On 23 December the Minister for Immigration and Border
Protection, Peter Dutton, announced the appointment of Mr John
Azarias to conduct a review of the current Temporary Skilled
Migration Income Threshold ('TSMIT') for the 457 visa
programme. Mr Azarias was previously the Chair of the independent
review panel which produced the 'Robust New Foundations'
report on the 457 visa programme in 2014.
The TSMIT acts as a salary 'floor' for the 457 visa;
where the market rate for a position is below the TSMIT the
position is not considered highly skilled and cannot be nominated
for a 457 visa. The TSMIT is designed to ensure that only skilled
positions can be nominated for a 457 visa and that visa holders
have sufficient income to reside in Australia without access to
social security and other government benefits. The TSMIT does not
include compulsory superannuation contributions.
The TSMIT has remained at $53,900 since 2013. Prior to this date
the TSMIT had increased by approximately 4% each year since its
inception. A similar increase would take the current TSMIT to
approximately $56,000 per annum. The terms of the review include
considering afresh the appropriate base TSMIT level, whether the
TSMIT should be indexed and if so on what basis, as well as the
role of regional concessions.
The report is due for submission to the Minister at the end of
April 2016. The Minister has undertaken to retain the current TSMIT
of $53,900 until the findings of the review are considered. No
timeframe has been given for a response to the review.
If the TSMIT increases employers would only be able to nominate
positions where the base salary is above the new figure. This risks
increasing business costs and has the potential make a number of
positions ineligible for the 457 visa. Employers should continue to
monitor the situation to ensure they are aware of further changes
to the sponsored visa system.
The review is expected to reconsider the fundamental principles
informing the TSMIT to determine an appropriate base level. As such
the outcome of the review is difficult to predict. It is unlikely
however that the report will recommend the TSMIT be decreased given
current cost of living pressures. If the report does recommend the
TSMIT be increased this has the potential to make a number of lower
paying positions ineligible for the 457 visa.
Employers should continue to monitor the situation to ensure
they are aware of further changes to the sponsored visa system.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Recent amendments to the Migration Act and regulations, along with the imminent commencement of the new federal safety net under the Fair Work Act, highlight a number of issues for consideration by employers in documenting terms and conditions of employment for foreign nationals engaged to work in Australia under Subclass 457- Business (Long Stay) visas.
A quick refresher of the rights and obligations for employers (sponsors) when ending a 457 visa holder's employment.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).