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With the introduction of the temporary skill shortage visa, it has become more difficult to sponsor foreign workers to Australia.


New Requirements

A business looking to nominate foreign workers (a nominee) should be mindful of the new requirements as non-compliance would risk refusal of your application, delay in the sponsoring process and negatively affect your business plan.



The majority of businesses cannot immediately lodge a nomination application without having first completed two important processes:

  • labour market testing
  • making a contribution to the skilling Australians fund

If though you are an accredited sponsor, this process can be streamlined.


Labour Market Testing

A standard business sponsor is often obligated to first explore the domestic labour market for suitable Australian candidates who can fill in the nominated position.

It essentially requires:

  • advertising (and accepting applications) for the nominated position on at least 2 reputed and country-wide job listing newspaper(s) or website(s)
  • doing so for a period of at least 4 weeks within the 4 month period prior to lodging the visa nomination application for the nominee



The only current possible exemption is where an application is lodged on or after 18 March 2018 and the above conditions are inconsistent with Australia’s international trade obligations – in that case, labour market testing will usually not be required – examples include:

  • nominees who are a citizen of China, Japan and Thailand
  • nominees who are a citizen/permanent resident of Chile, Korea, New Zealand or Singapore
  • nominees who are a current employee of an associated business of the sponsor located in Chile, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, or any ASEAN nation



The to-do checklist for labour market testing is extensive and extra care is recommended, particularly when an Australian employee who has previously worked in the nominated position was made redundant.


Skilling Australians Fund

For all nomination applications lodged on or after 12 August 2018, the standard business sponsor must pay the below amount as a contribution to this fund and this must be paid prior to making the nomination application:

  • $1,200 multiplied by the nominee’s visa period if the business’s annual turnover is less than $10,000,000
  • $1,800 multiplied by the nominee’s visa period in any other case



The levy is exempted when there is a labour agreement between the business and the relevant Government Department and the occupation nominated is a minister of religion or religious assistant.


Other Considerations

As there are other elements to satisfy in order to meet the labour market testing and contribution to the skilling Australians fund requirements, it is vital that any business seeking to make an application for a nominee fully understands their obligations in advance and thereafter complies with those obligations.


More Information

Please contact our migration lawyer, Minh Huynh, at Matthews Folbigg Lawyers on 9635 7966 if you require legal advice on any visa or migration matters relating to your business.