Bringing your family with you

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Breadcrumb Abstract Shape
Breadcrumb Abstract Shape
Breadcrumb Abstract Shape
Breadcrumb Abstract Shape
Breadcrumb Abstract Shape

If you’re coming to Australia to study and you want to bring your family with you, there are a range of things you’ll need to consider.

The cost of supporting a family in Australia is high, so if you’re planning to bring your family to Australia with you it’s important to make sure that you have sufficient funds to support them financially. More information about the cost of living in South Australia can be found on the following websites:

You should also consider how your family will adjust to life here:

  • how would the presence of your family impact your studies?
  • how would your family cope with life in Australia?
  • can your spouse communicate confidently in English?
  • how would your spouse deal with potentially limited employment opportunities?
  • are you the primary carer for your children?
  • are you able to secure school or childcare arrangements for your children?
  • has the cost of insurance, health care and education for your family been budgeted for?

The Department of Home Affairs requires dependants of international students to attend school in Australia. If your child turns 5 before 1 May, they can start primary school (the first year is known as reception) at the beginning of the year. If your child turns 5 on or after 1 May, they can start the next year. All children must be enrolled at school by 6 years of age, which is the compulsory school starting age. For more information about schooling, refer to the Study in South Australia Website.

Before your children enter Australia, you will need to provisionally enrol them in a school. When choosing a school, many parents ask about the curriculum, extracurricular activities, whether there is an English as a Second Language (ESL) program available, and school fees and additional costs. The Diplomatic Mission in your country can advise you on which schools are registered to take on international students.

Childcare can be expensive and difficult to secure. You should research childcare options and costs before you arrive. It is difficult to find places for children under 24 months of age, but places for children 3 – 5 years old are easier to obtain. To learn about different childcare options, you should approach childcare centres directly. Most have long waiting lists, so you should register on several waiting lists. Some centres charge an application fee. We suggest that you visit the childcare centres before making a final decision.

For childcare and child education visit the following websites:

  • Find a Childcare Centre near you.
  • Migration to South Australia – this website provides information on the services offered in South Australia and gives explanation and further details on childcare, primary school and secondary school. Visit
  • Schools Online – provides a listing of all schools both government and non-government in South Australia.
  • Family Day Care: a home-based childcare service
    Many schools offer before and after-school care programs. To access such programs, your children must be enrolled in a school registered to offer care.

Your student visa will usually permit you to bring your family with you to Australia. To learn more about bringing your family with you, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more information.

Under South Australian law, all children must be fully vaccinated to be enrolled in childcare or kindergarten. You are encouraged to check Australia’s National Immunisation Program and arrange for any further vaccinations before leaving home. If possible, obtain your child’s immunisation records in English. To finalise enrolment in an early childhood service when you arrive in Australia, you’ll need to provide an Immunisation History Statement that shows your child is up-to-date with their vaccines. On arrival students may also visit our Student Services Support Officer on our main campus for further assistance.