Visa Migration Services Australia

SAF introduced July 1? Businesses should be prepared


Any business looking to sponsor a worker/s needs to act fast to avoid paying additional costs.   

The Skilled Australia Fund (SAF) is a new scheme under Australian migration law to replace the previous regime of the Training Benchmark and applies to the following work sponsored visas:

  1. 186 - Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS)
  2. 187 - Regional Employer Nominated Scheme (RSMS)
  3. 882 - Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS)

To be granted the above visas the business sponsorship a worker had to establish they had committed either 1% of their payroll to the training of Australian citizens or permanent residents in their workplace, or 2% of turnover into a training fund relevant to the nature of the business in the 12 months before the application (and in the case of the previous 457 visa per year for the duration of the ongoing sponsorship. This was known as the Training Benchmark.  

This system was replaced earlier in 2018 by the Skilled Australia Fund:  

  • For the 186 ENS visa the Nominating Business is to make an up-front, one-off payment of $3000 ($3,000 for small businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $5,000 for other businesses)) for each visa applicant.  
  • For the 882 TSS an up-front payment is to be paid for each year of the nominated position (for a business with a turnover greater than $10 million: $1,800 for each year of the TSS visa, payable at the time the nomination is lodged. For a turnover less than $10 million: $1,200 for each year of the TSS visa, payable at the time the nomination is lodged). 

For now, the Training Benchmark is in place with the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) setting out that the SAF would be implemented anytime between before November 23, 2018. 

However, on June 13 2018 the DoHA confirmed that the SAF payment would be implement in the first quarter of the 2018-2019 year. 

It is very possible it will come into effect on June 1 2018. This leaves nominating businesses little time to lodge their applications. Doing so before July 1 2018 will avoid the cost of having to pay the SAF. 

Businesses are advised to act fast. 

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