Guardian visas for Australia have conditions attached

Foreign citizens in Australia to look after youngsters under the age of 18 are being reminded that they must tell officials of any change of status.

People with a Guardian visa (subclass 580) have certain conditions attached to their visa to ensure the nominated student has appropriate welfare arrangements in place at all times as they are under the age of 18.

They can enter and leave Australia during the term of the visa, but cannot leave Australia without the nominating student unless alternative welfare arrangements are made.

According to the guidance from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) if a guardian visa holder needs to leave Australia without the nominating student they must provide evidence.

This can include the fact that there are compassionate or compelling reasons for doing so, that suitable alternative arrangements for the accommodation, general welfare and support of the student is available until the holder’s return.

“All alternative welfare arrangements must be approved by us and the student’s education provider. You should discuss your circumstances with the education provider as soon as you become aware you may need to travel,” said a DIBP spokesman.

He explained that there are two ways people can make alternative welfare arrangements. They can nominate an alternative student guardian who must be, except in limited circumstances, a parent or relative aged 21 years or over.

Or 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 advise you if the alternative welfare arrangements have been approved. If welfare arrangements are not considered suitable by us, you cannot leave Australia without your nominating student,” the spokesman explained.

“If you don’t abide by the conditions of your Guardian visa (subclass 580), your visa may be cancelled and we may also cancel the nominating student’s visa,” he added.

People who are likely to get a guardian visa include 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. The applicant must be at least 21 years of age and be able to provide accommodation, general welfare and other support to the student.

The visa does not allow the holder to work in Australia in any occupation that is paid. Volunteer work is only possible if it is incidental to the care of the student, it would not otherwise be undertaken by an Australian resident and the work is genuinely voluntary for a non-profit organisation and that no remuneration is received in return for the activities.

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