Skilling Australians Fund & Training Levy Update

Skilling Australians Fund (“SAF”) update and implementation timeline


When the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Act 2018 and associated Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Act 2018 come into effect, the nomination training contribution charges (“training levy”) will be introduced.

Although we do not have an exact date when the training levy will be implemented, it is expected that it will be introduced during the first quarter of 2018-19. If no date of effect is introduced, the Act will come into effect on 23 November 2018.

Once the training levy is introduced, businesses will need to make an upfront payment upon lodgement of the nomination application that is in addition to the Department of Home Affairs application fees. The amount will depend on the visa subclass and annual turnover of the business. The training levy must be paid by the employer and cannot be passed onto the visa applicant.

The training levy is proposed to apply as follows:

Business Sponsor Annual Turnover Training levy per year on TSS visa Upfront payment of training levy if applying for 4 year TSS visa Upfront payment of training levy for permanent Subclass 186/187 nomination applications
10 million or above 1,800 7,200 5,000
Below 10 million 1,200 4,800 3,000

Note: All figures are expressed in AUD.

Skilling Australians Infographic

Labour market testing changes

Once the SAF is introduced, the labour market testing requirements will also change as follows:

  • The position must be advertised for a period of four weeks no more than four months before the nomination application is lodged; and
  • The advertisements must set out skill and experience requirements that are appropriate to the position.

Until the SAF is introduced, the current labour market testing requirement applies to TSS nomination applications.

The Department of Home Affairs have also recently confirmed that advertisements placed on LinkedIn’s online recruitment platform and industry specific recruitment websites may be used to satisfy the labour market testing requirement.

Key considerations for business

Employers will need to factor in the additional costs (arising from the training levy and labour market testing (including external job advertising)) when considering their future resourcing options, ahead of the implementation of the changes.

Also, while in the past, employers may have applied for the maximum period of the visa, they may wish to consider applying for a shorter term noting the training levy is imposed on a ‘per year’ basis of the visa and refunds are not available if the employment of a visa holder is terminated during the visa grant period.

Need further assistance?

We monitor changes in law and partner with our clients to develop strategies to respond to changes. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you manage your immigration program. Call (02) 8896 6056 or email

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