increase-in-TSMIIT

Increase in Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) for Visa Sponsorship

The Australian Government has announced that from 1 July 2024, the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) will be increased from the current $70,000 to $73,150.

All new employer nomination applications that are submitted on or after 1 July 2024 must be above the new TSMIT.

The following visa subclasses will be affected by the increase in the minimum salary threshold:

  1. Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa;
  2. Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa Direct Entry stream; and
  3. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494) visa.

It is to be noted that the new increase to the TSMIT from 1 July 2024 will most likely not impact current TSS subclasses 482 visa or 494 visa holders, or nomination and visa applications lodged prior to 1 July 2024 where the TSMIT is below the new minimum salary threshold of $73,150.

For advice regarding Australian visas and sponsoring skilled overseas workers, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanimmigration.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

 

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

australian-visa-changes

Australian Visa Changes Announced in the 2024/2025 Federal Budget

The Australian Government released the 2024/25 Federal Budget on 14 May 2024 which contained several immigration updates and proposed visa changes to be introduced in the new financial year. The Government stated that it will allocate 185,000 places to the permanent migration program with over 70% allocated to the Skilled visa stream.

The following immigration reforms were proposed:

  1. Changes to the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa

The Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa will require only one year of relevant work experience from 23 November 2024 as opposed to the current requirement of two years’ work experience.

  1. Changes to the Business Innovation and Investment Visa and Global Talent Visa

The Business Innovation and Investment Visa as well as the Global Talent Visa will be replaced by the National Innovation Visa, the criteria for which has not yet been announced. The new National Innovation Visa is set to be introduced later in 2024. This visa will target exceptionally talented applicants who can contribute to growth in sectors of national importance.

  1. Changes to the Work and Holiday visa for Chinese, Vietnamese & Indian Nationals

New regulations will be introduced for Work and Holiday Visas for China, Vietnam, and Indian nationals in which a pre-application ballot process to regulate program demand is set to be introduced.

  1. Introduction of the Mobility Arrangements for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) Visa for Indian Nationals

The new Mobility Arrangements for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) will be rolled out, commencing on 1 November 2024 for 3,000 young professionals from India aged 18 to 30 years old, possessing expertise in targeted fields of study. Visas will be subjected to a ballot process and will permit a stay of up to two years in Australia.

5. International Student Visa Changes:

The Federal Government has also announced plans to collaborate with international education providers to limit the number of international students enrolled at any given time. New regulations are intended to tie the number of international students a university can enroll to its available student housing, aiming to alleviate pressure on the housing market.

The Migration Strategy released by the Federal Government back in December 2023 proposed the introduction of a new Skills in Demand visa intended to replace the existing TSS subclass 482 visa. However, the 2024/2025 Budget does not provide details on its timeline for implementation.  There are also no details on major changes to existing permanent employer-sponsored and skilled migration pathways.

We will continue to update our clients and contacts with Australian immigration and visa changes as they are introduced by the Australian Federal Government.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

standard-business-sponsorship-obligations

Standard Business Sponsorship Obligations

Becoming a standard business sponsor can be a significant benefit to an Australian business. It means that during the recruitment process, if the most appropriate candidate is not an Australian citizen or permanent resident and would provide the business with the skills required to assist with growth and development then the company can nominate the employee for a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS)(subclass 482) visa or a Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (Provisional) (subclass 494) visa.

Becoming a standard business sponsor entitles a business to sponsor overseas employees for five years on subclass 482 and subclass 494 visas. During the five years that a company is registered as a standard business sponsor, the business must ensure that it abides by the sponsorship obligations set out by the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

What Obligations are Standard Business Sponsors required to meet?

  1. Inform the DHA when there are changes in the business

A standard business sponsor must advise the DHA when there are changes to the following for a sponsor:

  • Legal name;
  • Trading name;
  • Registration details;
  • Business structure;
  • Ongoing communication contact;
  • Owners, directors, principals or partners; and
  • Business address.

