Implementation of the Skilling Australians Fund levy – May 2018

Following the April 2017 announcement of significant changes to the skilled migration program, the headlines were dominated by the abolition of the Subclass 457 visa. However, the lesser-known Skilling Australia Fund levy is soon to come into effect and will affect businesses looking to sponsor non-Australian employees.

The Australian government predicts that the SAF levy will raise $1.2 billion over four years, which will be put towards improving vocational education and training.

The SAF levy will be payable by businesses looking to sponsor an employee for the following visa categories:

The levy is in addition to all other current charges involved with the nomination and visa application process. The amount payable depends on the visa being applied for and the business’ turnover.

Visa Subclass Business annual turnover SAF Levy Payable per year paid at nomination application
Subclass 482 Less than $10 million $1,200 per year of sponsorship
Subclass 482 More than $10 million $1,800 per year of sponsorship
Subclass 186 & 187 Less than $10 million One-off payment of $3,000
Subclass 186 & 187 More than $10 million One-off payment of $5,000

The Bill to implement the SAF levy passed the House of Representatives in February and recently passed the Senate on 8 May. The date on which the SAF levy will come into effect remains subject to Royal Assent and publication. This means that while it is not currently payable, businesses can expect the additional levy in the near future.

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