Skilling Australians Fund – what is it and when is it going to be introduced?

Zhanna Heenan

Visa News
The Australian Senate has just passed a bill introducing the Skilling Australian Fund (SAF) Levy. It will have a significant impact on businesses wanting to sponsor overseas workers on short-term and permanent visas. The aim of the fund is to support up to 300,000 more apprenticeships, traineeships, and other employment-related training. The government estimates an increase in tax receipts of AU$1.2 billion as a result of the levy. This levy will replace the current training benchmarks for employer-sponsored visas. Currently, businesses wishing to sponsor must provide evidence that they spend at least 1% of their annual payroll on training Australian workers or contribute 2% of their annual payroll to an approved training fund. The government believes this system is too hard to police.

Employers who wish to nominate a worker for a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, an Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 visa or a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 visa will be required to pay a levy to the Skilling Australian Fund. If introduced, the levy will be:

  • Temporary visa – TSS
    • Small businesses – $1,200 annually per temporary worker nominated

    • Medium to large businesses – $1,800 annually per temporary worker nominated

  • Permanent Visa – ENS or RSMS
    • Small businesses – $3,000 for each employee on a permanent employer sponsored visa

    • Medium to large businesses – $5,000 for each employee on a permanent employer sponsored visa

Businesses will be required to pay this levy at the time the worker is nominated. The Australian Tax Office has advised that the levy would be tax deductible. The Skilling Australian Fund will be administered by the Department of Education and Training.

If you would like advice on sponsoring staff, please call our office 0490 324416 or send us an email at



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