On 18 March 2018, the Federal Government introduced the Subclass 482 visa program designed to take over the Subclass 457 Temporary Skilled Visa. Key features of the program which have not been introduced yet are the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) and amended Labour Market Testing (LMT) provisions as these are subject to the passage of legislation.
The SAF will take over the current training provision and will require employers to make an upfront contribution for each employee it wishes to sponsor under the 482 program. As for the LMT, this is already a mandatory requirement for certain occupations but we expect stricter guidelines such as advertisements being published in English and mandatory use of national recruitment websites.
In the meantime, the following requirements will now apply under Subclass 482:
- The applicant must have worked in the nominated occupation or a related field for at least 2 years prior to lodgement. The rigidity of this interpretation has not been tested but it is expected that anyone who is going to be nominated for a role needs to have accumulated fulltime work experience (minimum 35 hours a week) in the nominated role prior to being sponsored for the 482
- The applicant is a genuine applicant for entry. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will now assess the applicants immigration history to ensure they have been compliant with previous visa conditions
- English language requirement. Unless the applicant holds a valid passport from the United Kingdom, United States, Ireland, Canada or New Zealand, they may need to complete an English language test. If the applicant has completed five years fulltime study at a secondary or higher education they are taken to satisfy this requirement. The other exemption is if they are transferring to Australia and going to be paid a base salary above $96,400 per annum
- The minimum pay a 482 employee will need to be subject to is $53,900 excluding superannuation per annum
- Skills assessment will be required for those nominated as a program or project administrator or specialist manager (not elsewhere classified). The provision for mandatory skills assessment based on the persons’ nationality and type of occupation they are being sponsored for will continue to apply.
The visa fee component has increased under the 482 program. For an occupation appearing on the short-term list, the base application fee is now $1,150. Family members above 18 are charged $1,150 and under 18 are $290.
For an occupation appearing on the medium term and labour agreement streams, the base application fee is now $2,400. Family members above 18 are charged $2,400 and under 18 are $600. Costs for the sponsorship ($420) and nomination ($330) components remain the same.
We anticipate the LMT and SAF requirements will commence shortly. We are monitoring updates coming from the government as well the DHA and will bring them to you as they appear.