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Under 18 welfare arrangements in Australia

Under 18 welfare arrangements in Australia

Effa Iqbal
Oct 4, 2023

Table of Content

    In pursuing academic excellence, international students under 18 seeking to study in Australia must navigate specific welfare arrangements.

    These arrangements ensure the safety and well-being of young learners pursuing their education Down Under in this comprehensive guide.

    We will explore the intricacies of welfare provisions for students below 18 years old, offering a step-by-step breakdown of the requirements, alternatives, and important considerations for those embarking on their educational journey in Australia.

    Under 18 welfare arrangements in Australia ( CAAW )

    Understanding Under 18 Welfare Arrangements in Australia

    Establishing suitable welfare arrangements is an absolute must when applying for a student visa in Australia as an individual under 18.

    To facilitate your understanding, we’ll address two critical scenarios.

    1) Turning 18 before arriving in Australia

    2) Remaining under 18 while studying there.

    Turning 18 Before Arrival

    If you anticipate celebrating your 18th birthday before you arrive in Australia, you can sigh with relief.

    • In this case, you are exempt from the requirement to prove welfare arrangements, provided you meet specific criteria:
    • Complete questions 1 to 8 in Form 157N, “Nomination of a Student Guardian,” and ensure your parent or legal custodian signs the form.
    • Attach the completed Form 157N to your visa application.

    Under 18 & Still studying in Australia

    For students who will still be under 18 while pursuing their studies in Australia, the process involves two options:

    Nominate a Guardian:

    • You can nominate a parent, legal custodian, or relative over 21 as your student guardian. This selected individual must hold a valid visa to stay in Australia until they turn 18.
    • It’s crucial to attach a completed Form 157N to your visa application. If your chosen guardian plans to apply for a student guardian (subclass TU-590) visa, both applications should be submitted simultaneously.

    Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW):

    • Except for secondary exchange students and sure Foreign Affairs or Defence students, you must arrange a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) in collaboration with your education provider.
    • Your provider will issue a CAAW letter outlining your welfare arrangements’ commencement and conclusion dates.

    Minimum Duration of Welfare Arrangements for Students Under 18

    • Welfare arrangements must be in place until you reach the age of 18, regardless of whether you turn 18 before your course begins.
    • You must not enter Australia before your welfare arrangements commence to comply with visa conditions.
    • Any changes to these arrangements require written approval from your education provider.
    • The duration specified in the CAAW letter should match your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) period plus an additional 7 days after your course ends or until you turn 18.

    We highly recommend that your provider takes responsibility for your welfare at least one week before your course commences.

    The dates of your welfare arrangements are also considered when determining your visa period.

    Enrolling with more than one provider

    You should choose to enrol in multiple courses with different education providers; ensuring continuous welfare arrangements is crucial.

    If your education providers oversee your welfare, there should be no gaps in the dates they have nominated for these arrangements.

    Under 18 welfare arrangements in Australia ( CAAW )

    Student Visa Applications in Australia

    Even if you’re applying for a student visa while already in Australia, you must provide evidence of welfare arrangements when submitting your application.

    This information is vital for your application to be deemed valid. Your welfare arrangements must begin the day after your visa expires or before/when you lodge your new student visa application.

    Alternative Welfare Arrangements

    Any changes to your welfare arrangements necessitate prior approval. If your student guardian needs to leave Australia while you remain, alternative welfare arrangements must be made and substantiated by the following evidence:

    • A compelling or compassionate reason for their travel.
    • Proof of alternative welfare arrangements for your accommodation, general welfare, and support during their absence.
    • Your student guardian can nominate another student guardian, provided they meet the necessary criteria. Documentation includes a new Form 157N, proof of relationship, police certificates, passport copies, and evidence of residency.
    • Remember, your guardian cannot leave Australia without you if the alternative welfare arrangements are unsuitable.

    Failure to maintain adequate welfare arrangements may result in the cancellation of your visa and/or your student guardian’s visa.
    Under 18 welfare arrangements in Australia ( CAAW )

    Change To Evidence Of Financial Capacity For Student Visas Application


    Navigating under 18 welfare arrangements in Australia is crucial to ensuring a safe and successful educational journey for young international students.

    By understanding the requirements, planning ahead, and seeking necessary approvals, you can confidently embark on your academic pursuits in Australia, knowing that your well-being is well taken care of.

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