Skip to main content

Are you aware of the Skilling Australians Fund? Whether you lodge for a four year visa upfront, or lodge yearly, be careful of the extra costs.


The proposed new legislation which will introduce the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) has passed in parliament and is currently awaiting Royal Assent. Once it receives Royal Assent, both the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2017 and associated Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Bill 2017 will come into effect.


Under the SAF, businesses looking to sponsor employees for a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 Visa (previously known as the subclass 457 Visa) will be required to make an upfront payment between $1,200 and $1,800 for each year they will be sponsoring.

Businesses with a turnover of $10 million or higher will need to pay $1,800 per year of sponsorship, and businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million will need to pay $1,200 per year of sponsorship.

Businesses wishing to nominate employees for an Australian Permanent Residence visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186), will need to make a one off payment of either $3,000 or $5,000, depending on the businesses’ turnover. The new levies will be funnelled into the Skilling Australians Fund to pay for trade training and apprenticeships.


What does this mean?


Any upcoming applications under the new 482 TSS Visa or permanent residence applications under the Employer Nomination Scheme, will likely be affected (depending on their lodgement date), and may be subject to the additional costs.


Example of New Costings for a Temporary Skill Shortage subclass 482 Visa


A company with an annual turnover greater than $10 million AUD is looking to sponsor a single person on a TSS subclass 482 Visa. The occupation is listed on the Medium to Long-Term Skill Shortage List, meaning that the individual is eligible for a four year visa.


Cost Breakdown for Upfront Payment


The first option for the company is to lodge the four year visa and pay the Skilling Australians Fund training levy for the four years up front.


$2400 for government charges

$1800 x 4 years – total of $7200 training levy charges*

$2000 average qualified migration agent costs


That a total up front of $11,600


*The training levy costs of $7200 cannot be paid for by the individual nor can the company charge the costs back to the individual at any point. However, there is a clause which covers the company should the individual leave the company before the initial twelve months is completed, in which case the government will refund the remaining three years of payment.


Cost Breakdown for Yearly Payment


Alternatively, the company may choose to lodge the visa on a yearly basis, and pay the SAF training levy on a yearly basis, so that they are not out of pocket for the upfront costs. This is an option, however the overall cost does sky rocket every time you lodge for a new visa as you have to pay the following again:


$2400 for lodgement

$700 for lodgement of a person with a substantive visa on the ground

$1800 for the training levy for 1 year

$2000 average qualified migration agent costs


Total costs $6900 per year


Comparison For a Company with 10 Million Annual Turnover
Visa Length Upfront Cost* Yearly Cost* (Accumulative) Savings when paying Upfront
2 $8 330 $13 760 $5 430
3 $10 130 $20 290 $10 160
4 $11 930 $26 820 $14 890

*Approximate cost as of 18/5/2018


It is also important to remember that any dependant on the visa is an extra $2400 per lodgement. This means that it will be a one off payment of $2400 if you lodge and pay for the entire four year visa upfront, but if you re-lodge and pay on a yearly basis, the cost for a single dependant over the four years will be $9600. However, the company can ask for an individual to cover the cost of a dependant being included on their visa, and the individual is certainly going to push for the cheaper option of singular lodgement.

Purnima Kabra