- Before departure make arrangements for the student minor.
- Appropriately inform the school and the department of the arrangements prior to departure.
Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.
Romita came to Australia on a guardian visa to look after her son Surjit while he studied his high school qualifications.
All was going well until Romita’s husband Kirpal became ill and she needed to go home while her husband was in hospital for an operation. Romita thought she would need to be in India for six weeks while her husband recovered.
Romita did not know what to do—she did not want to take Surjit with her. He was studying in year 12 and she felt it was important for him to do well in his studies. Romita talked to Surjit’s school to ask for their advice.
Surjit’s school advised Romita she should find another welfare arrangement before she goes back to India—they could help find a homestay arrangement for Surjit. Romita said she had a daughter who was 26 working in Australia on a subclass 457 visa. The school said they would be happy with a close relative looking after Surjit as long as the department approved the arrangement before Romita left Australia.
Romita called the department to seek advice. The immigration officer handling her query pointed out it was a requirement of her visa that she does not travel without Surjit. The immigration officer advised her if she could submit evidence of the need to travel, it would be appropriate for her to arrange for her daughter, provided she was more than 21 years of age, to look after Surjit in her absence. She was also advised that form 157N must be submitted together with information for her expected date of return. She was advised that the department should be informed of any change in circumstances.
Romita submitted this information to the department and her daughter was approved as the temporary guardian of Surjit. The immigration officer advised Romita she should take the confirmation of the changed welfare arrangements with her when she travelled in and out of Australia.
Romita returned home and cared for Kirpal. Once he was able to look after himself, Romita returned to Australia and stayed until Surjit finished his schooling, which was just before his 18th birthday.