Please note that Australia Awards and the University of Sydney strongly recommend that you should wait at least three months before bringing your family to Australia. This gives you adequate time to settle into Sydney, find appropriate accommodation and adapt to your new study load. Once your family arrives they will rely heavily on you for support in their new environment and this may have an impact on your studies.

The decision to bring your family with you is of course a personal decision; neither the University of Sydney nor Australia Awards has the right to prevent you from bringing your family to Australia.

Please contact the Australia Awards Unit who can supply you with a list of things you need to obtain and guidelines on how to apply for your dependant’s visa.

Dependants Work Rights

Neither you nor your partner will be eligible to commence work until after you have commenced your main course of studies (ie your university program. This is usually early March for student commencing in semester one and early August for students commencing in semester two).

Your partner's work rights are dependant on the type of degree you are enrolled in. For your partner to be allowed to work full time you must be enrolled in one of the following:

  • Masters by coursework degree
  • Masters by research degree or a doctorate

For up to date and accurate information on work entitlements and conditions for you and your partner please visit the DIAC website.

Education for the children of students

All Schools in Sydney have programs for students who have English as a Second Language. As Sydney is a top destination for migrants and their families, schools are very experienced in and well equipped to cater for the special needs of new students. School attendance for the dependents of Australia Awards students is free of charge. However please be aware that there will be additional expenses associated with school attendance, including the purchase of school uniforms and books, public transport and excursions.

If a member of your family of school age (5-18 years of age) will be living with you in Australia for more than three months, they will be expected to attend school in Australia. For more information please contact the NSW Department of Education and Training (Schools).


There is high demand for places at childcare centres in Australia. They can have extremely long waiting lists. If you are planning to put your pre-school age children in childcare you should apply to a childcare centre before you arrive in Australia. The cost of childcare is approximately $60 - $100 a day. Australia Awards students are entitled to a government childcare rebate. For more information on the childcare rebate go to the Family Assistance website.