8 Jun 2018

SAF Levy Update and Labour Market Testing Requirements

This month we are anticipating news from the Department of Home Affairs on the commencement date of the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy legislation. Although the Senate has recently passed legislation for the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy, it is not yet operational. We expect the SAF to begin to apply in mid-June. Once implemented, businesses will need to pay a contribution towards the Levy for each visa holder sponsored.

If your business sponsors visa holders, or if you would like to be sponsored on a work visa, here’s what you need to know about the Labour Market Testing legislative requirements that were recently passed.

Labour Market Testing Requirements | What has changed? 

Employers will need to more rigorously test the local market before sponsoring a visa holder. There have been several amendments to Australia’s labour market testing requirements, which means employers will need to:

– Advertise a position a maximum of 4 months before submitting a nomination to sponsor a visa holder (instead of 6 months)

– Ensure the position is advertised for 4 weeks (instead of 21 days)

– Clearly note the required skills and experience for the nominated position in the advertisement

Our team at Immigracious had expected the above changes for some time, however the legislation also introduced a requirement for employers to ensure their advertisements:

(a) will be targeted in such a way that a significant proportion of suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents would be likely to be informed about the position;

The Department of Home Affairs are currently confirming how they plan to practically validate variable terms such as ‘significant proportion’ and ‘likely to be informed’, however we expect employers will need to provide more substantial evidence to satisfy the new requirement. We have been advised that an independent review of the SAF legislation will be undertaken within 18 months.

Support throughout the changes 

There have been many visa changes over the past months – if you are uncertain on how the changes impact you, Immigracious can help you understand how the changes directly affect your business or your skilled visa options. We offer a free assessment to assist you.

You may also wish to read our articles on how businesses can obtain a refund for the SAF Levy under certain circumstances and our summary on Australia’s shift from the 457 Visa scheme to the current employer-sponsored 482 Visa program.

Immigracious will keep you updated on the commencement date of the SAF Levy and further developments as they arise. If you have any questions, we are always happy to help. Please do not hesitate to 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).

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