Australia Alert – New Foreign Worker Levy and Increased Visa Application Charges

As part of the 2017-18 Budget, the Government has announced changes to existing Visa Application Charges (VACs), including the introduction of a foreign workers levy.

New Foreign Worker Levy

The Skilling Australians Fund Levy will replace the current training benchmarks for employers sponsoring foreign workers on both temporary and permanent visas from March 2018.

Businesses with turnover of less than AUD10 million per year will be required to:

  • make an upfront payment of AUD1200 per visa per year for each employee on a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa;
  • make a one-off payment of AUD3000 for each employee being sponsored for a permanent visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187).

Businesses with turnover of AUD10 million or more per year will be required to:

  • make an upfront payment of AUD1800 per visa year for each employee on a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa;
  • make a one-off payment of AUD5000 for each employee being sponsored for a permanent visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187).

The government estimates that this levy will raise AUD1.2 billion over the forward estimates period. The revenue raised will contribute to the new Skilling Australians Fund, with a focus on apprenticeships and traineeships.

Visa Application Charge Increases

All current first installment VACs will rise by around 2% on 1 July 2017 and then be indexed annually.

For a Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457) visa (this subclass will close in March 2018):

  • VAC for the main applicant or adult dependent will increase from AUD1060 to AUD1080;
  • VAC for a child dependent will increase from AUD265 to AUD270.

For an Employer Nominated Scheme Subclass 186 visa:

  • VAC for the main applicant will increase from AUD 3600 to AUD3670;
  • VAC for an adult dependent will increase from AUD 1800 to AUD1835;
  • VAC for a child dependent will increase from AUD900 to AUD920.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert was prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.