Labour Market Testing and Skilling Australians Fund (SAF)

On 18 March 2018, the newly named Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) replaced the 457 Visa with the TSS Visa (Subclass 482).

It is now a requirement for all nominated positions, with very few exceptions, to be advertised prior to the lodgement of the business nomination.

Criteria of the Labour Market Testing

  1. The advertisement is national reaching
  2. The advertisement is in English and includes the following information:
    • the title, or a description, of the position;
    • the skills or experience required for the position;
    • the name of the approved sponsor or the name of the recruitment agency being used by the sponsor; and
    • the salary range for the position (if the intended annual earnings for the nominated position are lower than AUD96,400);
  3. A Minimum of two advertisements published:
    • On a national recruitment website (example: SEEK, Indeed, JobActive).
    • The list of acceptable mediums in which nominated positions may be advertised has been extended to include LinkedIn’s online recruitment platform and industry specific recruitment websites
    • National print media – that is, national newspapers or magazines that are published at least monthly and marketed throughout Australia
    • National radio – that is radio programmes that are broadcast or syndicated nationally.
    • Accredited sponsors can advertise on their website

The Skills Australia Funding (SAF)

For nomination applications lodged on or after 12 August 2018, sponsors (or individuals who have applied to become a standard business sponsor or a labour agreement sponsor) must pay the applicable nomination training contribution charge (referred to as a contribution to the SAF or the ‘SAF levy’). The nomination training contribution charge is payable in full at the time of lodging a nomination application.

The purpose of the SAF levy is to require employers who sponsor temporary and permanent overseas skilled workers to contribute to the broader skills development of Australians.

The amount of the SAF levy and how this is calculated is dependent on the annual turnover of the company

Business size TSS visa ENS / RSMS visas
Small (annual turnover less than $10 million) AUD1200 per year or part thereof AUD3000 one-off
Other business (annual turnover of $10 million or more) AUD1800 per year or part thereof AUD5000 one-off

Permanent Residency Nominations

  • For Companies with a turnover of more than $10M, a flat rate of $5,000 will be levied.
  • For Companies with a turnover of less than $10M, a flat rate of $3,000 will be levied.

Training requirements ENS and RSMS applications lodged on or after 18 March 2018 will need to evidence training as follows:

  • ENS DE stream nominations will still need to meet the training benchmark requirements.
  • ENS/RSMS TRT stream nominations will still need to meet training compliance requirements

Since the introduction of the SAF levy in August 2018, the Department has received a number of requests for a SAF refund that do not meet the refund criteria.

Refunds of the levy are ONLY available if you meet one of the following scenarios:

  • The sponsorship and visa applications are approved, but the overseas skilled worker (visa holder) does not arrive/commence employment with the employer
  • The employer’s sponsorship and nomination application for the overseas skilled worker is approved, but the associated visa application is refused on health or character grounds
  • A TSS visa holder leaves the sponsoring employer within the first 12 months of employment where the visa period was for more than 12 months. Refunds will only be available in this scenario for unused full years of the SAF levy. NOTE: This does not apply to ENS or RSMS holders who leave their employer within the first 12 months of employment.
  • The nomination fee is refunded (e.g. where a concurrent sponsor application is refused)

A failure to submit required documentation at time of lodgement, such as evidence of labour market testing, leading to refusal of a nomination, is not a ground for a refund.

Before any immigration advice can be provided, we must hold an initial consultation which will attract a fee of $385.

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