Under-18 International Student Visa holders

Important information related to your visa application
The University of Sydney welcomes applications by suitably qualified under-18 international students and is guided by requirements set out in the ESOS Framework.

If you are an under-18 student who has an offer for study and intend on travelling to Australia on a student visa, you will need to have formal arrangements in place for accommodation and welfare before the Department of Home Affairs will process your visa.

There are two ways to do this:

If you decide to travel and live with parents or relatives in Australia, you must apply to the Department of Home Affairs for approval.

The University is not required to issue a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation (CAAW) letter with your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) and will not accept responsibility for your welfare conditions.  You will need to liaise directly with DHA to meet their conditions for your welfare.  For more information visit the Department of Home Affairs website

You may study and live in Australia with the University of Sydney taking responsibility for your welfare arrangements as a condition of your student visa.

You will be required to use University approved service provider companies for your accommodation and welfare arrangements.  The University will not approve arrangements with any other service providers or arrangements with family members. All approved providers are expected to meet high standards of service. For more information, see the University’s official Policy and Procedure documents for Under-18 students:

Approved providers of welfare and accommodation are regularly added and updated.

If you are applying for study and the University accepts responsibility for your care arrangements you will receive a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) together with your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) for the purpose of applying for a student visa.

The University will not enrol international students who are under 16 years of age at their commencement date course under any circumstances.

How to apply

Confirmation of appropriate accommodation and welfare (CAAW) letter

  1. Select your desired company from the University of Sydney approved list based on your own research of our approved providers and review of costs/services
  2. Sign a contract with your preferred welfare and accommodation providers and pay them any necessary fees
  3. Pay the University of Sydney the minimum fee required for tuition (and health cover if you would like us to arrange this for you)
  4. Your service providers will forward our Admissions Unit copies of your contracts as evidence that you have engaged their services
  5. When we receive both contracts from your providers for accommodation and welfare, and we receive your minimum payment for tuition from you, we will issue you an eCoE and a CAAW letter
  6. You may then apply for your student visa.

Please note the period of our care will extend up to your 18th birthday only, as this is the minimum requirement of your student visa. You may choose to remain in this welfare agreement and accommodation option with providers beyond the date of your 18th birthday if you so choose.

Temporary absence from approved accommodation

Under the terms of the Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW), international under 18 students are required to reside at the address of their approved accommodation provider at all times and cannot stay overnight at any other address without prior approval from the University of Sydney. To do so is in breach of student visa requirements.

Given the University’s strict legal obligations to under-18 students and the high level of risk involved in student absences, requests for absences from approved accommodation will only be approved in the following circumstances (and subject to receiving all relevant information, documentation and consent):

  • where the student is required to be absent to attend University activities;
  • where the student is travelling back to their home country; and
  • where the student is travelling with their parent(s)/approved temporary guardian(s).

In order for the University to assess this request for the student to be temporarily absent from their current approved accommodation arrangements, the authorised welfare provider needs to complete this online application form and attach supporting documents within the form as prompted.

Any additional supporting documents are to be submitted directly to support.under18@sydney.edu.au, including the student's name and University student identification number in the email subject field. Applications will not be considered until all required information and supporting documents are received.

The application will be assessed based on the information provided and the level of risk posed to the student and the University. Decisions regarding the approval or denial of the request is at the discretion of the University of Sydney. You will be advised of the outcome within 3 business days of receipt of the full application. Decisions are final and further correspondence will not be entered into.

Duration of welfare arrangements

You can arrange your guardian and accommodation provider in advance, however the University will not approve that you commence living in this arrangement more than 14 days before the commencement of your course.  This means that you should not plan to arrive in Australia more than two weeks before the semester formally commences. 

Approved providers

Updating your contact details

You must update your contact details via your Student Portal within seven days of arriving in Australia. This is a student visa requirement.

You must also update your Next of Kin (parent or guardian) contact details.

Further information

If you need further information, please contact our University staff listed below. We encourage you to share these contacts with your parents/family.

For full degree program information, contact our Admissions team:

After enrolling and during your stay in Australia, you can contact:

Luika Bankson, Head of Sydney Abroad