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Last night the Coalition Government delivered the Budget.  This has provided some interesting insight in relation to Australia’s immigration programme for the year ahead.  Below is key point summary of the Budget:

Job Cuts at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection:

Evident restructure within Government departments was seen across all sectors. Around 245 positions will go from Immigration and Border Protection, explained through "net movements in measures and operational pressures".  This could mean further delay in visa application processing times.  Current 457 visas take around 59 days to be processed with approximately 90% of cases processed in 6 months.


Visa Application Fees:

Visa application fees will increase on 1 July 2017.  Increase is being determined at slightly above the CPI level with rounding to the nearest AUD$5.  A visitor visa (Subclass 600) will now cost AUD$140.  A subclass 457 visa will cost AUD$1080 (single applicant).  Permanent residence applications such as subclass 186 will be AUD$3670 (single applicant). TSS Visa will cost anywhere between AUD$1150 to AUD$2400 depending on the stream applied for. Full pricing table can be found here:


Training Benchmarks: 

From March 2018, businesses with turnover of less than AUD$10 million a year that employ foreign workers on the new TSS visas will be required to make an upfront payment of AUD$1200 annually. In terms of permanent visas, subclass 186 and 187 visas will require $3000 one-off payment.

Where a business makes a turnover of more than AUD$10 million a year, the levy is AUD$1800 per annum. In terms of permanent visas, subclass 186 and 187 visas will require AUD$5000 one-off payment.  This levy will replace traditional Training Benchmark A and B where a standard business can choose to contribute a figure equating to 2% of payroll to an industry training fund or spend 1% of payroll in training staff who are Australian or hold permanent residency.

Performance Criteria:

DIBP will be required to finalise 85% of all applications within the advertised processing timeframe.


Stronger Rules for foreign Investors:

Foreign investment applicants should be aware of the following changes announced in the 2017‑18 Budget:


  • The introduction of an annual vacancy charge on foreign owners of residential real estate.
  • The introduction of a 50 per cent cap on the total amount of dwellings a developer can sell to foreign persons under a New Dwelling Exemption Certificate. This will be applied as a condition on applications submitted after the effective date.
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  • Guest
    Tony Dyson Wednesday, 10 May 2017

    An upfront payment of just $1,200 pa would seem to deliver far less than the 1 or 2% training commitment expenditure already in place. did I miss something?

  • Guest
    Nick Thursday, 11 May 2017

    Hi Tony,

    I think the point is that the 457 training levy will be paid into a government controlled training fund (the 'Skilling Australia Fund') and will be disbursed through state / territory governments, rather than being paid to RTOs / private providers.

    Of course, whether the money (it's considerable - $1.2b estimated over four years I think) will ultimately end up in consolidated revenues is another question of course....

  • Guest
    Michael Bull Thursday, 11 May 2017

    re: teh Skilling Australians levy - I guess there always has to be a first time for everything!!! Do I think it will end up in skilling Australians. Did I ever think any previous levys and fees would find their way to the (public consumption) intended use - perhaps it is easier to ask this... Does anyone have this weekends lotto numbers?

  • Guest
    Toni Friday, 12 May 2017

    I agree that money will not be seen by the average person, those not working now and not studying now will stay that way. Nothing will change unless the apprenteship system changes, money should not go to employers.

  • Guest
    Abul Rizvi Wednesday, 10 May 2017

    Were any changes to the overall Migration and Humanitarian Programs announced?

  • Guest
    Michael Bull Thursday, 11 May 2017

    For my business clients, it is all about the ridiculous processing times, Surely this and previous governments do not realistically believe that a business can commit to overseas workers and be prepared to languish for 3 or 12 months, Does that not then say, there is not a need fkr foreign workers, by next year it will likely be quicker to hire a school leaver and put them through an apprenticeship as opposed to waiting for the grossly understaffed DIBP to process a visa. We are not in government, we are in business, we (our clients) cannot be indifferent to reality, no skilled workers, no production, no business, new Centrelink clients - simple equation, even for an ex-banker.
    In the "real world" obtaining vital human resources is measured in weeks not months. Oh' to have back those old days where we hoped for 2 weeks and complained when it was 6 weeks.

  • Guest
    Sam Lotfollahi Thursday, 11 May 2017

    excellent insight

  • Guest
    Tony Dyson Thursday, 11 May 2017

    So now we see it is $1200 for every employee on 457.

  • Guest
    Michael Bull Thursday, 11 May 2017

    Who thinks that the more appropriate action would be to try and change the work ethic of a (sadly) measurable number of Australians, we have lost that reputation of good solid hard workers, perhaps Centrelink is too easy?? It seems that ever increasingly, it is left to fewer and fewer really hard working Australians and "foreigners" to pay the taxes to support the growing few.

    Like most other businesses, it is hard to recruit locally, every job advert is awash with Welfare recipients meeting the Centrelink requirement for applying for so many jobs each week - regardless of their skills and experience, have we all advertised for Admin staff with 3 years experience only to find 10 or 20 applications for the position with a singular history of (eg) Brickies labourer and asking to be considered for the position of kitchen hand !!!

    Perhaps the government could set up yet another committee to oversight their new found wealth and headed maybe by a retired Polly or even Sir Humphrey?

    Do I think it is just a digestible grab for cash - in the certainly that the majority will "know" that business can easily afford this government charge and call it a levy so they cannot be accused of a new tax - Yep I do.

  • Guest
    Toni Friday, 12 May 2017

    Long term unemployed should be made to take up training and base their payments on attendance as well as results same as overseas students where they have to comply with these to comply with visa terms, Also the work for the dole program does not work, I have seen many people put in the hours and effort and once they finish they wait and get put on another one again, the program was suppose to be first to give people new skills not everyone gets that, second was suppose to give you an opportunity to maybe get hired by the company, well it is not happening because the positions they make them fill as normally volunteer positions which will never be paid positions and normally in an organisation that survives with volunteers. These people specially those that truly are trying to do the right thing don't have a chance, this is another waste of money, and time and it is to make job providers seem like "they are doing their jobs"

  • Guest
    Paul Monday, 29 May 2017

    Would the private provider of the training service lose the job after March 2018? Or is there still requirements that we need to train employees within the budget of 1 % of payroll?

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Guest Thursday, 19 April 2018
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