As we celebrate Mother’s Day this May, let us appreciate all the efforts and hard work that our mums have gone through in raising us, do some self-care activities if you are a mum yourself, and spend time with your mums if they are still here with us, but if not, just take a moment to reminisce the special moments you shared with them when they were still alive.
Here’s my gift of information to all mothers who are currently holding an Australian visa or for mothers who are intending to bring their child/ren in Australia. This article intends to cover the common questions that mothers may have in relation to their specific circumstance while on a temporary visa in Australia.
What if I get pregnant while holding a temporary visa in Australia?
If you become pregnant while holding a temporary visa (this can be a student visa, graduate visa, or other visas not covered by Medicare), the first thing you should check is if your current health insurance has maternity cover because giving birth in Australia without insurance can cost about AU$16,500.
If you intend to have a baby while on a temporary visa in Australia, make sure you include maternity cover in your health insurance and understand your provider’s waiting period requirement. Most health insurance providers require at least 12 months of waiting period, which means that you can only get the benefits of your maternity cover after being insured for at least 12 months.
If you are on a student visa, you can defer your course for up to one year if you need time off in preparation for your labour so that you can recover while looking after your newborn. Once your baby is born and you have your baby’s birth certificate and passport, you can then apply for your baby’s visa as your dependent on your current visa.
Some temporary visa holders (who are not married to or not in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen or Australian Permanent Resident) believe that if they give birth in Australia, their child will automatically become an Australian citizen. This is wrong because Australia does not have the same rules as the United States (when visitor visa holders’ give birth in the US, their children become US citizens).
Do I need to convert my individual health cover to a family cover?
Some students who are single or who arrived in Australia initially without their spouse or partner are on individual health cover. This cover should then transition to a family cover when their spouse or partner arrives in Australia or they may have found a partner or spouse or if a couple or a single mum gives birth to a child.
It is important to note the huge price difference of an individual health insurance cover versus a family cover. For example, on a student visa, an individual cover for 24 months can cost about AU$1,000 but a family cover for the same coverage period can cost about $12,000. This means that if you are on a student visa on an individual cover and you gave birth, you will have to provide a family health cover as part of your child’s visa application (to be your dependent under student visa).
I have an undecided temporary visa application and I got pregnant; how will this affect my application?
Most temporary and permanent visa applications require health and medical exam. If you are pregnant, you will then have to take your health and medical exam after you have given birth. This will delay your application, but it will give you an opportunity to add your baby to your pending visa application as your dependent.
I am on a student visa and I plan to bring my school-aged child here to Australia, how much will my child’s tuition fee cost?
School-aged dependents of student visa holders are required to study in Australia while on a student visa. The tuition fee cost of your child will depend on which school you will enrol your child and your student visa stream as your child may or may not be required to pay international fees.
In Victoria, dependents of student visa holders who are studying a Postgraduate course by research are exempt from paying international fees (source: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/PAL/isp-visa-fee-table.docx). This means that if you are studying Certificate or Diploma or Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree by coursework, your child will be paying international tuition fee rates.