Skilling Australians Fund Legislation
The Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2017 and the Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Changes Bill passed through the Australian Senate on 22 May 2018. The Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy applies to both temporary and permanent employer sponsorship visas and will come into effect on a date fixed by Proclamation or on 23 November 2018, whichever is the ealier.
Skilling Australians Fund (SAF)
The money raised is intended to fund vocational education and training for Australian workers. SAF will replace the ‘training benchmark requirements’ that employers had to meet previously.
How much is it?
The amount payable is calculated with reference to the sponsor’s turnover in the 12 months prior to lodgement, and the number of employees being sponsored.
PR visas (186 and 187, TRT and DE)
Turnover > $10 million: A one-off fee of $5,000 payable at the time the nomination is lodged
Turnover < $10 million: A one-off fee of $3,000 payable at the time the nomination is lodged
TSS/482 visa (MLTSSL, STSOL and RSOL occupations)
Turnover > $10 million: $1,800 for each year of the TSS visa, payable at the time the nomination is lodged
Turnover < $10 million: $1,200 for each year of the TSS visa, payable at the time the nomination is lodged
Is the amount capped?
Yes, the Skilling Australians Fund fee is capped.
For the financial year ending 30 June 2018, the capped limit is:
$5,500 for permanent residency visa nominations (186 or 187 visas, through Temporary Residency Transition or Direct Entry)
$8,000 for TSS visa nominations (regardless of the occupation list)
Can the money be refunded if things don’t work out?
Employers can be refunded if:
The employer’s sponsorship application is approved but the employee’s subsequent application is refused on health or character grounds
The employer’s sponsorship application is refused
The employer’s sponsorship application is approved but the nomination is refused
The visa holder does not end up starting work with the employer
A TSS visa holder resigns within the first 12 months with their employer and their visa period was longer than 12 months. In this case, the refund amount will be calculated based on the outstanding time on the visa.
Organisations covered by a Minister of Religion Labour Agreement or a company specific Labour Agreement covering certain nominated religious occupations are exempt from having to pay the SAF.