Businesses to be charged yearly Foreign Worker Levy

As expected, the federal govt used yesterday’s budget to outline its plans to abolish the 457 visa and replace the scheme with short and medium-term streams.

Application fees for the short-term, two year visas will increase by $90 to $1150, while four-year visa applications will cost $2400 apiece.

In addition to this, companies will also be charged annual foreign worker levies.

Under the existing scheme, employers have contributed one of two per cent of their payroll to training if they employed foreign workers.

But as the requirements have proved almost impossible to police the govt is taking a different route.

From March 2018, businesses that employ foreign workers on certain skilled visas will be required to pay money into a “Skilling Australians” fund.

Companies turning over less than $10 million per year must make an upfront payment of $1200 (per visa, per year) for each employee on a temporary visa.

They must also make a one-off payment of $3000 for each staffer sponsored for a permanent skilled worker visas.

Businesses with turnovers above $10 million will be required to make up front payments of $1800 for each worker on temporary visas and $5000 one-off levies for those on permanent skilled visas.

The levy is expected to rake in $1.2 billion over the next four years, which will be funnelled into a new Commonwealth-State skills fund.

“States and territories will only be able to draw on this fund when they deliver on their commitments to train new apprentices,” Mr Morrison said in his budget speech.

Category: Migration News
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