School Fees for Dependants of Visa Holders

Australia boasts a world top quality education system. When coming to Australia on certain types of visas, your children may benefits from reduced or waived school fees, which is one of the main reasons to choose Australia as a destination for your study and work. However, the amount of reduced school fees depends on types of your visas, and the state/ territory you are living in.

This article aims to summarise the eligibility for school fees reduction or waiver in different states/ territories according to your visas.

Related: School fees for children of 482 TSS visa holders

IS YOUR CHILD ELIGIBLE FOR SCHOOL FEES EXEMPTION?

         
ACTNSWNTQLDVICSAWATAS
Visa Subclass
100YSchool fees apply to most dependants of temporary residents in New South Wales. Exemptions apply in specific circumstancesYYNo exemption available for TR visa holdersPlease see below for more informationNo exemption available, execpt for students who are studying Mater or PhDY
101YYYY
102YYYY
103YYYY
114YYYY
115YYYY
116YYYY
117YYYY
124YYYY
132YYYY
143YYYY
151YYYY
155YYYY
157YYYY
173NNY
186YYYY
187YYYY
188NYYY
189YYYY
190YYYY
200YYYY
201YYYY
202YYYY
203YYYY
204YYYY
300NYYY
309YYYY
403NYYN
407NNYN
408NYYN
417N
444YYYY
445YYYY
461NYYN
462NN
476NYY
482YYYY
485NYYN
491YYY50%
494YYY50%
500Y (Research Student only)N (except for Foreign affairs or defence sector visa)Y (PhD Research Student,Master by Research in Regional QLD, AudAID, ADS, ALA, Awards Scholarship students)Y (Research Students and Foreign Affairs and Defence Sector
600NNNN
601NNNN
602YNNN
651NN
785YYYY
790YYYY
801YYYY
802YYY
804YYY
808YYY
820YYYY
835YYY
836YYY
837YYY
838YYY
858YYY
864YY
866YYY
887YYY
884NNY
888YYY
890YYY
891YYY
892YYY
893YYY
995YY
998Y

 Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

No tuition fees are charged for the school-age dependants of temporary residents who hold particular visa classifications. These include:

  • Employment related visas based on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL), noting that these lists are regularly updated.
  • Partner, Carer or Adoption visas.
  • Higher Education visas if study is being undertaken by research (as distinct from coursework).

Paid tuition fees are refunded pro-rata from the date of grant of Australian permanent residency.

New South Wales (NSW)

School fees apply to most dependants of temporary residents in New South Wales. The following exemptions apply:

Exemption for specific circumstances

Temporary resident students in the following specific circumstances are exempt from the education fee, however, are liable for the administration fee:

  • Dependants of international students who hold visa subclass 500 or 574, and the principal visa holder is undertaking a Postgraduate Doctorate course (as per their Confirmation of Enrolment), the course provider is a New South Wales main campus university, and the principal visa holder is not a recipient of a scholarship that includes school fees for dependant children.
  • Dependants of international students who have a full scholarship from a publicly funded Australian university.

Exemption for specific circumstances

Temporary resident students in the following specific circumstances are exempt from the administration fee and education fee.

  • Dependants of international students who have a full scholarship from the Australian Government or who are sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Department of Defence.
  • Exchange students who enrol in NSW government schools through organisations that manage student exchange programs and are registered with the NSW Department of Education.
  • Dependants of teachers on exchange programs organised by the NSW Department of Education or in agreements or memoranda of understanding recognised by the department.
  • Temporary residents enrolled in a NSW government hospital school and receiving in-patient care.
  • Temporary resident students with links to an Australian citizen or permanent resident by birth, marriage or adoption, who have applied for permanent residency and do not hold, or have applied for, a dependant student visa.
  • Temporary resident students with links to an Australian citizen or permanent resident by a de facto relationship, who have applied for permanent residency under family stream migration and do not hold, or have applied for, a dependant student visa.
  • Students who are holders of an ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs

Exemption based on low income

The Exemption Review Panel considers individual appeals for exemption from the education fee. The Exemption Review Panel provides assistance to low income families.

Northern Territory (NT)

Dependants of Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training students are treated as international students and pay full fees. The only exceptions are dependants of Australian Aid students and some PhD home country scholarship students as agreed with Charles Darwin University.

Queensland (QLD)

The Department of Education, Training and Employment offers fee exemptions for eligible dependant students of temporary visa holders whose parents are studying in Queensland tertiary institutions.

Exemptions for school age dependants of student visa holders

School age dependants of student visa holders may be exempt from the requirement to pay tuition fees for their education (Prep – Year 12) in Queensland state schools.

