INTRODUCTION OF TUITION FEES FOR DEPENDANTS OF 457 VISA HOLDERS
In 2015 the Western Australian Government is introducing a tuition fee for families on 457 Visas (temporary skilled workers) whose children attend public schools in this State. The fee is $4000 per family each year.
Is this a new tuition fee?
Yes, the tuition fee will be introduced in 2015. To date, the Government has provided free public education to dependants of 457 Visa holders although the conditions of this visa give no such entitlement. From 2015, all 457 Visa holders will contribute to the cost of educating their children in public schools. The average estimated cost of educating a child in 2014-15 is $14 833 in a public primary school and $19 363 in a public secondary school.
Is the tuition fee for each child or a family?
The tuition fee is $4000 for a family each year, regardless of the number of children in each family who are enrolled in public schools.
Who will collect the tuition fee?
The fee will be collected by Education and Training International (ETI), the State Government agency responsible for overseas fee-paying students attending Western Australian public schools.
Will anything change about the enrolment of children?
No. Children will continue to be allowed to enrol in their local schools.
When do I have to start paying?
The tuition fee will come into effect for current and new enrolments from January 2015. ETI will send you an invoice at the beginning of the school year.
Can I pay in instalments?
Yes, you can select to pay the tuition fee upfront or in instalments (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) via direct debit.
Can my employer pay the fee?
There are no restrictions on who pays the fee.
Are there any hardship provisions?
Yes, there are two financial hardship provisions. The first provision is based on combined family income. If your combined family income is $75 000 or less (gross) a year then you are not required to pay the tuition fee. If your combined family income is $75 001 or more (gross) a year you are required to pay the tuition fee of $4000 a year regardless of the number of children attending public schools. The second hardship provision is for exceptional circumstances that impact on your financial circumstances including illness, unemployment, family breakdown and death.
What evidence do I need to provide in my application under the financial hardship provisions?
For an application based on family income you need to provide evidence of your combined gross annual family income. Income for your first year in Australia will be based on the remuneration stated on your 457 Visa grant notice; thereafter your gross annual combined family income reported in group certificates and/or estimated from three pay slips will be used. You will need to apply each year to have the tuition fee waived based on your income.
The second financial hardship provision is a full or partial fee waiver where you can provide evidence of unforeseen changes in your financial circumstances including illness, unemployment, family breakdown and death. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis and any waiver only applies for the period where you do not have the capacity to pay the tuition fee; it is not ongoing.
When can I apply under the financial hardship provisions?
You can apply once you receive the invoice for the tuition fee from Education and Training International.
When will I be notified of the outcome of my application under the financial hardship provisions?
You will be notified of the outcome of your application between four and six weeks after all required documentation has been provided to Education and Training International.
I used to be on a 457 Visa but I am now a permanent resident. Do I have to pay the tuition fee?
No, but you do need to provide appropriate documentary evidence to your school so the school can update its records.
I used to be on a 457 Visa but I am now on a Bridging Visa. Do I have to pay the tuition fee?
Yes, as you revert to the conditions and entitlements of your previous substantive visa. If your previous substantive visa was a 457, then you will need to continue to pay the tuition fee.
If I am no longer eligible to pay the fee but have already done so, do I get a refund?
Yes. You can apply for a refund through Education and Training International.
Can I speak with someone about my situation?
Yes, please telephone us on 9218 2162.
View the information sheet for parents (PDF, 287KB)