In our earlier article we explained that the South Australia (SA) State Government started its policy to impose contributory fees for each school child of 457 visa holders, following Western Australia (WA), New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). By January 2018 all 457 visa holders in SA will have to pay the contributory fees for each child in school. Depending on the number of children and your household income, the contributory fees can be in excess of thousands of dollars per year.
Some examples of the contributory fee calculation (as provided by the SA Department for Education and Child Development):
Tomas commences work under a 457 visa arrangement and will be paid a gross income of $67 000 pa. He is accompanied by his wife, who is not in paid work, and their eight-year-old daughter, who is enrolled at the local government primary school. His contribution payable would be calculated as follows:
Step 1: Primary school rate of $5100 is the full contribution rate
Step 2: Gross family income is $67 000
Step 3: Relevant family income threshold at which full fees are payable is $77 000
Step 4: As the gross family income is between $57 000 and $77 000, Tomas will not be required to pay the full contribution rate. His income is $10 000 above the $57 000 limit, so the fee payable will be 10 x 5% x $5100 = $2550.
Aisha commences work under a 457 visa arrangement and will be paid a gross income of $61 200 pa. She is accompanied by her husband, who is working part time and earning $20 400 p.a., and their two children. Both children attend government schools; one in secondary school, the other in primary school. The contribution payable would be calculated as follows:
Step 1: The full contribution rate is $6100 + ($5100 x 90%) = $10 690
Step 2: Gross family income, (rounded down to the nearest whole $1,000), is $81 000
Step 3: Relevant family income threshold at which full contribution is payable is $87 000
Step 4: As the gross family income is between $57 000 and $87 000, Aisha will not be required to pay the full contribution fee rate. Her family income is $24 000 above the $57 000 limit, so the fee payable will be 24 x 3.33% x $10 690 = $8 552.
Lucinda is a sole parent who commences work under a 457 visa arrangement, and will be paid a gross income of $200 000. She is accompanied by her three children, each of whom attend government schools; one in secondary school, the other two in primary school. The contribution payable would be calculated as follows:
Step 1: The full contribution rate is $6100 + (($5100+ $5100) x 90%) = $15 280.
Step 2: Gross family income is $200 000
Step 3: Relevant family income threshold at which full fees are payable is $97 000
Step 4: As the gross family income is above $97 000, Lucinda will be required to pay the full contribution rate of $15 280.
As such there is an incentive for 457 visa holders in SA to apply for a permanent visa if it is possible. Once you have a permanent visa you are not required to pay the contributory fee.
I am a 457 visa holder in SA with 3 kids in school! How can I apply for permanent residency?
457 visa holders in SA can consider the following options to apply for permanent residency:
1. Subclass 187 RSMS visa
2. Subclass 186 ENS visa
3. SkillSelect General Skilled Migration visas – subclass 189, 190, 489
The requirements for the visas are different but the more concerning factor is that the permanent visas are now taking up to a year to process. If you want to be exempted from the contributory fee in January 2018 you will need to start the application process soon.
Read about the longer visa processing times here.
Speak to our Registered Migration Agents to find out if you can apply for a permanent Australian visa and save thousands of dollars on your children’s education.
Comments by Chris Johnston – Principal Lawyer and Registered Migration Agent at Work Visa Lawyers
The policy to charge a contributory school fee for 457 visa holders with children in South Australia diminishes the appeal of South Australia as an expatriate destination. Local SA businesses looking to employ overseas workers on the 457 visa may now face additional costs as salary packaging may now have to include the contributory fee payments. The calculation of the contributory fees applicable also means that it may be hard for employers to include the contributory fee as part of the salary package.
As such it is best for employee and employers to consider permanent employer sponsored visas such as the ENS 186 or RSMS 187. Current 457 visa holders in South Australia, WA, NSW and ACT should also consider permanent visa pathways if they intend to stay on in Australia for the long term.
This information is accurate on 10 March 2017
Do you need help with an Australian visa application?
At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.
If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:
(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956
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