8 Jun 2018

How your business can access a refund for the SAF Levy

Once the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy is implemented, businesses will need to pay a contribution towards the Levy for each visa holder sponsored. It can be reassuring to know however, that businesses will be able to access a refund for their contribution to the SAF Levy.

Businesses who sponsor visa holders will be able to apply for a refund of the SAF Levy fee under the following circumstances:

– If the employer’s nomination is approved but the employee’s subsequent visa application is refused based on health or character grounds

– If the visa application is approved but the visa holder does not commence work with the employer

– If a Subclass 482 Visa holder leaves their employer within the first 12 months of employment where the agreed visa period was for more than 12 months (the refund available in this case will be for the unused full years of the levy)

Why this is good news for businesses 

SAF Levy fees are required to be paid by the employer at the time of submitting a nomination application to sponsor a person and before the subsequent visa application is made. Given that employers are required to contribute to the SAF before knowing whether a person’s visa application will be granted or refused, this has been taken into consideration as businesses will be able to access a refund of the SAF if the visa is refused on health or character grounds following their nomination grant. Especially since character requirements are becoming far more rigorous, this refund provision may help to alleviate SAF concerns for businesses.

The refund provisions also protect businesses in cases where their sponsored applicant decides to leave the business, either if they choose not to commence work in their position or if they leave before their agreed visa period of longer than 12 months. This offers businesses security in knowing that their investment in the SAF is protected so they are better able to plan for their labour requirements.

Support throughout the changes 

We expect the SAF to begin to apply in mid-June and will keep you updated as more information becomes available. You can read more about the SAF Levy and the labour market testing requirements here.

We understand there have been a number of visa changes for businesses and skilled visa holders recently. If you have any questions on how the changes impact you or your business, we offer a free assessment of your sponsorship or visa options. Contact our registered migration agents on 08 6263 4406 or

Source: Migration Institute of Australia




Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Visas


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