copy of your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) (if you don’t have a copy, you can request one)
  • follow the steps relevant to your visa on the Department of Home Affairs website
  • write your own invitation letter.

Your family members can use these documents to lodge their visa application with Department of Home Affairs.

There are often long waiting lists for childcare services in Australia. If you need childcare, it’s a good idea to contact childcare services as early as possible. Most La Trobe campuses have on-site childcare services.

Generally, there are three types of childcare services in Australia:

  • Community childcare – you need to register with your local council. Fees and waiting lists usually apply, so register early. Find your local childcare service at
  • Private childcare – you need to register with each service individually. Search online for private childcare providers in your area.. Fees and waiting lists can apply.
  • Family daycare – placing your child with a registered childcare professional in their own home. These services are usually available through your local council. Fees and waiting lists usually apply, so register early.

If you have school-aged children, it’s a condition of your visa that you enrol them in school.

School is compulsory for all children in Victoria aged between five and 17 years old. There are two different levels of schools.

  • Primary school starts from the age of five (Prep) to approximately age 11 (Grade 6). Children who turn five before 30 April are eligible to start primary school.
  • Secondary school (also known as high school) starts from the age of approximately 12 (Year 7) to the age of 17 or 18 (Year 12).

Victorian schools are either:

  • state schools – government-funded with lower fees and costs
  • private schools – privately run with higher fees, often based around a religion.

The Victorian Department of Education website lists all the schools in Victoria that admit international students.

School tuition fees

You'll need to pay tuition fees for your dependants’ schooling, and you can learn more about this on the Victorian Government Schools website.

Your family members must have health insurance as one of the conditions of their visa. If you’re on a single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) membership, you’ll need to pay extra to add your dependants to your cover.

Learn more about health insurance

Your visa, and the visas of your family members, automatically includes permission to work. It’s important that you and your family members understand and comply with the conditions of your visas when working in Australia.

Your spouse can study in Australia for up to three months. If they wish to study for longer, they must apply for their own student visa.

Learn more about permission to work