Effective July 1, 2023, the Australian government will raise the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) from AUD $53,900 to AUD $70,000. The move is a response to the government’s independent “Review of the Migration System,” which recently recommended actions for updating Australia’s immigration system. Raising the TSMIT will affect eligibility for the Subclass 482 visa – a Temporary Skill Shortage visa designed to allow employers to sponsor a suitably skilled foreign worker to fill a position for which a qualified Australian candidate cannot be found. According to the government announcement, around 90% of full-time jobs in Australia are now paid more than the current TSMIT.
Background: Subclass 482 Visas and the TSMIT
The Subclass 482 visa features several “streams,” including the short- and mid-term streams as well as the labor agreement stream, each of which allows the foreign national to live and work in Australia for a specified period of time. Sponsoring employers with regular and ongoing needs for foreign workers may obtain “accredited” status, which enables faster processing times.
The TSMIT serves as both a “salary floor” for Subclass 482 visas as well as the market salary threshold below which positions are deemed insufficiently skilled or valued to qualify for the visa scheme. Sponsoring employers are required to show that the market salary rate for the position offered to the foreign national is above the TSMIT in order to qualify for a Subclass 482 visa. According to the government announcement, the TSMIT has been frozen since 2013. The increased TSMIT is intended to match where the threshold would be today had it continued to be indexed over the past decade. The government also noted that current Subclass 482 visa holders would be grandfathered at their current remuneration level, but at present it is unclear how the government will apply the new threshold to renewal applications for this group.