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Reduced Labour Market Testing For Australian Subclass 482 And 494 Visas

The process of testing the local labour market before sponsoring a worker on a Subclass 482 or 494 Visa has now become simpler following Government changes that came into effect on 11 December 2023. Here’s what employers and skilled visa applicants/holders should know.

Written by Sheila Woods (MARN: 0533879) of Interstaff  18 January 2024

What has changed? | Labour Market Testing Australia

From 11 December 2023, it is no longer mandatory for employers to advertise a position on the Government employment service, Workforce Australia before sponsoring a worker on a Subclass 482 or 494 Visa. This means employers only need to advertise on two valid job platforms instead of three.

The change also means employers only need to provide evidence of a total of two advertisements at the time the nomination is lodged, rather than three. This applies to on hand nominations and nominations lodged on or after 11 December 2023.

As a result of the change, employers will no longer need to coordinate and manage job advertisements across three separate job platforms, reducing the level of administration required to sponsor a worker.

The changes also apply to Subclass 482 and 494 Visa holders engaged under the Labour Agreement stream (Category 2 location). From 11 December 2023, LMT requirements for businesses in a Category 2 location will no longer need to advertise on Workforce Australia and will only need to conduct two valid advertisements. All LMT for Category 2 locations must have taken place up to 12 months before lodgement of the nomination and must comply with other LMT requirements. For advice on how LMT applies to Labour Agreements, you may wish to seek professional advice.

What other Labour Market Testing requirements apply?

All other existing Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirements are still in place unless a person is exempt from LMT or alternative arrangements apply, such as International Trade Obligations.

When employers sponsor a visa holder, other LMT requirements that must be met include:

  • Providing a copy of advertising material
  • For most nominations, advertising a position must be undertaken at least 4 weeks within the four-month period immediately prior to lodging the nomination application (conditions apply in cases where an Australian citizen or permanent resident had become redundant or retrenched)
  • Ensuring the advertisements were in Australia, in English and included very specific information, such as the job title/position description, skills or experience required, the name of the sponsor or recruitment agency, and the salary on offer (if annual earnings are lower than AUD $96,400)
  • Publishing at least two advertisements on approved job platforms – such as a prominent or professional recruitment website with national reach, industry-specific recruitment websites that are relevant to the occupation and significantly used by the industry, in national print media, on national radio, and on the business’ website if the sponsor is an accredited sponsor
  • Running advertisements for at least 4 weeks
  • Receiving applications or expressions of interest for the advertised position for at least 4 weeks

The above summary may provide some general guidance to LMT requirements, however you may wish to seek professional advice from a Registered Migration Agent, such as Interstaff, as the Government does require that LMT requirements be met in very specific ways.

What changes to Labour Market Testing can we expect?

It appears the Government is listening to business feedback that Labour Market Testing requirements have become too administrative, hindering access to global talent at a time when skills shortages are widespread. The recent changes are certainly a step in the right direction for many employers.

According to the Government’s Migration Strategy, the Subclass 482 Visa will soon be replaced with a new Skills in Demand Visa. It seems this visa will be a 4-year temporary work visa with three targeted pathways or tiers, whereby LMT may not be required for the top tier workers earning at least $135,000 per annum.

Interstaff assist people all over the world with the legal and professional process to travel or migrate to Australia for temporary work or permanent residence. Established in 1988, Interstaff has been trusted by migrating individuals and businesses for over 30 years and are the strongest group of experts for visa work in Australia. MARN: 0533879..

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.