The Impact of Sponsored Work Visa Policy Changes

The Impact Of Changes To The Sponsorship Regime

It has been nearly a year and a half since the new sponsored working visa policy changes have come into effect in March 2018. The main purpose of the new changes is to ensure that businesses are doing their best to source a local Australian worker prior to accessing overseas talent and are in genuine need to fill a genuine position. The impact of the sponsored work visa policy changes is evident among many Australian businesses.

482 Sponsored Visa Changes

Since then, businesses have been struggling with understanding the process of the new working visa program (mainly 482); learning about how the Skilled Australian Funding Levy (SAF) fees work, and choosing the most appropriate position to nominate. 

The changes have certainly turned away a lot of SME’s in directly sponsoring overseas workers due to the associated complications and unreasonable costs and HR personnel are turning to expensive outsourced migration solutions where in the past they used to directly manage the visa applications for their overseas staff.

In addition, the visa applications fees have substantially increased especially with the introduction of Skilled Australian Funding Levy (SAF) fees. SAF fees are for employers to contribute to the broader skills development of Australians introduced in August 2018. 

For example, to sponsor an overseas employee on a temporary working visa (TSS 482 – long term) the government fees alone would calculate as follows:

  • Sponsorship Application for a business to become an approved sponsor: AUD $420
  • Nomination Application: AUD $330
  • SAF fees for a period of 4 years if the employer’s business turnover is less than AUD $10 million (4 years x AUD $1,200): AUD $4,800
  • Visa Application fees for the nominated employee if single and offshore: $2,645
  • Total: AUD $8,195
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