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Skilling Australian Fund Bill Takes Effect August 12, 2018

August 6, 2018

A new phase of Australia’s immigration reforms to be implemented on Sunday.

Update: The Australian Government’s recent migration amendments, which includes new contributions to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF), will be implemented on August 12, 2018. The bill passed both houses of the Australian Government in May 2018. However, the government did not confirm an implementation date until now.

Changes: The implementation will impact Labor Market Testing (LMT) requirements and government fees for Subclass 482 and 186 visas. Please note the following changes:

Labor Market Testing (LMT)

  • Labor market testing will increase from 21 days to 28 days.
  • LMTs must be conducted within 4 months of lodging applications for work visas or position transfer nominations.

Higher Government Fees in the form of SAF Contributions

  • For Subclass 482 Position Nominations
    • For businesses with a turnover of less than AUD 10 million: AUD 1,200 per year of nomination.
    • For businesses with a turnover of more than AUD 10 million: AUD 1,800 per year of nomination.
  • For Subclass 186 Position Nominations
    • For businesses with a turnover of less than AUD 10 million: AUD 3,000 one-time contribution.
    • For businesses with a turnover of more than AUD 10 million: AUD 5,000 one-time contribution.

Note: The Australian Taxation Office has advised that SAF contributions will be tax deductible.

Analysis: The implementation of these reforms will result in more stringent LMT requirements and higher costs. Companies seeking to sponsor employees must prepare to advertise the position for at least 28 days before filing a position nomination application. The increase in recruitment time may delay target onboarding dates. Companies must plan in advance for onboarding and budgeting. Applications filed before August 12, 2018, will not be subject to the extended LMT duration and or new government fees.