Review of the TSMIT

February 22, 2016

On the 23 December 2015 the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection announced that government will undertake an evidence-based review of the Temporary Skilled Migration income Threshold (TSMIT), the salary threshold in the 457 programme.  This was one of the recommendations from the 457 Integrity Review.

The TSMIT Review Discussion Paper and Terms of Reference has been published on Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website at: www.border.gov.au/about/reports-publications/discussion-papers-submissions/review-tsmit.  A forum was held in Canberra on the 16 February with all submissions due by 5pm AEDT Friday 4 March 2016.  Thank you to all members who provided input into the survey.

Our submission, informed by the survey will advocate for:

  • It should be a medium to long term aim to not require the TSMIT due to other integrity measures including the market rates approach.
  • The temporary skilled migration program is underpinned by a market rates approach – that the migrant should be paid not less or more than an Australian worker doing an equivalent job. This approach should negate one of the key reasons for a TSMIT as a matter of principle.
  • The existing rate of $53,900 is higher than the market rate of many skilled jobs particularly in regional locations, and as such makes the 457 programme inaccessible to many employers. It should continue to be frozen until at least the end of 2016.
  • The income threshold should be based on annualised earnings – including what the migrant and the Australian workers earn including averaging of penalty rates and overtime and including super. In other words the annual salary package.
  • The TSMIT should be lower for regional employers.