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Recent Changes to Labour Market Testing (LMT) Requirements for Skilled Migrant Visa Applications

Recent Changes to Labour Market Testing (LMT) Requirements for Skilled Migrant Visa Applications

Australia has relied on skilled migrants to support the growth of our economy and has been a popular destination for this type of migrant on the basis of our lifestyle and opportunities.

The concept of labour market testing (LMT) has been a key part of Australia’s migration system, ensuring that employers prioritize recruitment of local talent before seeking skilled workers from overseas. Two of the most important visa categories for skilled migrants and employers are the Temporary Skill Shortage (482) and Medium-term stream and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (494) visas, which allow employers to sponsor skilled workers to fill critical roles. Applications under these via classes require LMT, with a significant change taking effect on December 11, 2023. Notably, the longstanding obligation to advertise on the government employment service, Workforce Australia, as part of LMT requirements has been eliminated, streamlining the process for employers.

Until 11.12.2023 employers sponsoring foreign workers on 482 and 494 visas were required to conduct 3 valid advertisements, including at least one on the government’s Workforce Australia employment platform. This system was designed to give Australian residents the first opportunity to apply for available positions.

The recent change to the LMT process marks a departure from the three-advertisement rule. Employers are no longer obligated to post job vacancies on Workforce Australia. Instead, they must conduct two valid advertisements in alternative mediums, such as online job boards, newspapers, or industry-specific publications. The goal is to strike a balance between providing opportunities for local job seekers and simplifying the recruitment process for employers.

Implications for employers: The reduction in the number of required advertisements streamlines the hiring process for employers, potentially expediting visa application times. The removal of the Workforce Australia advertisement also means employers can explore diverse platforms to target specific audiences and better tailor their recruitment strategies to the unique requirements of the position. However, it’s crucial for employers to remain vigilant and ensure that the advertisements comply with the Department of Home Affairs guidelines to avoid any complications during the visa application process.

A sponsoring employer must provide a copy of the advertising material used to advertise the position (that is, copies of all advertisements that meet the requirements) when nominating an applicant for a visa. The sponsor is also required to advertise the position for at least four weeks within the four-month period immediately prior to lodging the nomination application.

If an Australian citizen or permanent resident worker has been made redundant or retrenched from the nominated occupation within four months before lodging the nomination application, the advertising must have occurred since the date of the redundancy or retrenchment. A sponsor is required to provide information about the redundancies or retrenchments of the Australian citizen or permanent resident with the nomination.

The advertising of the nominated position must meet certain requirements such as duration and the contents of what is in the advert itself, which our migration team can assist you with drafting your advert.

Potential benefit for employers

The reduction in mandatory advertisements allows employers the flexibility to explore a broader range of advertising channels, promoting job vacancies to attract the most suitable candidates. Online job platforms, industry-specific publications, and social media can now play a more prominent role in recruitment efforts, offering a diverse array of options for reaching potential applicants.

Contact our professional team for more information

The recent adjustments to the labour market testing requirements for 482 and 494 visas represent a significant shift in Australia’s approach to skilled migration, streamlining the process for employers and sponsors of skilled workers while maintaining a commitment to prioritizing the Australian-based workforce.

If you’re seeking to make an application under the 482 or 494 visa subclasses and need more detailed information on the recent changes, contact our expert team at PD Law to discuss.