482 visa – Overview for Employers

This blog post is aimed at potential business sponsors who would like to gain an understanding of the 482 visa, the risks and obligations. We provide a quick overview of the 482 visa including it’s purpose and the basic requirements for Standard Business Sponsorship, Nomination and Visa applications. We take a look at establishing the market salary rate, labour market testing, the training levy and sponsorship obligations. Highlighting some risks and issues for concern with regards to the refund provisions that apply to the training levy and allowing the applicant to bring their family to Australia.
This is a general and broad discussion to kick off the debate as to whether the 482 visa program is the right solution for your business. There are many benefits in recruiting from the international labour market. But it is important that employers understand their obligations and the process.
We will be providing detailed videos and blog posts covering each area of the sponsorship, nomination and visa application process. We will also be providing information on other visa options including the Training 407, Working Holiday, Student Graduates, State Sponsorship options and others.

482 Visa Overview

The 482 TSS visa which is the Temporary Skills Shortage visa has replaced the 457 visa. The visa works in a similar way, in that an employer becomes an approved standard business sponsor, they lodge a nomination which relates to the specifics of the position and then the visa applicant lodges a visa application. So it’s a three-step process.

The number of occupations available for nomination are significantly less than they used to be.The requirements on the employer to pay a training levy and the cost of the visa application have all increased. The visas are granted for either two or four years depending on the occupation. There is a lot of detail to go into and we will run through each issue in a separate video. This is just to give you an overview and to understand just what this visa is and what it will let you do.

Standard Business Sponsorship

So first of all your company would become an approved Standard Business Sponsor. This is where the Department will check that your company is financially viable and able to meet its sponsorship obligations. They’ll look at the organizational chart and your business registration documents, your accounts, BAS etc.

482 Nomination

Then you lodge a nomination which is the position. You need to select an occupation that’s eligible for sponsorship on the 482 visa. Some occupations also have caveats which means there are additional requirements above those listed for the standard nomination criteria. For that occupation so some criteria might relate to the area that the occupation needs to be located, the size of the business, the turnover and a few other details. So it is important to check if there are any caveats on the position.

Labour Market Testing

You must be able to demonstrate that you have advertised and you are unable to find an Australian or an eligible temporary visa holder to fill the position. The advertising requirements are very strict. You must meet the criteria. If you don’t, the application will be refused. The Department will not come back to you and ask you to provide more information or allow you to conduct additional advertising. If you don’t get it right the first time, they will simply refuse the application. You will need to do the advertising correctly and then submit the application again.

Market Salary Rate

The 482 visa applicant must be paid the market salary rate. So you need to demonstrate that they will be paid what an Australian is or would be paid in the same position, in the same location. By advertisements in the local area. Employer associations and unions can write letters of support outlining their opinion of the current market salary rate, for that occupation, in your area. You can also provide salary surveys. You need to provide a mix of this information to demonstrate how you reached and what you consider to be the market salary rate.

It’s important to know that unless an Australian employee is working in your business and you pay your Australian employee, the case officer
has the right to dismiss the evidence that you’ve provided and make their own assessment of what the market salary rates should be. So it is essential that employers submit complete and detailed research and evidence as to how they reached, what they consider to be, the market salary rate.

In your nomination you need to specify the name of the visa applicant that you want to sponsor. You would have already assessed the visa applicant to make sure they will meet the requirements for the 482 visa.

Training Levy

At the time of lodging the nomination you need to pay the training levy. Now the amount payable for the training levy is based on your company’s annual turnover for the last financial year. If you provide incorrect information or you make an assessment and you downgrade what your financial turnover was and therefore pay the lower training levy,  you can be issued a fine. There are also other penalties for doing that. The training levy is either $1,200 per year that you require the visa applicant or $1,800 if your company has a turnover over 10 million per annum. Say you want to sponsor an applicant on the medium stream list. That means they can get a 482 visa that would be valid for up to four years. If you nominate them for four years that means you pay four times $1200. So that’s a $4,800 training levy fee.

