Student Guardian Visa
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Australian education has garnered much attention of students all over the world. This has resulted in influx of students from every single country in the world. However, the issue comes when these students are under the age of 18 years. For their safety and comfort Australian Government introduced a special visa called Student Guardian Visa (Subclass 580), the holders of which have to take the responsibility of the nominated student under them.
Visa Subclass 580 grants an individual to go and settle in Australia in order for the following:

  • Accord support and care to the student visa holder who is less than 18 in age.
  • Provide support to the student visa holder who is older than 18 but still needs care and support due to special circumstances.

The applicant must fall in all the mentioned requirements illustrated below to qualify for the Student Guardian Visa:

  • The applicant is either the parent of the student visa holder or the individual who has been granted the custody of the student legally. Alternatively, a relative of the student who has been appointed as the guardian by either parent or the custody holder of the student.
  • The applicant for Visa Subclass 580 should himself or herself be either 21 years of age or over it.
  • He or she should not have any member of their family needing full or immediate care and under 6 years of age. Only under special circumstances can the applicant garner this visa.
  • He or she should be capable of affording accommodation, support and welfare facilities to the student visa holder.

As the application submission date for 2016 for Student Guardian Visa was 1st July and has been closed, individuals wishing for this visa can now no longer apply for it. In the scenario any individual wishes to extend their stay in Australia from 1st July 2016, Visa Subclass 590, as in Student Visa needs to be applied for.

Guardian Student Visa Holders

The following information from here on is only applicable to those applicants who have either been granted the Visa Subclass 580 or have applied for this visa before / on 30th June 2016 and is still awaiting the decision from the government’s side. The following details illustrates rules and laws set out for visa holders under guardian category. For those who wish to track the progress of their application can do so for free via Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

Duration set for the Visa Subclass 580

For those who have already been granted visa can stay in Australia till the expiry date provided to the applicant at the time of granting and garnering visa.

Benefits Accorded to Guardian Visa Holders

Those who have already received their visa, they can take advantage of following:

  • Go and settle in Australia till the time student nominated under this visa stays in the country or till he or she turns 18 years in age
  • Maximum 20 hours per week can be availed to study in ELICOSE as in English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students, only if the visa holder had applied for it either after or on 24th march 2016.
  • Three months’ duration courses can be taken up apart from ELICOSE courses.

Entering or Leaving Australia Conditions

Visa Subclass 580 holders can leave or enter Australia as per their terms and preferences as long as the nominated student for guardianship is accompanying them. If that is not the case, the visa holders cannot leave the country until and unless the following conditionsare met with proper proof:

  • Special circumstances revolving around the compassionate grounds compelling the visa holder to leave and
  • Furthermore, proper accommodation and welfare arrangements alternatively have been made for the nominated student till the date visa holder returns from overseas.

It is imperative for the visa holders and other related members to adhere to all the laws set down by the country and also follow the rules and regulations under Student Guardian Visa.

Alternative Arrangements Set by Visa Holders

Accommodations and welfare arranged by the guardian for the nominated student first and foremost needs to be approved by the government of Australia as well as education provider of the student. As soon as the travelling plans of the visa holder becomes apparent, they should connect with the education provider and discuss the best solution for this. Welfare arrangements for the students can be made in two ways:

  • Using Form 157N – Nomination of a Student Guardian, the visa holder can nominate another guardian who should either be a parent or another relative over the age of 21 years. The form consists of all the details regarding the documents imperative for successful nomination of alternative guardian. The visa holder needs to send this form along with the approval of the education provider and other needed documents to the Government of Australia before leaving the country.
  • Another option is that education provider of the student takes up the responsibility of both his welfare and accommodation by sending in a CAAW letter, as in Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare letter, that will include both the starting and last date for approved welfare and accommodation arrangements.

In case the arrangements set out by the visa holder are approved by the Government, they will be intimated of the same. However, if the arrangements are not approved, then the guardian has no option to leave the country without the nominated student.

Restrictive Conditions under Student Guardian Visa

There is a condition called ‘No Further Stay’ / ‘Further Stay Restricted’ attached to some visas. The visa holder is responsible to adhere to all the rules under this condition. After the expiry of the current visa, the guardian will not be allowed to stay in Australia with exception of some critical situations.
The guardian needs to adhere to all the rules and regulations of the visa, even the one that states they cannot work in the country. In case there is any breach with any of the rules and regulations stated under Visa Subclass 580, the visa will be cancelled and the visa holder will be asked to leave the country, with the chance that the nominated student’s visa might get cancelled as well.

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