The 2017-18 budget handed down on 10 May 2017 has included the following elements which impact the immigration program:
Visa Application Charge (VAC) increases
Visa application charges will increase on 1 July 2017. Most VAC fees are increasing by 2% in accordance with inflation. A full list of the VAC increases in available here:
Permanent Migration Programme
The permanent migration programme will remain at 190,000 places for the 2017-18 programme.
Training benchmark to be replaced by Skilling Australians Fund Levy
From March 2018, employers will be required to pay a training levy which will go towards the Skilling Australians Fund. The fund will be used to meet future skills and needs of Australians with a focus on apprentices and trainees.
The Skilling Australians Fund will replace the existing training benchmarks for employers using the 457 and ENS programs. The process will streamline the training requirement for employers to be compliant, however, it will significantly increase the upfront costs to employers.
The payments will apply to both Temporary Skills Shortages (TSS) visas and to permanent employer sponsored visas (ENS & RSMS). The amount payable will depend on the turnover of the business.
- Businesses with turnover of less than $10 million per year will be required to:
- make an upfront payment of $1,200 per visa per year for each employee on a Temporary Skill Shortage visa;
- a one-off payment of $3,000 for each employee being sponsored for a permanent Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa or a permanent Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa.
- Businesses with turnover of $10 million or more per year will be required to:
- make an upfront payment of $1,800 per visa year for each employee on a Temporary Skill Shortage visa
- a one-off payment of $5,000 for each employee being sponsored for a permanent Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa or a permanent Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa.
Temporary Sponsored Parent visa
The new Temporary Sponsored Parent visa will be introduced in November 2017 and will allow parents of Australian citizens to temporarily stay in Australia for periods of up to 3 or 5 years with an offshore renewal option to allow a cumulative stay of up to 10 years. However, temporary sponsored parent visa holders will not be eligible to apply onshore for a permanent parent visa.
Visa holders will need to be sponsored by their Australian child and sponsors will be liable for any medical expenses, including aged care.
The budget has confirmed the current immigration sphere is rapidly changing. An Immigration Insights piece will be released soon detailing how it will affect various industries.