Changes to Labor Market Testing for Sponsorship


What Has Changed? In the article, we discuss what employers and skilled visa applicants need to know.


From December 11, 2023, employers now need to advertise on only two valid job platforms instead of three.


Employers are no longer required to advertise a position on the government employment service, Workforce Australia, before sponsoring a worker on a Subclass 482 or 494 visa. This change is a great relief since the previous advertising requirements were ineffective. Most applicants were from a pool of unemployed individuals or those on Centrelink welfare benefits, applying merely to fulfill the “effort” requirement to maintain their benefits.


This adjustment reduces the administrative burden on employers, making it easier to sponsor a worker.


The same reduced requirements apply for labor agreement applicants. As of December 11, 2023, businesses in a Category 2 location no longer need to advertise on Workforce Australia and only need to conduct two valid advertisements. These advertisements must occur within 12 months before lodging the nomination and comply with other Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirements. For guidance on how LMT applies to labor agreements, seeking professional advice is recommended.


Additional Labor Market Testing Requirements

All other existing LMT requirements remain in place unless an exemption applies or alternative arrangements, such as international trade obligations, are in effect. Key requirements include:

  • Providing a copy of the advertising material.
  • Ensuring advertisements are in Australia, in English, and include specific details such as job title, position description, required skills or experience, the sponsor or recruitment agency’s name, and salary if annual earnings are below AUD $96,400.
  • Publishing at least two advertisements on approved job platforms such as prominent recruitment websites with national reach, industry-specific recruitment websites, national print media, national radio, or the sponsor’s website if they are an accredited sponsor.
  • Running advertisements for a minimum of 4 weeks and accepting applications or expressions of interest for at least 4 weeks.


For specific guidance on meeting LMT requirements, consulting a registered migration agent is advisable.


Future Changes to Labor Market Testing

The Government has acknowledged that labor market testing requirements can be overly burdensome and hinder access to global talent, especially during widespread skills shortages. The recent changes aim to address these concerns and simplify the process for many employers.


Looking ahead, the Government’s migration strategy indicates that the Subclass 482 Visa will soon be replaced with a new Skills in Demand Visa. This new visa is expected to be a 4-year temporary work visa with three targeted pathways, where LMT may not be required for top-tier workers earning at least $135,000 per year.


These changes reflect the Government’s efforts to streamline the process and better meet the needs of employers and skilled workers.


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