Increase in visa application charges, introduction of new temporary visas for parents and introduction of new training levy or employers sponsoring foreign workers
Indexation of Australian visa charges
Australian non-citizens will now have to dig deeper into their pockets to afford Australian visas. On 9 May 2017 the Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison in his budget speech announced that from 1 July 2017 all Australian visa charges will be indexed annually which is expected to raise an additional $410 million in revenue over the next four years.
New temporary visa for parents
The introduction of a new temporary visa for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents was also announced which is expected to be introduced in late 2017, subject to the passage of the relevant legislation through the Australian Senate. The fees for this visa are expected be $5,000 for a three year visa and $10,000 for a five year visa.
Introduction of foreign worker levy
Currently most employers are required to contribute one or two per cent of their payroll to training if they employ foreign workers. However in his budget speech, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced that from March 2018 employers that employ foreign workers on employer sponsored visas will instead be required to pay a levy feeding into the ‘Skilling Australians Fund’ (SAF).
For temporary employer sponsored visas, employers turning over less than $10 million per year must make an upfront payment of $1,200 (per visa, per year, $1,800 for other businesses) into the SAF.
For permanent employer sponsored visas, businesses turning over less than $10 million per year must make an upfront payment of $3,000 (per visa, $5,000 for other businesses) into the SAF. The levy is in addition to visa application charges that must also be paid.
The levy is expected to raise $1.2 billion over the next four years. It is expected that Australian employers will be able to access the SAF in order to receive funding in relation to the training of Australian apprentices and trainees employed by the employer.