Education providers approving welfare arrangements

To be granted a student visa, applicants must demonstrate that they have adequate welfare arrangements in place for the length of the student visa or until they turn 18 years of age. They can do this by demonstrating that they will be accompanied by a parent or legal custodian, a suitable relative or that the student’s education provider approves the arrangements for the student’s accommodation, support and general welfare. This is done when the provider issues a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter.

Education providers who approve welfare arrangements for students who are under 18 years of age will be able to nominate the period for which they will approve those arrangements.

Secondary exchange students are able to use their AASES form as this includes details of the intended welfare arrangements.

If the student will turn 18 years of age before their arrival date in Australia, we don’t require evidence of welfare arrangements. However, if the student will turn 18 years of age before their course commences but after they come to Australia, we will require evidence of welfare arrangements.

Minimum length of welfare arrangements

Where an education provider is approving the welfare arrangements of the student, the minimum period nominated by the provider must be the length of the confirmation of enrolment (CoE) plus seven days at the end of the CoE or until the student turns 18.

CoE plus seven days is a minimum requirement only, providers can nominate to commence and end approval of welfare arrangements for a longer period and this may be advantageous to the student.

A student who is under 18 years of age cannot travel to Australia until their welfare arrangements commence.

We recommend that providers nominate a commencement of welfare arrangements date at least a week before the start date of the CoE to allow the student time to travel to Australia and settle in before commencing their studies. 

The student must not enter Australia without adequate welfare arrangements

It is a condition of the student’s visa that they must not enter Australia before the welfare arrangements are due to commence.

We recommend that providers nominate a commencement of welfare arrangements date at least a week before the start date of the CoE to allow the student time to travel to Australia and settle in before commencing their studies.

Providers should also reinforce to these students that they shouldn't travel to Australia before the commencement date of their welfare arrangements as nominated on the CAAW letter.

Student is enrolled with more than one provider

A student who is under 18 and is enrolled in two or more courses with different providers must show evidence that they have continuous welfare arrangements in place. If the education providers are approving these arrangements, there must not be a gap in between the dates nominated by both providers.

Student visa application made in Australia

If a person under 18 years of age applies for a student visa in Australia, they must provide evidence of adequate welfare arrangements at the time of application.

The education provider must nominate a commencement date that either starts the day after the student's current visa expires or begins before or on the date the student lodges their new student visa application.

Providers who are interested in enrolling under 18 year old students already in Australia should inform students during the recruitment phase that the student will need to have welfare arrangements in place at the time they lodge their student visa application. 

Reporting changes to a student’s welfare arrangements

The National Code states that the education provider must advise the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as soon as possible in the event that the under 18 year old student has changed his or her living arrangements or the registered provider no longer approves of the arrangements. Providers can locate letter templates and instructions in PRISMS.

If a provider reports the student for changing his or her living arrangements and the provider approves of the changed arrangements, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be informed of the change but no further action will be taken.

If a provider reports the student for changing his or her living arrangements and the provider no longer approves of the arrangements, the student is in breach of student visa condition 8532 and their visa may be subject to cancellation.