It was officially released yesterday that the Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Act 2018 (‘SAF Charges Act’) will commence on 12 August 2018. While we knew this date was fast-approaching, we have only been given less than a weeks’ notice!
The nomination training contribution charge payable under section 140ZM of the Migration Act 1958, which will also commence on the 12 August 2018, is enforced by section 7 of the SAF Charges Act.
The amount of charge payable is specified by the Migration (Skilling Australian Funds) Charges Regulations 2018 (‘Migrations Regulations’) as follows:
less than AUD10 million dollars
AUD10 million dollars or more
Temporary Visa Nominations
(i.e. nominations of holders of subclass 457 and subclass 482)
$1,200 per year of the proposed visa period.
$1,800 per year of the proposed visa period.
Permanent Visa Nominations
(i.e. nominations of holders of subclass 186 and subclass 187)
(one-off payment) per nomination
(one-off payment) per nomination
The charge payable will repeal the existing training benchmark requirements that sponsors are expected to meet:
- Training Benchmark A – the equivalent of at least 2% of the business’ payroll in contributions to an industry training fund.
- Training Benchmark B – the equivalent of at least 1% of the business’ payroll in training the Australian and permanent resident employees of the business.
However, religious organisations will also be pleased to know that the exception under the current policy will remain the same. That is, if the nomination is made in accordance with a labour agreement that relates to the occupation of either a ‘Minister of Religion’ or ‘Religious Assistant’ then the charge will be nil.
Refunds of nomination fee and nomination training contribution charge
Subclass 457 and Subclass 482 applications
Refunds will only be available in limited circumstances where:
- The nomination is withdrawn before a decision is made and the reason for the withdrawal was that the information used to calculate the nomination training contribution charge was incorrect;
- The nomination is for a Subclass 482 occupation and the standard business sponsorship application was withdrawn or refused;
- The nomination is for a Subclass 482 occupation in the labour agreement stream and is withdrawn before entering into the work agreement;
- The application is for a Subclass 482 visa, where the visa is refused under character grounds, or because the applicant does not meet PIC 4001, 4002, 4003, 4007 or 4020; or
- Where the visa applicant fails to commence employment in the position associated with the nominated occupation.
Further refunds are available if the visa applicant ceases employment after one year under the following circumstances:
- The period of stay for a visa holder is more than one year; and
- That person ceases to be employed by the nominator or an associated entity of the nominator within one year after commencing employment; and
- The Minister receives a written request for a refund of the nomination training contribution charge, or it is reasonable to disregard that the request is not made in writing; then
the Minister may refund the paid nomination training contribution charge, less the amount of the charge that would have been payable, if the proposed stay was for one year.
Employer Nomination Scheme and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
Refunds will only be available in the following circumstances:
- where the Minister receives a written request for a refund or considers it reasonable to refund the amount to that person without written request
and if any of the following conditions apply:
- The nomination was approved by Immigration by mistake;
- If the nomination relates to a visa in the labour agreement stream and the application for nomination was withdrawn before the nomination was finally decided and the occupation was not one that may be nominated under the labour agreement, or the number of nominations approved for that labour agreement year has been reached;
- If the nomination is withdrawn before the nomination is decided because the amount used to calculate the training contribution charge was incorrect;
- If the nomination relates to a visa in the labour agreement stream and the nomination is withdrawn before entering into the work agreement;
- If the nomination relates to a visa in the Temporary Residence Transition stream and the nomination is withdrawn before the decision is made, because the wrong occupation was nominated in relation to the position;
- If the nomination is withdrawn before decision because the wrong stream was identified;
- If a Subclass 186 or 187 nomination has been finally determined, but the associated visa application is refused on character grounds, or the visa applicant or a member of their family unit, did not satisfy PIC 4001, 4002, 4003, 4005, 4007 or 4020; or
- If the Subclass 186 or 187 visa holder fails to commence employment in the nominated position.
It is the sponsor’s obligation to pay this charge and it cannot be recovered or transferred to another person.
Labour Market Testing changes
The Skilling Australians Fund Act 2018 also includes changes to Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirement, they being:
- Increasing the period, a job advertisement must be active for from 21 days to 4 weeks; and
- Reducing the period in which LMT must have been undertaken from 6 months to 4 months.
If you would like to further discuss the implementation of the Skilling Australian Fund (SAF) agreement and how it may affect you, please do not hesitate to contact us.