Students under 18 years of age

U18 students who are unable to travel to Australia but wish to commence their studies online from their home country are encouraged to select Option 3 Welfare as a temporary arrangement, to remain in place until travel into Australia is possible. When travel restrictions are lifted, U18 students will be required to advise of their travel plans and welfare arrangements for onshore study.

Welfare requirements for international students under 18 years of age.

If you are an international student under 18 years old, you must have welfare arrangements in place to apply for your student visa. This is to ensure that you are living in a secure environment with adequate practical and emotional support to keep you safe before you turn 18. 

There are two options for welfare arrangements that the Department of Home Affairs consider appropriate for an under-18 student studying in Australia. 

Option 1: You will be living with an approved relative who lives in Australia, or an approved relative will travel to Australia and live with you.

Option 2: You will not be staying with a relative, so RMIT can approve your welfare arrangements and issue a CAAW (Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare). RMIT provides welfare by ensuring that you use the services of an approved caregiver and ensuring you live in an RMIT approved accommodation option.

Option 3: You will be studying online from your home country. At this time you will not be applying for a student visa so do not require welfare arrangements for living arrangements in Australia.

The airport pickup service is compulsory for students under Option 2. All U18 arrival details must be provided in advance to confirm this service.

By issuing the CAAW, RMIT University is accepting responsibility for your welfare arrangement.

A Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare letter (RMIT approved welfare arrangements) is only available to Under 18 students on or intending to apply for a Subclass 500 Student Visa. RMIT will not accept welfare responsibility for U18 students on any other visa type.

To maintain your CAAW letter you must continue to meet these requirements.

For approval of a CAAW, you need:

A caregiver + arrange to live in an approved accommodation. 

To apply for a student visa you need:

Option 1: Confirmation of enrolment (CoE) + Form 157N

Option 2: Confirmation of enrolment (CoE) + CAAW

When you accept your offer, you need to submit the Under-18 Welfare Approval Form to let us know which welfare option you have chosen. After your form has been assessed, your CoE can be issued.

Welfare Approval Process

  1. Accept your offer to RMIT. Find out how to accept your offer.
  2. Submit U18 Welfare Approval form.


Before you begin, you will need:

  • A confirmation from your caregiver (.pdf or email screenshot)
  • A confirmation from your accommodation (.pdf or email screenshot)
  • Parent’s signed photo ID
  • A copy of your passport photo page

Steps to apply:

  1. Accept your offer to RMIT. 
  2. Choose your caregiver company and confirm directly with them.
  3. Choose your accommodation provider and confirm directly with them.
  4. Submit completed Under 18 Welfare Approval Form.
  5. Your request will be assessed, and you will be notified of the outcome via email
  6. When your arrangements are approved, your CoE (and CAAW) will be issued, and you can apply for a student visa with these documents.
  7. Book your compulsory airport pickup.

If you are travelling to Australia with your parents, please complete the Temporary Welfare Waive (Offshore).


If a parent does not have a passport, an alternative photo ID card can be used.

  1. Parent signs a photocopy of valid photo ID 

  2. Agent certifies the copy: 
    “Signature witnessed by (staff member name & agency name) on dd/mm/yyyydate.”

  3. Include a scan of the verified document in the Welfare Approval Form. 

The name on the verified ID must match the parent's name on the Welfare Approval Form.

If the parent is not working with an agent, a public notary must certify the document.

Certified passport

If you need to change your arrangements after they have been approved, you must obtain approval from RMIT before the change happens.

For help with welfare arrangements and general enquiries for under-18 arrangements, contact:

(Under 18) Compliance & Assurance Advisor 

Telephone: + 61 3 9925 5106

If you select Option 2, you must be issued with a CAAW letter before you can arrive in Australia. Find out the earliest possible date for your arrival.

Accommodation options

A hostel is a house where multiple students live and usually share communal spaces. These hostels provide meals, a range of room types and are located close to RMIT city campus.

PBSA buildings are specially designed and built accommodation sites which cater to the needs of students. PBSA options are typically located close to universities and offer a range of room types and shared communal areas.

A homestay is a local family, couple or single person offering full board in their home. A homestay experience can be a great way to adjust to life in Melbourne and form relationships with a local family. 

RMIT has approved Australian Homestay Network (AHN) as the homestay provider for under-18 overseas students. Homestay accommodation is subject to availability and may not be available to all students.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer