Temporary Residents and Dependants

The Education Directorate embraces cultural diversity and welcomes the dependants of temporary resident visa holders to enrol into an ACT public school from Preschool through to Year 12. Education in ACT public schools is accessible and free of charge to all students, with the exception of the dependants of temporary residents on certain visa subclasses in the 100, 300, 400, 500, 600, 800 and 900 visa subclass series listed in the table below. Depending on the visa subclass, the payment of tuition fees may be required to assist the ACT Government to meet the costs associated with the education of the dependants of temporary residents.

Temporary residents are required to submit their documentation for assessment to the International Education Unit (IEU), as detailed below, prior to being able to complete online enrolment.

In the ACT, a child is of compulsory education age from the age of six. For preschool aged children, enrolment placement is subject to the availability of places and places are limited. Please note: children must be four years of age by 30 April in the year they commence preschool.

Applications for preschool enrolment for the 2018 academic year commenced on 26th April 2017 and closed on 26th May 2017. As preschool is not compulsory education in the ACT, placements are in high demand and fill quickly. After 26 May 2017, availability of placements for preschool enrolment will be very limited.

It is a Department of Immigration and Border Protection requirement that all temporary residents must maintain adequate schooling arrangements for school-aged dependants. Enrolment in an ACT public school is generally accepted for the length of the visa subject to policy and the terms and conditions of admission. All school aged dependants who hold a secondary temporary resident visa based on a parent's principle visa, and who are seeking enrolment in an ACT public school, must reside with the parent for the full duration of the enrolment.

All temporary resident visa holders must provide evidence of their dependants immunisation record's to the school at the time of enrolment such as an immunisation certificate or a letter from a registered medical practitioner or community health centre.

New Zealand citizens holding a New Zealand passport, Diplomatic (Subclass 995) visa holders and holders of diplomatic special purpose visas entering under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) may be enrolled directly at an ACT public school in the same manner as Australian permanent residents and citizens. However, New Zealand permanent resident visa holders are required to contact the International Education Unit for assessment.

Visitor visa holders are required to pay the application fee and short term tuition fees for enrolment in an ACT public school. The period of enrolment will be limited by visa condition 8201 to 12 weeks of education or for the duration of the visa. The admission of a visitor visa holder will be subject to the school principal's agreement. The minimum study period is 5 weeks.

Please be advised that all applicants who hold a bridging visa will be assessed under their previous visa subclass. Applicants will be required to provide the appropriate evidence under their previous visa subclass for assessment and also provide evidence to which visa subclass they are bridging.

Asylum seekers applying for Refugee, Humanitarian or Protection Visas and who are currently on a bridging visa, are eligible for fee exemption on receipt of the required documentation listed at Refugee, Humanitarian and Protection Visa Holders and Asylum Seekers.

Please be advised that all applicants who have lodged an application for a permanent resident visa will be assessed under their previous visa subclass. International student tuition fees will be exempted once the permanent resident visa is granted and evidence supplied of the visa grant.

Enrolment of the Dependants of Temporary Residents with Disabilities

In addition to the above conditions for enrolment and admission, the dependants of temporary residents with a disability are subject to specific assessment and placement procedures of the Student Engagement Branch prior to acceptance and admission to an appropriate ACT public school.

Fee Exemption

The holders of the following visa subclasses are eligible for fee exemption for their dependants to study in an ACT public school. The requested documentation must be provided to the International Education Unit by email: ieu@act.gov.au. In order to avoid a delay in the processing of fee exemption, all documentation and evidence listed under the appropriate visa subclass must be submitted. If all required documentation and evidence is not submitted the application will be deemed as void and the applicant will be required to resubmit a full application.

If eligible to apply for fee exemption, please only provide the required documentation listed under the relevant visa subclass.

Please be advised that only students enrolling for ten weeks or longer will be eligible for fee exemption. For a study period of less than ten weeks, please refer to the Short Term Student Application form on the International Students and Parents page.

If eligible to apply for fee exemption, please do not complete the Application Form for the Dependants of Temporary Residents nor pay the application fee.

Please be advised that all applications must be complete and submitted ten business days prior to the proposed commencement date. If applications are incomplete, there will be a delay to the course start date.

Please also be advised that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) will not suffice as evidence of visa subclass.

Subclass 309 and 820 - Partner Visa and Subclass 445 - Dependent Child

  • Evidence of Australian Citizenship
  • Copy of Passport for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection - Notification of grant for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Proof of ACT residential address. Valid documentation includes a copy of a tenancy agreement (lease), electricity, water or gas bill

Subclass 403 - Temporary Work (International Relations) Visa

Only bilateral agreements between the Commonwealth or ACT Government and a government of another country are eligible for fee exemption. Private company arrangements are liable for full international student tuition fees.

  • Copy of Passport for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection - Notification of grant for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Commonwealth or ACT Government Employment contract in the ACT, including the start and end date
  • Proof of ACT residential address. Valid documentation includes a copy of a tenancy agreement (lease), electricity, water or gas bill

Subclass 407 - Training Visa

  • Copy of Passport for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection - Notification of grant for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Letter of Offer from an Australian Tertiary Institution, or a Commonwealth or ACT Government Employment contract in the ACT, including the start and end date
  • Proof of ACT residential address. Valid documentation includes a copy of a tenancy agreement (lease), electricity, water or gas bill

Subclass 457 - Business (Long Stay) & Subclass 489 - Skilled Regional (Provisional)

Please be advised that only the occupations listed on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) are eligible for fee exemption.

