Underage Students

At Hawthorn-Melbourne, we have special structures in place to protect the welfare of students who are under 18 years of age. These are extra to our commitment to caring for every Hawthorn-Melbourne student with our range of advice services and academic resources.

Student visa holders

All student visa holders who are under 18 must have appropriate accommodation and carer support. This might be with relatives or organised by Hawthorn-Melbourne.

If you or your child are under 18 and hold a student visa, you have four accommodation and welfare options:

Option 1: You can live with your parent/s or legal custodian.

Option 2: You can live with a relative, if approved by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Option 3: You can live in a Hawthorn-Melbourne homestay.

Option 4: You can live with a homestay family nominated by your parent/s.

If you are a parent of a student under 18, you must let us know your preferred accommodation and welfare arrangement. Please do this when you confirm your child’s enrolment.

The options are explained in more detail below.

Option 2: Register a suitable relative with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)

If you want your child to live with a relative while in Australia, you must register the relative as part of the visa application process.

To do this, complete the Nomination of a student guardian form 157N↗. The DIBP must directly approve the arrangement.

You can find more detailed information about nominating a guardian on form 157N.

For this option, Hawthorn-Melbourne does not need to issue a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter.

Option 3: Nominate Hawthorn-Melbourne as the carer

If you do not have a suitable relative to care for your child in Melbourne, you can nominate Hawthorn-Melbourne as the official guardian.

For this option, Hawthorn-Melbourne will place your child with one of our registered host families. We will issue a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter. You must present the letter to the DIBP when you apply for the student visa.

The CAAW will start 7 days before your child is scheduled to start their course at Hawthorn-Melbourne. It will end 7 days after the enrolment end date or on your child’s 18th birthday, depending which comes first. The DIBP will issue your child’s visa according to the CAAW dates.

If your child is planning to study at another institution after Hawthorn-Melbourne, you may need multiple CAAW letters. There cannot be a gap in the CAAW dates.

Option 4: Nominate Hawthorn-Melbourne as the carer with the request that the student lives with a friend or family member in Melbourne

If you choose this option, Hawthorn-Melbourne will initiate the process to register your friend or family member as a homestay host.

The friend/family member must meet our host family requirements. That is, they must:

  • be a permanent resident or citizen of Australia over 21 years of age
  • have a good level of English
  • allow us to visit the family home prior to the student moving in
  • provide the student with a suitable room and furnishings 
  • communicate with us about the welfare and academic progress of the student
  • present Police Checks and Working With Children Checks to us for each person in the home over the age of 18 years.

The process of applying for Police Checks and Working With Children Checks can take some time. We recommend your friend or family member starts this process early.

They can contact our accommodation office for a Host Registration Pack to be mailed to them.

There is some extra work involved in this option, and an additional Host Registration Fee is payable.

If the friend/family member meets our requirements, we will issue a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter. You must present the letter to the DIBP when you apply for the student visa.

The CAAW will start 7 days before your child is scheduled to start their course at Hawthorn-Melbourne. It will end 7 days after the enrolment end date or on your child’s 18th birthday, depending which comes first. The DIBP will issue your child’s visa according to the CAAW dates.

If your child is planning to study at another institution after Hawthorn-Melbourne, you may need multiple CAAW letters. There cannot be a gap in the CAAW dates.

If your friend or family member does not meet the requirements above, we will place your child with one of our registered host families. All our hosts for students under 18 must meet the requirements above, so you can be confident your child’s welfare will be looked after.

Hawthorn Learning Pty Ltd CRICOS Provider Code 02931G