The New Workplace Justice Visa and Changes to Employer Sponsored Visas for 2024-25

The 1st of July usually brings an increase in the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) fees along with a handful of changes to how the Australian immigration system functions. This year is no different, with the migration cap remaining fixed at 185,000 places for the year and most changes being targeted at temporary visa holders, particularly students and graduates.

Changes have also been made to the employer-sponsored program which will affect businesses who currently employ or who are looking to employ holders of a subclass 482 or 494 visa.

So what’s changed?

  1. A new workplace justice visa
  2. Relaxed work visa conditions
  3. Increase in TSMIT
  4. Employer Compliance and Monitoring


Workplace Justice Visa

A new Workplace Justice visa came into effect from 1st July which utilises the subclass 408 visa in its own stream. This visa is intended to be applied for where visa holders need to remain in Australia to pursue claims against their employers for breaches of workplace conditions, or other workplace exploitation.

This visa requires endorsement from specified government and authorised non-government entities to confirm that there is currently a workplace exploitation matter under investigation.

This visa does not have an application charge to apply to the DHA, but cannot be applied for without the required endorsement.

Relaxed Work Visa Conditions

Subclass 482 and 494 visa holders have had their visa work conditions relaxed to reduce employer and workplace exploitation. They have extended what used to be a 60-day period that visa holders had to find a new sponsor after ceasing work with their current sponsor, up to 180 days at a time for a total of 365 days across the entire duration of their visa. This number of days was reset on the 1st of July 2024. Any periods of time not working prior to that date are not counted towards the new cap.

For the first time, these visa holders are also able to work for other employers during this period, without having a new nomination lodged.

Additionally, while in this new period of finding their next sponsoring employer, subclass 482 and 494 visa holders can work in any occupation even if it is not the occupation specified for their visa grant.

They also have the option to not work at all if they choose to do so.

This represents a significant change in the Department’s approach to temporary-sponsored visa holders. It aims to promote employment flexibility so that visa holders don’t feel obligated to stay in positions where they feel they are being unfairly treated.

It presents a unique opportunity for employers to employ these visa holders without a new nomination being required before they begin work, and potentially sponsor them in the future if they are determined to be a good fit for the position.

Increase in TSMIT

The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) has been increased again this year from $70,000 to $73,150. This figure does not include superannuation.

Employers will need to meet this salary requirement or pay the market rate; whichever figure is higher if they wish to employ foreign workers under an employer-sponsored visa.

It looks like after a long pause at the old TSMIT figure of $53,900 (prior to 2023), the Federal Government will make more consistent adjustments to the TSMIT figure in line with the outcomes of the Jobs and Skills Summit from 2022.

Employer Compliance and Monitoring

The Federal Government has also announced measures to improve employer compliance, including increases in fines and civil penalties to protect temporary visa holders from exploitation. This means additional monitoring for any employer of temporary visa holders.

This targets employers who have employees who may not be sponsored, but still have work rights, such as graduate and student visa holders.

How to stay updated

All these changes are making the Australian immigration system more complex so it’s important to stay up to date on changes to employer obligations and employment conditions for visa holders. Please contact any of the Registered Migration Agents at Visa Solutions Australia for assistance with all employer-sponsored visa matters.