  • Copy of Passport for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection - Notification of grant for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Employment contract in the ACT, including the start and end date
  • Proof of ACT residential address. Valid documentation includes a copy of a tenancy agreement (lease), electricity, water or gas bill

Subclass 500 - Vocational Education and Training Sector
Subclass 500 - Higher Education Sector

Only the dependants of Commonwealth assisted students, or dependants of students whose tuition fees are paid in full by a publicly funded Australian Higher Education Provider, physically located in the ACT are eligible for fee exemption.

  • Copy of Passport for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection - Notification of grant for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Letter of offer from the tertiary institution
  • Copy of your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)
  • Evidence of scholarship, including the start and end date
  • Proof of ACT residential address. Valid documentation includes a copy of a tenancy agreement (lease), electricity, water or gas bill

Subclass 500 - Postgraduate Research Sector

Please note that fee exemption applies only to the dependants of eligible students whose main course of study is a Masters degree by research or a Doctoral degree. Only the dependants of students who are enrolled in an Australian Higher Education Provider, physically located in the ACT are eligible for fee exemption.

  • Copy of Passport for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection - Notification of grant for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Letter of offer from the university
  • Copy of your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)
  • Proof of ACT residential address. Valid documentation includes a copy of a tenancy agreement (lease), electricity, water or gas bill

Subclass 500 - Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector

Please note that all accompanying family members must travel on a 500 dependent visa to be eligible for fee exemption. Only the dependants of students who are enrolled in an Australian Higher Education Provider, physically located in the ACT are eligible for fee exemption.

  • Copy of Passport for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection - Notification of grant for the primary visa holder and dependant
  • Evidence of Foreign Affairs/Defence scholarship, including the start and end date - (A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is not sufficient evidence)
  • Proof of ACT residential address. Valid documentation includes a copy of a tenancy agreement (lease), electricity, water or gas bill

School Enrolment Procedures

If eligible to apply for fee exemption, the International Education Unit will notify the school in the applicant's Priority Enrolment Area (PEA) of the child's status as being fee exempt. Applicants must complete the Application to enrol/transfer in an ACT Public School online before contacting the school to make an appointment and discuss the enrolment requirements and procedures. An International Education Approval Reference Number (IEARN) will be allocated, which will be required for the online application form. This number is located on the fee exemption letter which will be emailed to the applicant by the Fee Exemption Officer.

Please note: that fee exempt students are only exempt from international student tuition fees. All other payments and voluntary contributions required by the school still apply.

If applicants are not eligible for fee exemption, full international student tuition fees will apply for their dependants.

Full Fee Paying Dependants

For all visa subclasses not in the fee exemption categories above, full international student tuition fees are payable before dependants may enroll in any ACT public school. The visa subclasses for which tuition fees are liable are as follows:

Visa Subclass

Visa Subclass Title

159

Provisional Resident Return

160

Business Owner*

161

Senior Executive*

162

Investor*

163

State/Territory Business Owner*

164

State/Territory Senior Executive*

165

State/Territory Investor*

173

Contributory Parent

188

Business Innovation and Investment

300

Prospective Marriage

405

Investor Retirement (Self Funded Retiree)

408

Temporary Activity

410

Retirement

417

Working Holiday Visa

456

Business (Short Stay)

457

Business (Long Stay)if occupation not listed on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

459 Sponsored Business Visitor (Short Stay)

461

New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship

462

Work and Holiday

476

Skilled - Recognised Graduate

485

Skilled - Graduate

487

Regional Sponsored if occupation not listed on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

489

Skilled - Regional Sponsored if occupation not listed on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

570

Independent ELICOS Sector

572

Vocational Education and Training if not the recipient of an Australian Government or Australian publically funded tertiary scholarship*

573

Higher Education Sector if not the recipient of an Australian Government or Australian publically funded tertiary scholarship*

575

Non-Award Foundation/Other Sector

600

Visitor Visa

601

Electronic Travel Authority

602

Medical Treatment Visa

651

e-Visitor

676

Tourist Visa*

*visas now closed to new applications

Temporary residents must pay the application fee and international student tuition fee for their dependants in accordance with the pre-entry, financial assessment, procedures and conditions of the visa determined as by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Please download and complete the forms and email to: ieu@act.gov.au

Refund Procedures

In the event that a student withdraws from an ACT public school or is no longer liable to pay fees due to visa subclass changes, there may be an entitlement to a refund.

All applications for a refund of tuition fees must be in writing. Please address all refund advice to:

ACT Government Education Directorate
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601

The Directorate will refund the balance of fees owing within 4 weeks after receiving a written claim from the applicant or the person who paid tuition fees on behalf of any applicant under 18 years old.

For continuing students who decide not to complete a course in which they have enrolled, a refund will depend on when advice of withdrawal from the course is received:

  • If written advice is received before 9am on the first day of semester, 90% of the un-used portion of tuition fees will be refunded.
  • If written advice is received on or after the first day of semester and before 5pm on the Friday of Week 4 of the semester 50% of the un-used portion of tuition fees will be refunded.
  • If written advice is received after 5pm on Friday of Week 4 of the semester no refund will be possible.

Refunds will be reimbursed in Australian dollars in the form of Electronic Funds Transfer.

Application for Refund Request Form world file type logo (335 kb)

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National)

This interpreting service provided by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, is designed to assist people who do not speak English as their first language and require support in liaising with government agencies in particular.

Translating and Interpreting Service provides access to interpreters with more than 160 languages and dialects available with immediate phone interpretation services. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact Us

Fee Exemption Officer
Education Directorate
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: +61 2620 57264
Email: ieu@act.gov.au

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