Bringing Family to Australia

Bringing family to Australia

Australia Awards and the University of Wollongong recommend to students who would like to bring their families to wait until they have done the following:

  • Secured permanent accommodation
  • Completed the Introductory to Academic Studies program
  • Completed necessary childcare/school arrangements (refer to the Schooling page)
  • Arranged Family Overseas Student Health Care (refer to the OSHC page) 
  • Commenced degree program

The decision to bring family to Australia is a personal decision and neither Australia Awards or the University of Wollongong has the right to prevent a student from bringing their families to Australia. 

Issues to consider:

  • Do you have sufficient funds to pay for airfares, OSHC, accommodation, food, clothing etc for your family?
  • Will your family be able to adjust to life in Australia?
  • If your family does not speak English, what problems may they face?
  • Will your children struggle to adjust to the education in Australia/ or when returning to your home country?
  • Will your spouse be able to gain employment in Australia?
  • Will your spouse's career in your home country be disrupted?

Please note that Australia Awards and the University of Wollongong will not cover any expenses relating to your family dependants.

How to apply for family entry

Long Term Stay

Students who are would like to bring their families to Australia for the duration of their Australia Awards scholarship are required to apply for a Student Dependant Visa.

You will be required to supply the following documents:

  • Offer of Admissions
  • Confirmation of Enrolment (provided by Australia Awards Officer)
  • Confirmation of Family OSHC letter (provided by Australia Awards Officer)
  • Letter of Offer for NSW Government schools entry
  • Proof of permanent accommodation
  • Copies of dependants passports

For further information on the application process, refer to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Short Term Stay

Students who would like to bring their families or friends to Australia for a short duration of their Australia Award scholarship are required to apply for a Visitor's Visa or a Tourist Visa.

Refer to the following site DIAC for further information.

Australia Awards Dependant Schooling

Australia Awards sponsored students dependants are exempt from paying the International Tuition Fees if enrolled at a New South Wales Government School. This exemption does not cover the cost of school books, uniforms, stationery, school trips or activities.

For more information about New South Wales Government School please visit the Department of Education (DET) website.

To download a copy of the International Fees Schedule please visit the DET Temporary Residents website

Applying for an exemption

As an Australia Awards student, you do not have to pay for application fees. Your dependants are exempt from the tuition fees for the duration of your Australia Awards student visa.

Include the following documents with your application:

  • A copy of your child's passport and visa
  • A copy of you and your spouse's passport and visa
  • A copy of your child's academic report for the past 2 years (not essential, but preferable for secondary school students)

The Department of Education - International Student Program will issue an official exemption letter to you and the school one they receive your application. A eCOE (electronic Certificate of Enrolment) can be provided, only if required by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).


There is a high demand for places at childcare centres in Australia, most with long waiting lists for entry. If you are planning to put your pre-school aged children in childcare you should apply to a childcare centre before your family arrive to Australia.

Australia Awards students may be entitled to childcare benefits if enrolled with an approved childcare provider.

For further information on the Childcare Benefit contact the Australian Government's Family Assistance Office on 13 61 50 for details on the Commonwealth Government Childcare Benefit Scheme or visit


Last reviewed: 29 November, 2016