What is the change? Employers must begin paying levies to the Skilling Australians Fund for all nominations lodged on or after Sunday, 12 August.

What does the change mean? The levies will significantly increase the cost of nominating foreign workers in the Temporary Skill Shortage category, the Employer Nomination Scheme, and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.

  • Implementation timeframe: 12 August.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482); Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186), and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187).
  • Who is affected: Companies nominating foreign skilled workers in the above three categories.
  • Business impact: Australian employers should budget for the new levies. The fees must be paid in full at the time of nomination.

Skilling Australians Fund fee schedule:

Visa Type            Companies with less than $10 million annual turnover Companies with more than $10 million annual turnover
Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) $1,200 per year, per nominee $1,800 per year, per nominee
ENS/RSMS (Subclass 186/187) $3,000 one-time fee per nominee $5,000 one-time fee per nominee

Background: The Skilling Australians Fund legislation, which was passed on 9 May, imposes levies on employers to fund training and skills programs for Australian workers. Employers must pay the levy in full at the time applications are lodged.

Importantly, the Skilling Australians Fund removes the requirement for employers to show that they have met the training benchmarks for the purposes of 482,186 and 187 nominations. Instead, a flat fee is payable to the government.

The Skilling Australians Fund legislation also makes changes to the period during which labour market testing must have been made for 482 nominations. Labour market testing must be undertaken no more than four months prior to the application and must be for a duration of 28 days. Further clarity will be provided once regulations and procedural documents are released early next week.

BAL Analysis: Australian companies should plan for the introduction of the new fees for applications lodged this Sunday and thereafter. They should also anticipate slight delays during the transition as there is likely to be an influx of applications by employers seeking to file before the fees take effect.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and Hammond Taylor in Australia. MARN 1068140. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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