​In 2015 the Western Australian Government introduced a tuition fee for families on 457 Visas (temporary skilled workers) whose children attend public schools in this state. The fee is $4,000 per family each year, regardless of the number of children a family has enrolled in public schools.

Is the tuition fee for each child or a family?
The tuition fee is $4,000 for a family each year, regardless of the number of children in each family who are enrolled in public schools. Families with the oldest child enrolled in Kindergarten are not required to pay the tuition fee.

Who will collect the tuition fee?
The fee will be collected by TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA), 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 pay?
TIWA will send you a Fee Advice each school year. Full payment should be received before the end of the school calendar year in which the invoice is issued. You are still responsible for any fees owing from previous years.

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?
Yes, there are no restrictions on who pays the fee.

Are there any financial hardship provisions? 
Yes, there are two financial hardship provisions. 

1. Your combined gross family income. If your combined family taxable income is $75 000 or less (gross) a year, you are eligible to apply for a fee exemption. The waiver is not ongoing. You will need to apply each year and produce evidence to support your application.

2. Unforeseen changes to your financial circumstance. Changes that impact your capacity to pay the tuition fee include illness, unemployment, change of employment conditions, family breakdown and death.

An application for financial hardship must be made within the year that the fee is incurred.

What evidence do I need to provide in my application under the financial hardship provisions?
For a financial hardship application based on combined gross family income of $75 000 or less you will need to provide evidence to allow your combined gross family income to be calculated. Evidence from you and your partner should include:

  • the three most recent payslips;
  • evidence of year to date income;
  • income reported in PAYG or group certificates from all employment in the last 12 months; and
  • the 457 Visa grant notice or employment contract with guaranteed income.

The combined gross family income is the total taxable income received by the employed parents before tax and other deductions are made.  Income from overtime or bonus payments is included.

You will need to apply each year to have the tuition fee waived based on your income.

An application based on unforeseen changes to financial circumstance must be made within six months of the unforeseen event. You must provide evidence of the event and how it has affected your ability to pay the fee. This should include letters of termination or redundancy, final payslips for a job or information about how long you have been unemployed. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis and any full or partial waiver  applies only 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 Fee Advice for the tuition fee from TAFE International Western Australia.

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 TAFE International Western Australia. 

I used to be on a 457 Visa but I am now a permanent resident. Do I have to pay the tuition fee?
The fee applies from the beginning of the school year to the end of the week that your permanent residence was granted.  You need to provide appropriate documentary evidence to each of your children's schools and to TIWA so your record can be updated and you receive any refunds for which you may be eligible.

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, the conditions and entitlements of your previous substantive visa remain in place. 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. TAFE International Western Australia will inform you if you are eligible to apply for a refund.

My oldest child is in Kindergarten. Do I have to pay the fee?
No. The fee only applies from Pre-primary to Year 12. However, if your family has more than one child enrolled in compulsory schooling, you will still be eligible to pay the fee.

Can I speak with someone about my situation?
Yes, please telephone us on 9218 2100, and select option 1.

If you require the assistance of a translator, please phone TIS International on 131 450.​

View the information sheet for parents​ (PD​F, 287KB)

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