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Australian Budget 2018-2019: Immigration Changes

May 2018, 15
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Background 

The Australian Government On 9th May 2017 released the Budget for 2017-18. It contains a few initiatives which affect visa applicants and the Skilling Australians Fund also.

The Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2017 makes an arrangement for the SAF and was successful in through the Senate on 8th May 2018. The actual date of effect will be shown when the Bill is passed by the Parliament.
Training Tax for Sponsors 

SAF actually is a training levy which is payable by employers who sponsor temporary and permanent visas. It is administered by the Department of Education and Training and provides funds to train the local persons in apprenticeship and trainee programs for proper development of skills of local workers. Organisations which are covered by a Minister of Religion, or a Labour Agreement, or Labour Agreement specific to a company which covers occupations in nominated religious do not need to pay Skilling Australians Fund.

The SAF levies 

The SAF levies are:
Small Business       Large Business (turnover $10m or more)
TSS $1,200     $1,800
ENS/RSMS     $3,000     $5,000

Provisions to refund 

Many provisions to refund SAF payments are also available:
When the visa gets an approval but the employee does not start working in a job of the sponsoring employer,
When the sponsorship of an employer is approved but, the visa application of employee is denied owing to health /character,
In case an employee received a TSS visa for a period exceeding 12 months and completed the employment within 12 months of sponsorship,

When the SAF rules begin they will replace the present training requirements for employers, who presently use TSS, ENS and RSMS programs.

Moreover, these levies put extra   cost on the business sector, but they have the capacity to make it more clear-cut for all employers to fulfil their training obligations.

Labour Market Testing Requirements

Furthermore, the Migration Amendment Bill 2017 also includes the Labour Market Testing criterion. At present it is a requirement in many visa applications concerning Temporary Skills Shortage.

Important notes:

Authorities must conduct LMT  4 months before placing a nomination application
Additionally, Advertisements regarding the LMT must run for four weeks minimum,
The authorities will conduct an independent review of the SAF after 18 months of changing. This review must finish in 6 months

What is the date of effecting the changes?

The Migration Amendment Bill 2017 has the approval of  the Senate but,  not  of  the Parliament so far. Hence there is no date of confirmation of changes.

Conclusion

There is a confirmation in the Budget that employers will incur high transaction cost while sponsoring foreign staff.

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