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Skilling Australians Fund to commence on 12 August 2018

The Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Regulations 2018 will come into effect on 12 August 2018. But what is the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) and what does this really mean?

What is the SAF?

The SAF is managed by the Department of Education and Training, and will be used to grow the number of apprentices and trainees to support Australia's future productivity, jobs and growth.

There will be a levy payable in certain situations to fund the SAF.

What does this really mean?

From 12 August 2018, the "Nomination Training Contribution Charge" (SAF levy) will be payable by employers who sponsor temporary and permanent overseas skilled workers to contribute to the broader skills development of Australians.

The SAF levy will apply to nominations for the following subclasses:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482) (TSS Visa);
  • Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Subclass 186) (ENS Visa); and
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) (RSMS Visa).

The SAF levy will also apply to nomination applications to allow an existing TSS Visa holder to change sponsor or occupation.

There are no exemptions to the SAF levy, except for religious workers nominated under the Labour Agreement streams of the TSS or ENS Visas. All other sponsors who are party to a Labour Agreement must also pay the SAF levy.

The SAF levy will be payable in full when lodging a nomination application.

How much is the SAF levy?

The SAF levy payable will depend on the size of the sponsoring business and the overseas worker's proposed period of stay in Australia.

Small business (annual turnover less than AU$10 million)

  • TSS Visa: AU$1,200 per year or part thereof
  • ENS/RSMS Visas: AU$3,000 one-off

Other business (annual turnover of AU$10 million or more)

  • TSS Visa: AU$1,800 per year or part thereof
  • ENS/RSMS Visas: AU$5,000 one-off

The information provided in the nomination application will be used to calculate the amount payable.

Please note that these payments will be tax deductible and must be paid by the sponsor.

What’s next?

The sudden implementation of the SAF levy is proof that the Australian immigration rules are constantly changing, so it is important to act quickly and with the assistance of an experienced immigration law professional.

If you have any concerns about this update or require further information, please contact us today for assistance.

"The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication."