What is the change? The South Australian Government will introduce a contribution fee for families holding subclass 457 visas whose children attend public schools in South Australia. The proposed changes are similar to some other Australian states and territories that seek public education contributions.

  • Implementation time frame: Effective from January 2017, newly arriving subclass 457 visa holders will be required to make an annual contribution fee when enrolling their children in a government school in South Australia. The requirement will be extended to all subclass 457 visa holders with children enrolled in a government school in South Australia from 1 January 2018.
  • Who is affected: Temporary Work (Skilled) subclass 457 visa holders with dependent children attending government schools in South Australia.
  • Business impact: Sponsoring employers of South Australian based 457 visa holders with dependent school-aged children should be aware of the additional government education fee.
  • Next steps: The 2017 annual contribution payable by a newly arriving family in South Australia (holding a subclass 457 visa) will be:
    • A$5,100 for each primary school student
    • A$6,100 for each high school student.

The amount payable by the family will be means tested. A contribution fee will not be charged if the gross combined annual family income (primary visa holder and their spouse or partner) does not exceed A$57,000.

A family with one child attending a government school would not pay the full rate of the contribution fee until the gross combined annual family income is at least A$77,000. This threshold is increased by A$10,000 for each additional child. A 10 per cent discount will be applied where the family has more than one child attending a government school.

In exceptional circumstances, including hardship, a waiver of payment of the contribution fee is available.

If a subclass 457 visa holder residing in South Australia becomes an Australian permanent resident, they will be exempt from paying the school contribution fee.

BAL Analysis: The South Australian Government’s incoming education contribution fee for 457 visa holders will align the state with New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, which collect similar public education fees. It is anticipated that individuals who may be affected by these upcoming changes will now consider their eligibility to apply to become Australian permanent residents.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 0850984

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact