Australian Parliament passes Migration Amendment Bill


Migration Amendment Bill passed by both houses of Australian Parliament

The Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2018 of Australia, which provides for the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF), was passed through both houses of the Parliament on May 9th, 2018. The Migration Amendment Bill introduced with the Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Bill 2017, amends the Migration Act 1958. The Migration Amendment Bill has provisions to:

>Collect charges from employers who want to sponsor foreign workers for funding the skills of Australians.
>Accept nominations from employers who have applied to be an approved sponsor or have entered into negotiations for a work agreement
>Enable the minister to determine the manner in which labour market testing for a nominated position must be undertaken and the kinds of evidence that must accompany a nomination
Make amendments contingent on the commencement of the proposed Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2017.

Migration Amendment Bill and SAF

The Migration Amendment Bill proposes to introduce Skilling Australians Fund(SAF), a training levy that has to be paid by employers who sponsor temporary and permanent visas. The Fund raised in this manner will be utilized to conduct apprenticeship and trainee programs for Australians to develop skills. The fund, as per the Migration Amendment Bill, will be administered by the Department of Education and Training.
SAF is expected to replace the current training benchmarks for employers who use the TSS, ENS and RSMS programs, and impose additional costs for sponsoring foreign workers.

Labour Market Testing (LMT)

Another aspect of the Migration Amendment Bill is the Labour Market Testing(LMT).  LMT criteria are currently a part of most of the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa applications.
LMT requirements, according to the Migration Amendment Bill, include:

>LMT must be conducted not less than 4 months before lodging the nomination application
>Advertisements used to evidence LMT must run for a minimum of four weeks
>An independent review of SAF must start after 18 months from the date of SAF taking effect and the     review must be completed within six months.

The Migration Amendment Bill was first introduced and read for the first time on October 18, 2017. It was introduced to the Senate on February 13, 2018. Finally, the Migration Amendment Bill was passed through both the House of Representatives and the Senate on May 9 and it will now be presented to the Governor-General for assent.
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