‘School age dependant’ of a student visa holder means a member of the family unit of the student visa holder who has turned 5, but has not turned 18 (see the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cwlth)). Any exemption only applies for the duration of the primary student visa holder’s (parent’s) course of study in Queensland.

Categories of exemptions

  • New Zealand citizens are not charged tuition fees (the cost of providing instruction, administration and facilities for the education of the person at a state school is met by the State).
  • The primary student visa holder is a postgraduate research Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) student. Dependants are exempt from paying tuition fees, except where the dependants are from a country whose government sponsors dependant children.
  • The primary student visa holder is studying a Masters by Research Degree at a regional Queensland university located outside South East, Metropolitan and North Coast education regions, except where the primary student visa holder is receiving financial support from their home country government.
  • The primary student visa holder holds one of the following scholarships:
    • Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) Development Awards
    • Australian Development Scholarship (ADS)
    • Australian Leadership Awards Scholarship (ALA)
    • Australian Regional Development Scholarship
    • Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship
    • Prime Minister’s Pacific-Australia Awards.
  • The primary student visa holder holds one of the following full tuition scholarships, for the duration of their course of study:
    • Commonwealth Government – Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships
    • Queensland university scholarship.

Part scholarships will be charged at the published fee rate.

South Australia (SA)

If you are an international tertiary student studying an award course in a South Australian university or tertiary education institution, or bridging from a student visa, you may choose to enrol your unmarried school-aged children as Dependants in a South Australian government school.

Your child’s visa subclass and your tertiary student status will determine the category of Dependant.

Visa subclass Your tertiary student status Category of Dependant
500 Full fee-paying international student (Higher Education sector, Vocational Education & Training sector, Postgraduate Research sector) Children of a full fee-paying international tertiary student
500 South Australian endorsed scholarship holder Children of South Australian government endorsed scholarship holder

If your visa subclass or citizenship is one of the following, your children cannot be enrolled as Dependants.

Visa subclass or citizenship Do your children need to be enrolled as international or local students? Follow the link for further information
500 If you are an international tertiary student studying English on an ELICOS course only, your children need to be enrolled as full-fee paying international students Primary school student

High school student

New Zealand citizen If your children hold New Zealand citizenship, they can be enrolled as local students. You will find more information on how to enrol your children at Department for Education .
188, 400, 401, 403, 416, 420, 476, 485, 489, 602 If you are a business, occupational or cultural visa holder, your children can be enrolled as local students. You will find more information on how to enrol your children at Department for Education.
457 and 482 If you are a temporary work (skilled) visa holder, your children can be enrolled directly at your local school subject to capacity. You will find more information on how to enrol your children at Department for Education. You may be required to pay a contribution fee

Student fees for subclass 457 and 482 visa holders

A fee applies for families on 457 and 482 visas whose children attend government schools in the greater Adelaide region. Students attending some schools in country areas of South Australia will not have to pay the fee from January 2019. See the country schools exemption list to find out if you need to pay it.

Victoria (VIC)

Tuition fees are the same for all Victorian Government schools. There are discounts for students who have a parent studying at a Victorian tertiary institute.

Tasmania (TAS)

If you are moving to Tasmania to study or work on a temporary resident visa, your children (referred to as dependants) are very welcome to study. The Temporary Resident Program (TRP) helps a significant number of students on temporary visas enrol into our Tasmanian Government Schools.

Most dependants student visa holders are required to pay tuition fees to attend a Tasmanian Government School

Western Australia (WA)

In Western Australia children of international higher degree students are able to access subsidised schooling in government schools. Eligible children can access government schooling at the same fee levels applied to local students.

Every child from pre-primary to year 12 on a permanent visa is guaranteed a place at their local public school.

If your children are dependants on a Temporary Work (Skilled) subclass 457 visa, you will be required to pay a tuition fee of $4 000 per family per year, payable to TAFE International Western Australia​. If you are unable to pay this fee, you may be eligible to submit a financial hardship application​.

Children on certain visa subclasses may need to enrol as full fee-paying students with enrolment at the discretion of the school’s Principal and subject to capacity.

Dependants of Masters or Doctoral degree students 500, 573 and 574 visa holders are not required to pay mainstream tuition fees for overseas fee-paying students for the duration of their parent’s postgraduate study period, unless they are in receipt of a scholarship that also sponsors their dependant children. All students are also required to pay the contributions and charges that apply to all public primary and secondary schools.

Related: School fees for children of 482 TSS visa holders

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