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Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy

The Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy commenced on 12 August 2018.


Employers, who wish to nominate overseas skilled workers for any of the following visa, are required to pay SAF levy:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482)

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186)

  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (subclass 187)

The SAF levy amount is payable in full at the time of lodging a nomination application.


The amount payable depends on the size of the business and period of stay of the overseas worker in Australia (for the TSS visa):


SAF Levy


Small (annual turnover less than $10m):

  • $1,200 per visa year (or part thereof) for the TSS (subclass 482)

  • $3,000 one-off payment for the ENS (subclass 186), RSMS (subclass 187) and SESR (subclass 494)

Other (annual turnover $10m or more):

  • $1,800 per visa year (or part thereof) for the TSS (subclass 482)

  • $5,000 one-off payment for the ENS (subclass 186), RSMS (subclass 187) and SESR (subclass 494)

Please note that a credit card surcharge will apply to the above payment when paying these fees to the Department of Home Affairs.


The only exemptions to the SAF levy apply to religious workers nominated under the Labour Agreement streams of the TSS or ENS visas. All other sponsors who are party to a Labour Agreement must also pay the SAF levy.


Refunds of the SAF levy are only available in any of the following scenarios:

  • The sponsorship and visa applications are approved, but the overseas skilled worker (visa holder) does not arrive/commence employment with the employer.

  • The employer's sponsorship and nomination application for the overseas skilled worker is approved, but the associated visa application is refused on health or character grounds.

  • A TSS visa holder leaves the sponsoring employer within the first 12 months of employment where the visa period was for more than 12 months. Refunds will only be available in this scenario for unused full years of the SAF levy. Please note that this does not apply to ENS or RSMS holders who leave their employer within the first 12 months of employment.

  • The nomination fee is refunded (for example where a concurrent sponsor application is refused).


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