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Skilled Migration

Employer Sponsored Australian Skilled Visas – Advice on the Skilling Australians Fund

The Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy Commenced on the 12th of August 2018

What is the SAF levy?

 

The SAF levy is a levy payable by employers nominating overseas skilled workers for any of the following visas:

* Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482)

* Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186)

* Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (subclass      187)

The purpose of the SAF levy is to require employers who sponsor temporary and permanent overseas skilled workers to contribute to the broader skills development of Australians.

The SAF levy amount is payable in full when lodging a nomination application. The amount depends on the size of the sponsoring business and the proposed period of stay of the overseas worker in Australia. SAF levy payments are tax deductible.

 

 

Levy Amounts

 

Annual turnover of less than $10 million

TSS 482 visa: AUD1,200 per year or part thereof

ENS 186 visa: AUD3,000 one-off

 

Annual turnover $10 million or more

TSS 482 visa: AUD1,800 per year or part thereof

ENS 186 visa: AUD5,000 one-off

 

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 SAF levy of AUD7200 (4 years x AUD1800).

 

Note:

* The SAF 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.

 

Can I ask my employee to pay the SAF levy?

No. Sponsors must not pass on the costs of the SAF levy to overseas skilled workers.

 

Can I request a refund of the SAF levy?

Refunds of the SAF 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 arrive/commence employment with the employer.

* The employer’s sponsorship and nomination application 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 SAF 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).

 

Refunds Overview Regulations 2.73AA Regulations provide for refunds of nomination fee paid by business sponsors.

The amounts may be refunded where a written request has been made by the business who paid the nomination fee. The fee may also be refunded where the DHA considers it is reasonable in the circumstances to refund the fee without receiving a written request.

Refund due to failure to commence employment

The nomination fee and SAF levy may be refunded if a 482 visa is granted and the visa holder fails to commence employment.

Refund due to incorrect SAF levy payment

The nomination fee and SAF levy may be refunded where the nomination is withdrawn because the information in the nomination used to work out the nomination training contribution charge was incorrect.

Refund due to sponsorship application withdrawn or refused

The nomination fee and SAF levy may be refunded if the nomination is withdrawn because the business has withdrawn their application to be approved as a sponsor or their sponsorship application is refused.

Refund due to visa application being refused on Health or Character grounds

The nomination fee and SAF levy may be refunded if the 482 visa application is refused on Health or Character grounds only ; IE under s501, s501A or s501B of the Act or because the visa applicant did not satisfy public interest criterion 4001, 4002, 4003, 4007 or 4020 (and the visa application has been finally determined).

Refund due to a mistake made by the Department

The nomination fee may be refunded where the nomination application was made because of a mistake by the Department

 

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