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Salary Requirements For Sponsored Employees

The following information has been gathered and written based on general information that is available at the Department of Home Affairs website.  It has been reviewed by an experienced Lawyer and Migration Agent registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority MARA accredited Migration Agents to ensure its accuracy as of the date of publishing.

The information in this article is not legal advice and should be used for general information purposes only. At Visa Jobs we strongly recommend you consider engaging a Registered Migration Agent who can assess your documents and personal situation before submitting any visa applications

As an employer, if you are considering sponsoring an overseas worker on a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa subclass 482, then you will need to make sure you comply with the sponsorship obligations that relate to the overseas workers’ salary and employment conditions. These requirements are in place to make sure overseas workers are not exploited, to ensure the Australian labour market isn’t undercut with cheaper labour and ensuring that the overseas worker is paid a suitable salary to support themselves.

Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR)

Firstly, overseas workers cannot be paid less than Australian workers (citizen or permanent resident) for the same role, located in the same area. This is known as the Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR).

You do not have to demonstrate AMSR if the overseas candidate is to be paid an annual salary of AUD250,000 or more. If their salary is below this, you will need to show that the overseas worker will be paid in accordance with the AMSR and that the AMSR is above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).

How to calculate AMSR

When nominating an overseas worker with a salary under AUD250,000 you need to prove that they are being paid the same earnings as an equivalent Australian worker, in the same role, in the same location.

In your organisation, if there is an equivalent Australian worker in the same role, the AMSR is what they are being paid. This can be demonstrated by providing the payslips and employment contract of the equivalent Australian worker. However, if their salary is based on a fair work instrument, state industrial instrument or transitional instrument, you will need to provide the name of this. In addition, you will need to provide the occupation group and salary level for the occupation.

If there is no equivalent Australian worker, enterprise agreement or industrial award, you must explain how you have calculated the ASMR. You will need to support your calculations with evidence from at least two of the following sources: :

  • Job adverts for the last six months for the equivalent role, within the same location
  • Job Outlook information
  • Salary surveys from reputable organisations
  • Written advice from employment associations or registered unions

Nomination refusals based on AMSR

When submitting your nomination application it is important you provide detailed evidence to prove your nominated overseas worker is being paid the AMSR, or above. Providing generic data or surveys, or vague information can result in your application being refused.

Any application with proposed annual earnings less than the ASMR will result in a refused application. Generally, it is not possible to include non-monetary benefits, such as accommodation, travel allowance, meals etc, when calculating annual earnings.

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)

Every year the DIBP set the required level of TSMIT, which is basically the minimum annual salary an overseas worker can be paid. Currently, TSMIT is set at AUD53,900, meaning the ASMR and annual earning you will pay the nominated employee must be at the current TSMIT level, or above.

You will not be able to nominate an overseas worker if the occupation’s ASMR is below TSMIT. TSMIT calculation must not include non-monetary benefits.

It’s important to also note that even though TSMIT is currently AUD53,900 there are some occupations with a caveat that requires the minimum salary paid to the overseas worker will be above TSMIT.


The TSS Visa scheme was introduced to help employers who struggle to find skilled workers within the local market. It should not be used as a source for cheaper labour but as a way to add stability and experience within your organization. Ensuring overseas workers are paid at the same rate as an Australian in the same role, and the same location helps protect the Australian labour market as well as the overseas worker.

Understanding salary requirements when nominating an overseas worker is therefore vital. In the nomination application you will need to prove that you will pay the overseas worker in accordance with the AMSR and TSMIT otherwise your application will be refused.


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Updated on July 10, 2019

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