Overview of the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa
The Temporary Skill Shortage reforms have commenced and will be completed by March 2018. The program will be comprised of a "short term stream" of up to two years and a medium term stream of up to four years.
Key reforms include:
- New, more targeted occupation lists which the government believes better aligns with the skill needs in the Australian labour market.
- A requirement for visa applicants to have at least "two years work experience" in their skilled occupation.
- Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) (Set at $53,900 as at 12 April 2016).
- Mandatory labour market testing, unless an international obligation applies.
- Capacity for only one onshore visa renewal under the short term stream.
- Capacity for visa renewal onshore and a permanent residence pathway after three years under the medium term stream.
- The permanent residence eligibility will be extended from two to three years.
- A requirement to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund – medium term stream payable in full at the time the worker is nominated: $1,200 per year or part year for small businesses (with annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $1,800 per year or part year for other businesses.
- Permanent Employer-Sponsored Skilled Program the contribution will be payable in full at the time the worker is nominated.
- A one-off payment of $3,000 for small businesses (those annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $5,000 for other businesses.
- Mandatory penal clearance certificate to be provided.
- Tightening eligibility requirements for employer sponsored permanent skilled visas including tightened English language requirements.
- A requirement for visa applicants to have at least three years work experience.
- Applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 years at the time of application.
- The occupations lists that underpin the current 457 Visa scheme will be significantly condensed from 651 to 435 occupations, with 216 occupations removed and access to 59 other occupations restricted.
NSW State Budget 2017-2018
On 20 June 2017, the New South Wales (NSW) Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, delivered the NSW 2017-18 State Budget. The Budget includes a $1.6 million package of tax cuts aimed at easing pressure on families, farmers and small businesses - some of these tax changes have previously been announced.
The proposed changes to state taxes outlined in the Budget Papers include:
- The introduction of a Foreign Developer Surcharge Rebate. Foreign purchaser developers of residential property will be granted a refund of Foreign Purchase Surcharges provided the developed property or properties are sold within 5 years. This rebate is to be back-dated to apply from the commencement of the Foreign Person Surcharge, i.e. 21 June 2016
- Increase of Foreign Person Surcharges – an increase from 4% to 8% for the surcharge on transfer duty for acquisition of residential properties from 1 July 2017 and an increase from 0.75 % to 2% for the surcharge on land tax in relation to residential properties from the 2018 land tax year
- Removal of the off-the plan transfer duty concession (defers payment of stamp duty on off-the-plan purchases for up to 12 months) will be removed for all investor purchasers of residential land from 1 July 2017 (already removed for foreign purchasers of residential land).
- Changes to First Home Owner Concessions – From 1 July, first home buyers will be exempt from transfer duty for both new and existing properties valued up to $650,000, with stamp duty reductions for properties valued at up to $800,000. The First Home Owners Grant will be retained for buyers of new homes valued at up to $600,000 and for persons building their first home valued at up to $750,000.
- Providing a $100 rebate per child per annum on eligible registration and participation costs from 1 January 2018.