• Australia: Changes for Employer Nomination Scheme: Increased Minimum Salary for Highly Paid Positions; 16 More Occupations Now Qualify for Scheme
  • December 10, 2010
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • On December 3, 2010, the Australian government announced several changes to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), the standard employer-sponsored permanent residence program, applicable to applications submitted on or after December 5. The minimum base annual salary for foreign nationals seeking to qualify for the ENS by filling a highly paid position has been raised to AU$ 250,000 from AU$ 165,000. In addition, 16 new occupations qualify for the program after being added to the Employer Nomination Skilled Occupation List (ENSOL).

    Increased Annual Base Salary for Highly Paid Positions

    Employers sponsoring foreign nationals for visas under the ENS to fill highly paid positions ¿ one of three ways a foreign national who will take up an occupation on the ENSOL can qualify for the ENS - must now demonstrate that the candidate’s annual base salary will be AU$ 250,000, increased from AU$ 165,000.

    Under the ENS, “highly paid positions” are simply those that have a base salary above the minimum specified in the legislation. They are typically at the executive level. The base salary is based on a foreign national's proposed gross annual income and excludes bonuses; living, travel, and meal allowances; insurance benefits; and any other non-salary benefits.

    In deciding to raise the minimum salary threshold, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship took into account the fact that it has been set at AU$ 165,000 since 2005. The change is also purported to reflect the increase in executive salary levels over the past five years.

    The ENS allows Australian employers to nominate foreign national skilled workers for a permanent visa to work in a full-time and permanent role with them in Australia. The foreign nationals can either be skilled workers from overseas or skilled temporary residents currently in Australia.

    Sixteen Occupations Added to ENSOL

    The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has also added the following occupations to the ENSOL, increasing the number of eligible occupations under the program to over 600. To qualify for the ENS, a foreign national must be nominated by a prospective employer to one of the occupations listed in the ENSOL.

    • Advertising Manager
    • Art Administrator or Manager
    • Biotechnologist
    • Conference and Event Organizer
    • Education Reviewer
    • Fisheries Inspector
    • Fitter and Turner
    • ICT Systems Test Engineer
    • Jewelry Designer
    • Liaison Officer
    • Network Administrator
    • Primary Products Inspector
    • Snowsport Instructor
    • Web Designer
    • Food Technologist
    • Chief Executive or Managing Director

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