11 May 2017

The Federal Budget announcements and how they impact Australian migration

At this time of year, we are always eager to hear how the Federal Budget will impact migration policy. Here’s how the recently announced Budget initiatives affect Australian businesses and visa holders.


Currently businesses who employ 457 visa holders must invest in training their Australian employees as part of their sponsorship obligations. Instead of this, from March 2018, businesses will be required to pay contributions into the Government’s “Skilling Australians Fund”.

Different contributions will be required by businesses, depending on the size of their business and the number of sponsored employees as stated below:

Small businesses (Turnover of $10m or less)
Temporary visa:  $1,200 per visa per year
Permanent visa: $3,000 one-off fee per applicant

Medium to large businesses (Turnover of $10m or more)
Temporary visa: $1,800 per visa year
Permanent visa: $5,000 one-off fee per applicant

The Government expects that the new fund will generate $1.2 billion in revenue over forward estimates.

Businesses without formalised training programs may find the fund contributions allows for a more efficient way to sponsor visa holders. Other businesses may wish to consider how the fund contributions will increase their training spend once the new scheme comes into place.

The government is set to increase visa application charges once the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa replaces the 457 visa in March 2018, the visa application charge will increase to:

$1,150 per primary applicant for a 2 year visa
$2,400 per primary applicant for a 4 year visa

Parents of migrants

A new temporary sponsored parent visa will be introduced for those who would like to have their parents come to stay in Australia, however the Budget confirmed the number of visas will be capped at 15,000 per year.

The new parent visa will provide an alternative to existing parent visa options which are either very expensive or have a very long processing time.

Here are some details about the new parent visa:

– Parents can be sponsored for periods of up to three or five years with an option to renew the visa for a cumulative stay of up to ten years.

– The sponsoring child will be liable to pay for their parent’s public health costs (including aged care arrangements) while they are in Australia.

– The new parent visa will be available from November 2017.

Foreign investors

The Federal Budget announced several changes to the way Australia’s foreign resident Capital Gains Tax (CGT) would be extended. The changes include:

– Foreign investors will no longer be exempt from access to the CGT regime from 9 May 2017, however exceptions may apply.

-The CGT withholding rate for foreign tax residents will increase from 10% to 12% and the CGT withholding threshold will be reduced from $2million to $750,000 from 1 July 2017.

– A Principal asset test will also apply to foreign tax residents with indirect interests in Australian real property, meaning they will also be liable for CGT.

Foreign investors who do not occupy or lease their Australian properties for at least 6 months of the year will also need to pay a Foreign Investors Tax Levy of $5,000 per year.

Get professional advice on how the Federal Budget impacts you

If you’d like to understand more about these changes, we can help. Simply contact us on 08 6263 4406 or

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

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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