A new training levy applies to all 482, 186 ENS and 187 RSMS nominations lodged on or after 12 August 2018. So what is the training levy? How much will it cost and what are your options for a refund?
The Skilled Australia Fund (SAF) is managed by the Department of Education and Training (DET). The purpose of the training levy is to providing funding to the SAF/ DET to training Australian permanent residency and citizens.
The training levy is payable in full when lodging a nomination application. The amount depends on the turnover of the sponsoring business and the proposed period of stay in Australia for the nominated visa applicant. The training levy must be paid by the sponsoring employer and must not be passed onto the visa applicant.
|Business size||482 visa||ENS / RSMS visas|
|Small (annual turnover less than $10 million)||AUD1200 per year or part thereof||AUD3000 one-off|
|Other business (annual turnover of $10 million or more)||AUD1800 per year or part thereof||AUD5000 one-off|
Information provided in the online nomination application form is used to calculate the required training levy amount payable. After you have completed your online nomination form the system will generate the amount due. You must submit payment prior to finalising your nomination.
Example: a business with an annual turnover of more than AU$10M per year which wishes to nominate a 482 visa worker for a period of four years, would be liable to pay a training levy of AUD$7200 (4 years x AUD$1800).
- The nomination application form only allows sponsors to select one of the radio-button selections, being one, two, three or four year nomination period. The training levy payment is calculated based on the selected option.
- The training levy is payable at the time of lodging any nomination application. This includes where a nomination application is being lodged to allow a 482 visa holder to change employer or occupation.
Are there any exemptions to the training levy?
There are no exemptions for the training levy, except for religious workers nominated under a Labour Agreement. All other sponsors who are party to a Labour Agreement must also pay the training levy.
Refund provisions for the training levy
Refunds of the training levy are only available in any of the following scenarios:
- The sponsorship and visa applications are approved, but the overseas skilled worker (visa holder) does not commence employment with the employer.
- The employer’s sponsorship and nomination application for the overseas skilled worker is approved, but the associated visa application is refused on health or character grounds.
- A 482 visa holder leaves the sponsoring employer within the first 12 months of employment where the visa period was for more than 12 months. Refunds will only be available in this scenario for unused full years of the training levy. Note: This does not apply to ENS or RSMS holders who leave their employer within the first 12 months of employment.
- The nomination fee is refunded (for example where a concurrent sponsor application is refused).
According to current information released by DHA. Examples where the refund provisions would not apply :
- Employer pays for a 4 year, 482 nomination, which could cost $7200, $0 (zero) will be refunded if the visa applicant starts work and their employment ends, for any reason, after 12 months. If the employment ends within the first 12 months, $5400 will be refunded. Employer’s may want to conduct a very thorough review of their employee before the first 12 month period ends.
- Employer pays for a 4 year, 482 nomination, which could cost $7200, $0 (zero) will be refunded if the nomination is approved but the visa application is refused due to the applicant not meeting the skill, work experience or English language requirements.
- Employer pays for a 1 year, 482 nomination, which could cost AUD$1800, $0 (zero) will be refunded if the visa applicant commences work and their employment is terminated one week later.
Employers may consider lodging just a 1 year 482 visa nomination. The training levy for one year could be $1800. If the applicant remains with the company, the employer could submit another 482 nomination to extend the stay beyond the first year. In this scenario, the employer will initially save 3 years of the training levy being $5400. However, the visa applicant will only be granted a 1 year 482 visa because the nomination was only for 1 year. So the employer will be up for both a new nomination and a new visa application to extend the stay beyond the first year. The visa application fee for occupation on the medium term skills list is $2455 plus a nomination fee $330, total $2785. The employer could save $5400 if the employee doesn’t work out but will incur an additional $2785 if the employee does work out. (These figures do not include migration agent fees.)
Options to employer sponsorship?
Employers should consider having their employees assessed for eligibility against all other visa classes. If the visa applicant is already working on a Working Holiday visa 417 or 457, they may qualify for a 189 Skilled Independent, 190 State Sponsored or 489 Skilled Provisional visa. These visa subclasses require an invitation to lodge from the Department of Home Affairs. It takes time and there are no guarantees they will receive an invitation. The sooner they start the process the more likely they are to receive an invitation before their current visa expires.