Students who are under 18: Additional requirementsExpand all sectionsCollapse all sections
Students who are under the age of 18 go through the same visa application process as everyone; however, they must also a) arrange appropriate accommodation, and b) appoint someone who can act as a caregiver (this is referred to as ‘welfare’). These arrangements must be finalised before visa application documentation can be issued.
There are two options for organising this:
1. Welfare and accommodation arrangements approved by Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)
If the student plans to reside with a close relative, they can gain approval through DIAC. This relative will provide their accommodation and welfare (act as caregiver).
DIAC will only approve welfare arrangements if the parents or legal guardian nominate that the student will reside with a relative who is over 21 years of age and of good character. For further information, please visit the Welfare provided by a relative section at the DIAC website
2. Welfare and accommodation arrangements approved by RMIT*
If there is no option to live with a close relative, the student can apply for RMIT to approve accommodation and welfare. This is a two part process:
1a. Approved accommodation arrangements
If there is no option to live with a close relative, the student may choose from the selection of RMIT approved accommodation
Students who are under 18 years of age must have permanent accommodation arranged before the visa documentation is issued. They are not able to use the temporary accommodation that is available to older students. If RMIT needs to sign the CAAW form, there are three accommodation options that are considered to be appropriate for students who are under 18. These three options are:
Living with a family friend or relative
Living with a relative or family friend as approved by RMIT. In order to be an approved relative, the nominated person must:
- be over 21 years of age
- be able to stay in Australia until the student has turned 18 (as evidenced by valid visa)
- be of sound character (as evidenced by a Working with Children Check).
Living in homestay accommodation
Homestay is arranged through an RMIT-approved homestay provider. RMIT International can place students in homestay accommodation upon request; a placement fee of $220.00 applies. To apply, please refer to the Arrival Services form (PDF 81kb 1p). Every effort is made to find a homestay to match the individual needs of the student, however there may be times when it is not possible to match all criteria.
Living in an approved student hostel
Parents or guardians can arrange accommodation for the student in a hostel that is approved for the care of students under 18 years of age. These student residences include:
2a. Approved welfare arrangements – Caregiver services
The student can choose from the list of RMIT approved welfare providers. Parents or guardians need to contact and engage the services of the approved companies directly:
International Student Alliance (Guardian & Welfare Service)
Le Le Wang Student Care (A division of China Wise Pty Ltd)
Professional Student Care (Australia) Pty Ltd
As it may take the nominated person some time to provide the evidence required, such applications need to be made well in advance.
If the student is applying late, it may not be possible to process the paper work quickly enough using this option. In such a case, a caregiver company should be engaged.
2b. Approved welfare arrangements – Family friend/cousin
They may nominate a family friend or cousin to provide their welfare (Other relatives defined by DIAC must apply through DIAC. See Welfare provided by a relative). The nominee will need to submit to a character assessment performed by a government agency and attend an interview at the university. Allow adequate time for these checks to be carried out.
The nominated person must meet the following conditions:
- be 21 years of age or older
- have the right to stay in Australia until the student turns 18
- be of sound character, as evidenced by a Working with Children Check
- must show an understanding of the responsibilities of a caregiver
- must show an understanding of the obligations of student visa holders
- must attend an initial interview with RMIT International (prior to approval).
*(This option will need RMIT to sign a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) form. See summary of CAAW form process.)
Here is the process for organising your child’s accommodation and welfare. If you need RMIT to sign a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) form, follow these steps:
- Parents or guardians choose suitable welfare (caregiver) and accommodation arrangements for the student who is under 18. Please read the Useful Guidelines - Application for Guardianship at RMIT (PDF 42Kb 4p) which will assist in understanding the requirements.
- Parents or guardians complete the Under 18 Student Welfare and Accommodation Approval Form (PDF 32kb 3p) nominating the welfare and accommodation arrangements.
- Parents or guardians send the form to the nominated caregiver to complete their section, indicating that they accept the responsibility.
- Confirmation of accommodation arrangements will be required.
- The form is returned to RMIT International, with the Offer Acceptance Form (PDF 51kb 2p).
- The welfare and accommodation arrangements are assessed.
- If an approved care giving service (company) has been chosen by the parents or guardians, and accommodation arrangements are satisfactory, RMIT will issue the CAAW form for the student’s visa application.
- If the parents or guardian have nominated a family friend or relative to act as caregiver, RMIT will initiate the interview process for the nominated caregiver. The nominated person will need to bring their passport and Working with Children Check and other documents to the interview. If the interview is successful and accommodation arrangements are satisfactory, RMIT will issue the CAAW form for the student’s visa application.
For information regarding Working with Children Check, please visit the Department of Justice website
For further information, please email: ISunder18@rmit.edu.au
Students under the age of 18 may not live in unsupervised apartments or houses. They must have a responsible adult living on the premises. A sibling or relative under the age of 21 is not considered to be a suitable responsible adult.
The accommodation arrangements for the student must approved by RMIT International in order to have documentation prepared for visa applications. Any change in accommodation for students under the age of 18 must also be approved by RMIT International staff. Students found living in inappropriate accommodation may be reported to DIAC.