The standard business sponsor must also advise the DHA in the following circumstances:

  • If the business becomes insolvent or is bankrupt;
  • If the business goes into receivership, liquidation or administration; or
  • If the business ceases to exist as a legal entity.
  1. Inform the DHA when there are changes to a sponsored employees work arrangements

A standard business sponsor must advise the DHA in writing if the employee being sponsored:

  • Ceases employment;
  • Has a change in duties; or
  • Did not commence working with the business.
  1. A standard business sponsor must ensure that the overseas employee works only in the nominated occupation stated in the nomination approval notice.

If the business would like a visa holder to work in a different occupation, then the sponsor will need to lodge a new nomination.

If the employee is being sponsored under the TSS subclass 482 or the Skilled SESR visa subclass 494, the employee will also need to apply for and be granted a new visa.

  1. A standard business sponsor must keep records of the sponsored workers’ employment with the business.

A standard business sponsor must keep records to show compliance with the organisation’s sponsorship obligations. All records must be kept in a reproducible format. The sponsor must keep records of:

  • The written contract of employment the sponsor engages each sponsored employee under;
  • Record of annual/personal/sick/parental leave taken by the employee;
  • Record of a change in salary of the sponsored employee;
  • Written requests for payment of travel costs for the employee or their family, including when the request was received, how, how much and to whom the travel costs were paid;
  • Tasks performed by the sponsored employee in relation to the nominated occupation and where the tasks were performed;
  • Earnings paid to the sponsored employee; and
  • Non-monetary benefits provided to the employee, such as training and professional development provided to the sponsored employee.
  1. A standard business sponsor is required to pay the travel costs of a sponsored worker if requested in writing.

A standard business sponsor must pay ‘reasonable and necessary’ travel costs to let the sponsored employee and their sponsored family members, leave Australia.

The DHA considers all of the following costs to be reasonable and necessary:

  • Travel from the employee’s usual place of residence in Australia to their departure point from Australia;
  • Travel from Australia to the country for which the employee holds a passport and intends to travel to; and
  • Economy class air travel or reasonable equivalent.

To pay travel costs, a written request for payment must be made by:

  • The sponsored employee; or
  • The DHA on behalf of the sponsored employee

Travel costs must be paid within 30 days of receiving the request.

Staying compliant

Having the ability to be able to sponsor overseas employees enables Australian and overseas business sponsors to have access to a much wider pool of candidates to be able to employ the candidate with the skills and experience needed to grow the business.

Being aware and complying with the standard business sponsorship obligations from the time the business begins sponsoring overseas employees under the TSS subclass 482 or SESR subclass 494 visa program is essential to protecting the business from compliance breaches. Ensuring compliance with the above-mentioned sponsorship obligations explained above is essential to ensure that a business does not put itself at risk of being liable for significant penalties and the cancellation of their sponsorship status.

For advice regarding Australian visas and sponsoring skilled overseas workers, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanimmigration.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

 

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

mates-Australian-visa-program

Introducing the MATES Australian Visa Program for Indian Professionals

The Australian Government announced that in mid-2024 Australia will begin accepting visa applications from Indian graduates and early stage professionals as part of the new Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early Professionals Scheme (MATES). This new visa scheme is aimed at addressing skills shortages in Australia in selected industries through inviting early career Indian professionals to live and work in Australia as holders of this visa.

The MATES visa program forms part of the groundbreaking Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA) between India and Australia which was signed by both governments in 2023. The MMPA reflects the deepening bilateral relationship and aim to foster increased economic collaboration and talent exchange between the two countries.

The MATES visa scheme will entitle eligible Indian nationals to a multiple entry Australian work visa for a period of up to two years and there will be no requirement for sponsorship by an Australian employer.

 MATES Visa Requirements

The MATES program will provide opportunities for Indian nationals to live and work in Australia who meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 30 or younger (inclusive) at the time of application
  • Proficient in English
  • Within two years of graduating from an eligible educational institution
  • Qualified in:
    • Renewable energy
    • Mining
    • Engineering
    • ICT
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Financial technology, or
    • Agricultural technology.

Importantly, sponsorship will not be required for visa applicants under the MATES program.

 Available Places

The Australian Government is set to introduce the MATES program in mid-2024 with initially opening 3,000 places to eligible Indian nationals.

This will be part of a pilot program which will be monitored by the Australian Government and if successful, additional places will be provided to eligible applicants.

Addressing the Skills Gap for Australian Employers

The MATES program is intended to enable global mobility for skilled Indian nationals which will be mutually beneficial to the visa holders and to Australian businesses who will benefit from the entrance into the Australian workforce of skilled employees where there are gaps in the labour market, including in the areas of renewable energy, mining, engineering, ICT, artificial intelligence, financial technology and agricultural technology.

The MATES program will facilitate global mobility for skilled Indian nationals and enable Australian employers to access skilled workers in fields where there are labour shortages.

For advice regarding Australian work visas and applying for an Australian visa through the MATES visa scheme, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanimmigration.com.au.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

overseas-company-sponsor

Can an Overseas Company Sponsor Employees to Work in Australia?

We have arranged for overseas companies to sponsor employees to work in Australia on numerous occasions through the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS)(subclass 482) visa program, even if the company does not yet have operations in Australia.

An overseas company is able to sponsor employees to work in Australia in the following circumstances:

  • Where the employee will establish, or assist in establishing, on the sponsor’s behalf a business operation in Australia with overseas connections; or
  • Where the employee is required to fulfil contractual obligations for the business in Australia.

Enabling global and offshore businesses to sponsor overseas employees has provided clients with a huge benefit in establishing their business in Australia or meeting contractual obligations by sending staff to Australia who are highly skilled and already familiar with the business.

For advice regarding Australian visas and sponsoring skilled overseas workers, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanimmigration.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

short-term-482-visa

Applying for Australian Permanent Residency from a Short-Term 482 Visa

The Australian Government has introduced significant changes since the Australian Government released its new Migration Strategy on 11 December 2023 as part of its extensive Review of the Migration System. One significant change assisting our clients is that employees who were sponsored on Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS)(subclass 482) visas can now apply for Australian permanent residency through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa program even if the overseas worker’s occupation appears on the Short-Term Occupation List.

The time of grant for a TSS subclass 482 visa on the Short-Term Occupation List is two years. The Australian Government reduced the amount of time of holding a TSS subclass 482 visa to be eligible to apply for permanent residency via the ENS subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT)stream to two years, down from the previous three years.

This discrepancy has left a challenge to Short-Term 482 visa holders.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) have agreed that on a case by case basis Short-Term 482 visa holders may be able to apply for the ENS subclass 186 visa TRT stream ‘a few days’ prior to meeting the two year requirement.

However, it may be risky to apply for an ENS subclass 186 visa only a few days before the Short-Term 482 visa expires for the following reasons:

  1. The TRT stream requires the applicant to have worked in Australia for two years prior to lodging the ENS subclass 186 visa application. Therefore, this criteria might not be met if the applicant took a certain amount of leave or travelled during the two year period; and/or
  1. The applicant may have commenced work with the employer weeks or months after the TSS subclass 482 visa was granted and in this situation the applicant would therefore not meet the two-year requirement.

Thus, in some situations before nominating employees for Australian permanent residency via the ENS subclass 186 visa program, companies may need to sponsor overseas workers transitioning from Short-Term 482 visas for an additional year.

For advice regarding Australian visas and sponsoring skilled overseas workers, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanimmigration.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

right-to-disconnect

Proposed Bill to Entitle Workers in Australia to the ‘Right to Disconnect’

For our clients sponsoring overseas employees to work in Australia, it is relevant to note that the Australian Federal Government announced that it will introduce laws giving workers the ‘right to disconnect’ under the Fair Work Amendment (Right to Disconnect) Bill 2023.

Specifically, the laws will provide workers with the right to ignore engaging in ‘work activities’ outside of work hours without facing a penalty, unless the reason for the contact is an emergency or genuine welfare matter or the employee is in receipt of an availability allowance for the period during which the contact is made. Under the legislation, work activities which employees can ignore outside regular work hours include monitoring, reading or responding to emails, telephone calls or any other kind of communication from an employer.

It has also been announced that potential fines will apply to employers penalising workers for exercising the right to reasonably disconnect.

The new law is similar to the French labour law which commenced in 2017 attempting to preserve a ‘right to disconnect’ for employees.

If it passes, the ‘right to disconnect’ bill will apply to overseas workers as well as Australian employees.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

pacific-engagement-visa

Australian Pacific Engagement (Subclass 192) Visa Announced

The Australian Federal Government has announced that a ‘Pacific Engagement’ visa will be introduced to provide permanent migration to residents of selected Pacific Island countries interested in resettling in Australia.

The exact details of the Pacific Engagement visas are still being negotiated, but it seems that up to 3,000 permanent Australian visas will be granted to citizens of participating countries each year via a ballot selection process.

Applications for the ballot will be able to be submitted through the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) online lodgement portal.

When will the Pacific Engagement Visa come into effect?

It is expected that the ballot to apply for a Pacific Engagement visa for eligible candidates will open at a date in 2024, to be specified by the Australian Government later in the year.

What is the Pacific Engagement (Subclass 192) Visa

The new Pacific Engagement visa will grant Australian permanent residency to participants across the Pacific and Timor-Leste who successfully win the ballot and meet the eligibility criteria for this visa.

The exact participating countries has not been determined, however the Australian Government has stated that eligible countries may include the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The Australian Government has stated that it continues to consult with Pacific countries and Timor-Leste on their interest in participating in the program.

What are the Pacific Engagement Visa Requirements

The exact eligibility requirements for the Pacific Engagement visa have not yet been decided, however it has been proposed that primary applicants may need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be aged between 18 to 45 to enter the ballot;
  • Be selected through the ballot process;
  • Secure a formal ongoing job offer in Australia (or their partner/spouse must have a job offer);
  • Meet English language, character and health checks;
  • Hold a passport for a participating country; and
  • Have been born in or have a parent who was born in an eligible country.

Primary visa applicants will most likely be able to include a spouse or de facto partner and legally dependent children in their application.

For advice regarding Australian visas, please do not hesitate to contact us at  info@hartmanimmigration.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

skills-in-demand-visa

Australian Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (Subclass 482) Visa Set to be Replaced by the ‘Skills in Demand’ Visa

As we welcome in the new year, it is expected that further Australian visa changes will be introduced by the Federal Government in 2024 in the wake of the December 2023 Migration Review. A major change proposed by the Australian Government is to replace the current Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS)(subclass 482) work visa with the ‘Skills in Demand’ visa.

Summary of the Skills in Demand Visa

The Skills in Demand visa is a proposed four-year temporary Australian work visa with three different visa streams targeting various skill levels and industries. The new visa is intended to offer pathways for all visa holders to apply for Australian permanent residency.

The Minister for Immigration, Clare O’Neil, stated in the Migration Review that the Skills in Demand visa is intended to include the following three visa streams:

  1. Specialist Skills Pathway: This is for highly skilled workers with a $135,000 minimum salary.
  2. Core Skills Pathway: This will have an updated occupation list and a $70,000 minimum salary threshold.
  3. Essential Skills Pathway: This steam will target lower-paid workers.

Intended Increased Worker Mobility

As part of the Australian Government’s plan for increased overseas worker mobility and ability to change employers, the new provisions are set to include recognition of time spent with approved employers towards permanent residency as opposed to restarting the clock for Temporary Residence Transition when temporary visa holders change employers.

The Government has also announced that Skills in Demand visa holders will be entitled to a 180-day period to find a new employer whilst retaining the ability to work.

We will keep you updated with new developments regarding the introduction of the Skills in Demand visa and will advise if and when it replaces the TSS subclass 482 visa program.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

labour-market-testing

Changes to Labour Market Testing for Subclass 482 and 494 Nominations

The Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) published legislation on 11 December 2023 that implements several changes to the Labour Market Testing requirements under the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (SESR) subclass 494 visa programs, effective immediately.

The published legislation assists sponsors by reducing the number of advertisements employers must post from three to two and eliminates the requirement for the advertisement to be posted on the Australian Government’s Workforce Australia website. These eased requirements apply to all applications filed on or after December 11, 2023, and those filed before December 11 but not yet decided.

In addition, the legislation confirms that “back-to-back” advertisements, where, for example, an advertisement is run for 21 days and then a duplicate advertisement is run for 12 days, are not acceptable. While advertisements can run in parallel and at the same time, employers must ensure that each advertisement runs for at least four consecutive weeks to meet the requirement.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.