Aug 09 2018

Upcoming Amendments to Labour Market Testing Requirements and Introduction of Skilling Australians Fund Charge


The situation

The Australian government has amended the evidence requirements for labour market testing (LMT) for Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa nomination applications, effective August 12, 2018. Additionally, sponsors for TSS applicants will need to pay the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) charge when they file TSS nomination applications on or after that date.

A closer look

  • Labour market testing. TSS nomination applications require sponsoring employers to demonstrate that they have tested the labour market to ensure that there are no suitably qualified and experienced Australians readily available to fill the nominated role.
    • Amended requirements. TSS nomination applications lodged on or after August 12, 2018 must be accompanied by evidence of LMT which meets the following amended requirements:
      • The sponsor has advertised the role in Australia within the four months prior to the application (this is a reduction from the previous six months);
      • The advertisement appeared in at least two of the following acceptable channels:
        • National recruitment websites, such as Jobsearch;
        • National print media;
        • National radio;
        • An industry-specific national recruitment website;
        • Through subscription to Linkedin Recruiter; and
        • If the sponsor is accredited, on the business' website.
      • The advertisements ran for at least 28 consecutive days (an increase from the previous 21 days); and
      • The advertisement was in English and contained the title or description of the position, name of sponsor or recruitment agency, and the proposed salary.
    • Exemptions. There are a limited number of exemptions to the LMT requirement based on Australia's international trade obligations. Alternative evidence from the above may be accepted in certain circumstances. The Australian Department of Home Affairs is expected to confirm if current LMT policy exemptions with respect to intra-corporate transfers will continue.

  • Skilling Australians Fund charge. Starting August 12, 2018, the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) charge will be payable by sponsors at the time of lodgement of each TSS nomination application. It will also be payable when lodging nomination applications under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) permanent residency visa programs.
    • Purpose. The funds will be used to provide training to disadvantaged Australians in areas of skills needs. This replaces the sponsorship obligation to demonstrate the business' commitment to training its Australian staff.
    • Amount payable. The levy amount will be determined by the turnover of the business, as follows: 



TSS temporary visa

ENS / RSMS permanent visa

Less than AUD 10 million

AUD 1,200 per year of visa requested

AUD 3,000 one-off payment

More than AUD 10 million

AUD 1,800 per year of visa requested

AUD 5,000 one-off payment


In March 18, 2018, the subclass 457 visa was replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa. As part of this transition, the government introduced two key reforms, namely, the implementation of mandatory, universal labour market testing requirements and the introduction of the SAF charge.

Keep up to date with all the changes at Fragomen’s dedicated Australian reforms page.

Fragomen will continue to monitor the release of further information and will provide updates as available. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to

MARN 0849574