MIA Update on school fees for WA 457 visa holder children

The following excerpt has been taken from MIA post on 17th September 2013. It shows that 457 visa holders will have to begin paying fees for public education for their children beginning in 2015. This has been extended from 2014.

“Western Australia
Hon Colin Barnett MEc MLA
457 visa holders to pay school fees from 2015
Tuesday, 17 September 2013
School fees for 457 visa holders to apply from 2015
Reduced fees for second and subsequent children

The families of 457 visa holders in Western Australia will have to pay fees to send their children
to a Government school from 2015.

Premier Colin Barnett today confirmed that the measures requiring 457 visa holders, to
contribute to the cost of the children’s education at a State school – as outlined in the 2013-14
State Budget – would be applied from 2015 rather than 2014.
“This means that anyone who is already living here on a 457 visa or who has already lodged a
visa application to come here soon will not have to pay unexpected fees for schooling next
year,” Mr Barnett said.
“But we are giving plenty of notice that the fees will apply from the year after next, giving people
time to make the necessary arrangements to pay the fees.”

The Premier said for 2015 a tuition fee of $4,000 per annum ($1,000 per term) would apply to a
family’s first child enrolled in the State education system and $2,000 each for second and
subsequent children from the same family.
Mr Barnett said there would also be provisions for hardship to take into account exceptional
circumstances and to pay by instalments.

Department of Education figures show that there were 973 new enrolments of students on 457
visas last year and 521 new enrolments to date this year.

“On average it costs more than $15,000 to educate a child in a Western Australian State
Government school and following discussions with Education Minister Peter Collier and
Treasurer Troy Buswell, we have concluded the Government has to introduce this measure to
try to recoup some of the cost of educating these children from overseas,” the Premier said.

“This decision reflects the pressure on the State’s budget and the reality that WA taxpayers
contribute to the cost of services such as education over a lifetime of paying taxes, rather than a
period of just four years, as with 457 visa holders.”
Mr Barnett said it was estimated that there were up to 4,000 457 students but from next year
schools would be required to verify data on the visa status of students as part of the normal
enrolment process to assess exactly how many children of 457 visa holders were in the system.

This would give a more precise picture of the likely income from this measure. It is estimated
that the changed arrangements mean that less than half the projected income outlined in the
Budget over the next four years would be gained.

The Premier said 457 visa holders in NSW and ACT paid higher fees than those proposed in
WA but had access to some exemptions.

Temporary residents already have to pay for disability services and public hospital treatment
because they do not qualify for Medicare benefits under Federal legislation.
“I am aware of the concerns expressed in some parts of the community on the impact that this
measure may have on some families who are here on temporary work visas, particularly those
on low incomes and in regional areas who have become a valued part of the community,” Mr
Barnett said.

“We hope that by giving people notice of the measures and adopting a ‘family discount’, current
457 visa holders will have time to assess their options and future visa applicants will know what
to expect when they come to WA.”f 457 visa holders obtain permanent residency they will no longer be subject to the fees and
become entitled to free public education.

Legislation will be drafted to change the School Education Act and Regulations to allow schools
to charge fees.
Administration of the fee will be handled by Education and Training International, the State
agency already responsible for international fee paying students attending WA Government
schools and training colleges.

Fact File
WA currently has more than 30,000 workers on 457 visas
The 2013-14 State Budget handed down in August assumed a $4,000 fee would apply
to all students with a 457 visa attending State schools from 2014, raising an
estimated $120million over four years
Premier’s office – 6552 5000″

We'd love to hear from you

whether you have a question about our services, pricing or anything else, our team is ready to answer all your questions