Individuals and Travellers

Guardian visa (subclass 580)

This visa closed for new applications on 1 July 2016


The Student Guardian visa lets you come to Australia to provide care and support for:

  • a student visa holder who is younger than 18 years of age
  • a student visa holder who is older than 18 years of age and who needs such care and support due to exceptional circumstances.


You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • are a parent or person who has legal custody of the student, or a relative who is nominated by a parent or custodian of the student
  • are at least 21 years of age
  • have no family members younger than 6 years of age, except under certain circumstances
  • are able to provide accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student.

About this visa

You can no longer apply for the Student Guardian visa (subclass 580). It closed for new applications on 1 July 2016. From 1 July 2016, if you need to extend your stay in Australia, you must apply for a Student Visa (subclass 590).

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted a Student Guardian visa (subclass 580) or for people who applied for the visa on or before 30 June 2016 and for which a decision has not yet been made. It explains your rights and obligations.

You can use the free Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) to check your visa details and conditions.

How long your visa lasts

If you already have a Student Guardian visa (subclass 580), it will be valid until the expiry date you were given when your visa was granted.

With this visa you can:

  • stay in Australia for the same length of time as the nominating student, or until the student turns 18 years of age .
  • study in Australia for up to 20 hours per week in an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) if you lodged your application on or after 24 March 2012.
  • study in a course other than ELICOS in Australia for up to three months.

You can enter and leave Australia during the term of the visa, but you cannot leave Australia without the nominating student unless you provide us with evidence that:

  • there are compelling compassionate circumstances for doing so; and
  • you have made suitable alternative arrangements for the student’s accommodation, general welfare and support until you return.


You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

Alternative arrangements

Alternative arrangements must be approved by us and the student’s education provider. Discuss your circumstances with the education provider a soon as you know you need to travel.

There are two ways you can make alterative welfare arrangements:

  1. nominate an alternative student guardian who must be, except in limited circumstances, a parent or relative aged 21 years or over using Form 157N Nomination of a student guardian. This form outlines the documentation you need to provide when nominating a student guardian. Send this form, the education provider’s approval (in a letter or email) and the required documentation to us before you leave Australia; or
  2. the student’s education provider can take responsibility for their welfare by issuing a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter which will state the start and end dates for approval of welfare arrangements.

We will tell you if the alternative welfare arrangements have been approved. If we decide that the welfare arrangements are not suitable, you cannot leave Australia without your nominating student.

'No further stay' or 'further stay restricted' condition

You must comply with the visa’s ‘no further stay’ condition. This means that you cannot apply to stay in Australia beyond the date specified on your visa, except in certain circumstances.

You must not work while in Australia. If you don’t abide by the conditions of your Guardian visa (subclass 580), your visa might be cancelled, and we could also cancel the nominating student’s visa.

Report changes in your circumstance

You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

Please report changes in your circumstances via ImmiAccount.  If you are not able to use ImmiAccount, you can use the following forms: