Costs of Sponsoring – Provision for refunds

As part of the process of requirements for nominating an overseas worker, a business is required to pay a nomination training contribution charge – now referred to as the Skilling Australians Fund Levy. The Skilling Australians Fund levy was established to ensure the businesses which employ foreign workers are also skilling Australians. 

The SAF Levy must be paid by employers whom wish to nominate foreign employees for the following visa subclasses: Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa; Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa; Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa; and Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa.

Whilst the Levy can often be seen as a disincentive to employ foreign workers, the Levy and other costs associated with sponsoring carry a provision for refunds to be made in certain circumstances.

The specific figure paid by the employer is depend on both the visa subclass, visa duration and latest annual turnover of the business.

In certain circumstances, the Department of Home Affairs may issue a full or partial refund of the Levy. These circumstances are outlined below:

  • lodgement of nomination due to mistake by the Department
  • withdrawal due to incorrect occupation or stream selection
  • withdrawal of nomination due to incorrect information used to calculate the SAF Levy
  • failure by the sponsor to become and approved standard business sponsor which was – either being refused or withdraw
  • refusal of visa application due to character, health or fraud-related grounds
  • failure of the applicant to commence work
  • employee ceasing employment within 1 year of employment
  • A prospective worker’s visa is granted but they fail to commence work with their employer

Please note, provisions for refunds are discretionary and based on the visa subclass applied for.

Written by Ross Ahmadzai

19 Oct, 2023

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