Salary Concessions on Skilled Migration Threshold to Remain at a Maximum 10 per cent After Increase

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Concessions to the new minimum A$70,000 annual salary for skilled visas in Australia will have to be 10 per cent or less to qualify for the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).

At a maximum of A$7,000 for a A$70,000 annual salary, concessions that already exist through a labour agreement will remain the same percentage.

The TMSIT is the minimum annual salary that an Australian employer must pay a worker for them to be eligible for a Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) or a Temporary Skill Shortage visa.

These highly sought after visas enable migrants to be able to live and work in Australia and can provide a pathway to permanent residency..

The announcement made at the Migration Industry Alliance Regional Migration Conference late last month also confirmed that changes to the TMSIT would apply to applications lodged on or after July 1, 2023.

Visa programs aimed at relieving skills shortages in regional and remote areas such as the Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) were not discussed.

The previously announced Aged Care Labour Agreement gives workers access to a two-year pathway to permanent residency and it is negotiated directly between unions and employers. 

The average salary of an aged care worker in Australia is A$33 per hour, but some estimates place the average annual salary at more than A$65,000.

There are almost 9,000 unfilled vacancies for registered nurses and over 6,000 vacancies for software programmers down under, according to a Labour Market Update report from Jobs and Skills Australia.

The current TMSIT is set at A$53,500 annual salary and the increase in that threshold will squeeze businesses that sponsor employees, as the increase in concession rate will not cover the required increase in salaries.

Regional areas are still experiencing the highest job vacancy rate, but employers in capital cities are finding it easier to fill positions than in other areas, as people return to major cities after lockdowns and border restrictions.

In capital cities, recruitment difficulty peaked at 75 percent in August 2022 but has since declined to 63 percent in December 2022. 

Regional areas faced similar challenges filling vacancies in 2022.