Fees and Charges Frequently Asked Questions

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The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) providers are exempt from paying CRICOS charges until 2023 as announced by the Australian Government in November 2021. This is in addition to regulatory fee relief in 2020 and 2021 to support the sector to manage the impacts of the pandemic and border closures.

See regulatory fee relief for more information.

What is the CARC?

The CRICOS Annual Registration Charge (CARC) is the new CRICOS cost recovery charge which replaces the Annual Registration Charge (ARC) commencing 1 January 2022.

The revised charging arrangement represent an overall reduction in the department’s CRICOS charges and includes the following main changes -

  • Removal of the Entry to Market Charge for all providers
  • Introduction of application-based charges for CRICOS School Registration and CRICOS School Registration Renewal
  • Replacement of the CRICOS Annual Registration Charge (ARC) with the CRICOS Annual Registration Charge (CARC).

Further information on the new CRICOS charges can be found in the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS).

What regulatory costs are recovered by CARC?

The CARC recovers the department’s costs for:

  • national oversight of the regulation for all CRICOS providers in accordance with the ESOS Act including stakeholder education and policy guidance
  • management of the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) and CRICOS online register including system upgrades and maintenance
  • school sector wide components of the department’s role as the ESOS agency regulating school providers including engagement with Designated State Authorities and monitoring school providers.

Who will pay the regulatory charges?

Education providers on CRICOS who provide, or seek to provide, education services to overseas students are subject to these regulatory charges. This includes schools, vocational education and training providers, higher education providers, ELICOS and Foundation Program providers.

What are the CRICOS Annual Registration Charge components?

The new CRICOS cost recovery model comprises the following elements –

Annual Charge (Elements) Provider Cohort Provider Allocation Element Amount ($ rounded)**
Part A Base - CRICOS Systems All Equally to all providers $180
Part A Base - ESOS Regulation and Support All Equally to all providers $260
Part A Pro Rata -CRICOS Systems All Pro-rata based on number of CARC Enrolments $5*
Part B - School Regulation - Education and Engagement Schools Equally to all school sector providers $116
Part C - School Regulation - Oversight and Management Schools Equally to all school sector providers with at least 1 CARC Enrolment $695

*The CARC's Part A Pro Rata component is determined according to the number of international students that studied at your organisation in the relevant calendar year and by the duration of study as determined by the Proposed Course Start and Proposed Course End Dates on the student's Confirmation of Enrolment.

** Element amounts are for 2022 and are estimated to increase over the forward estimates reflecting the ABS’ wage price index.

Note: In addition to these charges, if in the past 12 months, the Minister has imposed sanctions on the provider for non-compliance under section 83 of the ESOS Act, the provider is liable to pay $1,156. 

When am I required to pay for CARC in 2022?

CRICOS providers are exempt from paying the CARC charges in 2022 as announced by the Australian Government in November 2021. This is in addition to the previous two years of regulatory fee relief to support the sector manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Would the CARC charges vary each year?

Yes. The CRICOS activity costs are subject to indexation as per Section 7 of the ESOS Registration Charges Act. These costs are estimated to increase over the forward estimates reflecting the ABS’ wage price index in the CARC invoice each year commencing 1 January 2023.

What are the department’s application-based charges for schools?

This is a new charge which only apply to schools, for which the department is the relevant ESOS Agency. These costs are based on the efficient time it takes to assess an application and a provider renewal registration.

As the ESOS agency for schools, the department’s application-based charges are:

  • a school initial registration charge of $2,691 for the assessment and registering of new school providers.
  • a school renewal registration charge of $1083 for the assessment and registering renewing school providers.

When is a CARC Enrolment calculated?

The duration of the student’s proposed study is used to determine the CARC, and this may differ from the actual study period undertaken. When a Confirmation of Enrolment that was in ‘Studying’ status for at least part of the previous calendar year, it will be calculated for CARC. Multi-year CoEs will be counted as CARC enrolments each year the CoE remains in Studying status.

1 (or full) enrolment

An overseas student who is enrolled and commences study in a course of 26 weeks or more duration at any time during the calendar year will be counted as one enrolment.

0.5 (or half) enrolment

An overseas student who is enrolled and commences study in a course of less than 26 weeks duration at any time during the calendar year will be counted as 0.5 of an enrolment.

0.25 (or quarter) enrolment

An overseas student who is enrolled and commences study in a course of less than 13 weeks duration at any time during the calendar year will be counted as 0.25 of an enrolment.

What if a student changes course?

If an overseas student changed course during the calendar year, each course that they actually undertook study in will be counted as an enrolment with the proposed length of enrolment for each course being used to determine whether 0.25, 0.5 or 1 enrolment is recorded for each course.

What if a student is enrolled in a course for only a few days?

The ESOS (Registration Charges) Act 1997 specifies that an enrolment should be counted if an overseas student is enrolled in a course at any time during the calendar year. The period of study may have only been a few days; however, the relevant information is whether the proposed period of study as recorded on the CoE was for more or less than 26 weeks.