Hiring workers from overseas makes most employers break into a cold sweat, thinking about the Department of Home Affairs breathing down our necks, making sure that we meet the long list of obligations and hoping that we won’t be starring in the next A Current Affair exposed. Particularly now, with Immigration being a hot topic in the news and changes happening here, there and everywhere, it is making employers less likely to sponsor someone coming from overseas.
It’s important to know that if you understand what is required of you and do the right thing, sponsoring an overseas employee can be extremely beneficial for your business. Our in-house migration expert Kellee Gray, attended a conversation with the Department of Home Affairs to learn about the upcoming changes in the work visa sphere and for first time ever, we can say that the Department is actually making it easier on employers.
If you are already a sponsor, you will know that the training is the most painful aspect of sponsoring someone from overseas for either a temporary or permanent visa. The good news is that this is now history (can I get a woo-hoo!). That’s right, no more trying to work out what 1% or 2% of our wages are, no more trying to decipher what Immigration classifies as ‘payroll’ (yes, we know that you do not pay super or tax for them and only get a small percentage of the income, but you do have to include your contractors). It is now simply a one-off payment at the time of nomination as below:
This may seem quite high but if you think about the amount you pay in payroll (particularly medical centres with multiple doctors) and work out what 1% of that is over 5 years, this probably won’t even come close.
After the implementation of the TSS you can continue to lodge nominations using your current 457 Standard Business Sponsorship so long as it is valid. Once this is getting close to expiring, you will need to renew online with a simplified form- there will be no training requirements, and there are auto-approvals for businesses without any integrity concerns. That means your sponsorship could be approved in minutes rather than months! They are also looking at introducing an auto-email after June 2018 to remind sponsors to renew their sponsorship.
After March, they are introducing the ability to update the department online via Immiaccount on any changes to your business, or a visa holder leaving etc. This will make it much easier to comply with your sponsorship obligations.
The Department are making it very clear that the TSS IS NOT the 457 visa- even giving it a nickname with letters rather than numbers. It is hard to deny though, that this looks like the 457 with a shiny new haircut. After the bad rap that the 457 has been copping in the media for years, we don’t blame them. But with a few tweaks, the requirements are much the same.
– Labour Market Testing (LMT) will be mandatory and they are putting specifics in place on the requirements of this (currently sitting in parliament waiting for the final stamp of approval), in regards to length of time advertising is required and within certain timeframes before application.
– Salary and conditions requirements are being tightened with an Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) to be specified, but other than a new acronym to learn there is not much difference here.
– Condition 8107 – the condition for an employee to only work with the sponsoring employer has been replaced by condition 8607 which requires the employee to only work within their nominated occupation with the same employer. Exemptions for this will still be available allowing Medical Practitioners to be engaged as contractors
– 2 streams –
– Minimum of 2 years work experience required in the nominated occupation
The trend that we are seeing with the TSS requirements, is they are trying to structure into the legislation what they have been unofficially doing in practice in the 457 for some time now. None of this really comes as a surprise, but there is more guidance on what they are looking for.
There has not been too much change here for the employer side, only that you will no longer have to provide evidence of meeting the training benchmarks. This applies for RSMS & ENS, both the Direct Entry (DE) and Temporary Resident Transition (TRT) streams. The ENS will be available to occupations on the MLTSSL only and the RSMS will have a separate list, allowing some additional occupations for regional areas.
The process and requirements for TRT will depend on when the visa applicant was granted their 457 visa and should be checked in each individual case.
In summary, the changes are meant to make it easier on you if you genuinely need an overseas employee in your business, in that position, and to make it very clear on what is required.
If you have any concerns or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kellee, at our office on 07 3503 1444 or via firstname.lastname@example.org