Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy

Hello, everyone. We are Your Trustable Migration Partner, Opartners.

On 12 August 2018, the Department of Home Affairs started implementing the new Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy, which had replaced the Training Benchmark requirement for the 457 or TSS visa sponsorship.

From that on, businesses would incur a levy of either $1200 or $1800 per year per sponsored temporary employee for the TSS visa or $3,000 or $5,000 per year per sponsored permanent employee for the ENS or RSMS visa, depending on the turnover of the business

This levy will contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund operated by the Department of Education and Training, with the aim to improve apprenticeships and trainee programs to support Australian jobs.

The levy applies to nominations under the following visa subclasses:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) subclass 186 visa
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) subclass 187 visa


In practice, each nomination attracts a SAF levy, payable at the time when the nomination application is lodged. Below is the detailed information about the SAF levy based on the types and durations of visa and business turnovers.


  • TSS or 457 Nomination

  • ENS or RSMS Nomination

Although refunds of SAF levy may be available in some limited circumstances, this new levy could hinder potential sponsors from hiring foreign workers because they need to pay the levy upfront when lodging a nomination application regardless of a decision (approved or not).
We expect the Department would include more fair refund policies as well as more flexible applications of the SAF.

If you need any professional consultation or assistance regarding 457, TSS, ENS or RSMS visa, please feel free to contact Opartners.

Email inquiry:

Telephone inquiry: +61 08 6454 9910



The information provided in this column serves as a general guidance only and does not constitute migration advice. We accept no responsibility for any consequence that may arise from any action taken based on this information. We highly recommend readers to seek private advice or assistance for detailed situations. Thank you.