Training Levy Refund Provisions

It’s important to note that there are refund provisions if the nomination is refused. But the refund provisions at the moment are unusual. If the visa application is refused, only based on character and medical grounds, you would receive or can apply to have a refund of the training levy. But if the visa application is refused based on not meeting the skill level or they fail their skills assessment, you will not get a refund on your training levy. If the visa applicant commences employment with you, even just for one day and then they resign within that first year, you will can get a refund for the three years after. You can ask to be refunded. So you will still pay the first year, no matter how long the applicant stays with you. Whether they’re with you for one day or up to 12 months. Even if they leave after one day, you have to pay that full $1,200 for the first year. But you will get years 2, 3 & 4 refunded. However if they leave after 12 months, so at any time from the beginning of the second year onwards, you get no refund of the training levy. So this is quite confusing and unusual and really doesn’t make any sense.

You want to make sure, before the end of the first year anniversary, that you sit down with the employee and you make sure they are completely happy in their position and that you also want to keep them on board. Because once that second year has clocked over you’re not going to get a refund of any of that training levy.

The visa applicant is free to change employers. A new employer just needs to submit a new nomination, nominate that visa applicant and once that nomination is approved, with a new employer, that visa applicant can work for that new employer. You cannot restrict or control a visa applicant remain with your company.

Full Time Employment

You must provide full-time employment and full-time employment is generally considered a 35 to 40 hours per week. Really depending on your industry standard but it must be a full-time position where they’re paid as a full-time employee. So they accrue leave and annual leave. You must pay them superannuation and issue them a PAYG statement at the end of the year. The Department of Immigration does share records with the Australian Taxation Office and any employers that are not playing their employees the salary that they specified in their nomination could find themselves monitored and sanctioned by the Department of Immigration.

When the 482 visa is approved the applicant can start working with the employer and as I said they must work full-time. Sometimes short periods of leave are permitted and that would be a separate topic for another video.

Sponsorship Obligations

A visa applicant can also bring their dependents with them on the 482 visa so their partner and their children can be included on the visa application. As an employer your sponsorship obligations will cover the family and it’s important that you read what the sponsorship obligations are. The the main issue to consider, but certainly not the only one, is that if the employment ends for any reason and the applicant submits in writing a request for you to pay for the return air fares, you are required to pay those return air fares within 30 days of that request. That would cover the visa applicant and all their family members that are included in the visa application.

Termination

If for any reason however you do not need the visa applicant anymore either for poor performance and you go through your normal process of termination or if you make them redundant or you no longer need them you can let them go and terminate their employment as you would any other employee. You’re not obligated to keep them for the full four years. You do need to notify the Department of Immigration once their
employment has ceased. The visa applicant would need to either find another employer to submit a new nomination to take over their visa or they would need to make arrangements to depart the country.

Permanent Visa Options

Once the visa applicant has worked for you for three years or if they held a 457 previously they also may only need to do two years. That’s quite a complicated issue and you’d need to research that more. Perhaps we’ll cover it in another video. But at the moment if they were a new applicant for a 482 visa and they’ve never been here before on a 457, if they work for you for three years then you could sponsor them for a permanent 186 Employer Nomination Scheme  or the 187 RSMS visa.  The only benefit of going via transition is they would not need a skill assessment.

You can always sponsor an employee immediately for a permanent visa, in an eligible occupation. They just need to obtain a skill assessment and have at least three years’ work experience. For the 482 visa they only need two years’ work experience. Some occupations don’t need a skills assessment. The skills assessment will be a separate issue that we’ll cover in another blog post.  Certain occupations for a 482 visa and if the applicant holds a passport from certain countries, they will be required to undergo a skill assessment. So I’ll address that in another blog post aswell.  If you find watching Video’s easier than reading text.  Please subscribe to our Youtube Channel.  Once you are a subscriber you can search our videos based on topics that interest you.

Questions?

I hope this has helped you just get a basic idea of what the 482 visa is. If you  have any questions feel free to message me directly via e-mail, phone or comment below and I will get back to you.  I may create another blog post answering your questions, so other people who might have the same question as you would benefit.

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