The annual market salary rate requirement for subclass 482 visa holders

To be endorsed to access the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) you have to show that the overseas worker you are sponsoring will be paid at least the local market rate for the nominated occupation.

You must demonstrate that the terms and conditions of employment you are offering your overseas worker will be no less than those that you would provide to an equivalently skilled and experienced Australian worker performing the same work at the same location.

The proposed terms and conditions must also reflect the market rate for the occupation in the region.

The only time the market rate does not apply is when the proposed guaranteed annual earnings of the overseas worker will be at least the exemption salary rate set by the Australian Government, which is $250,000 per year.

Terms and conditions are considered to be less favourable if the overseas worker’s guaranteed annual earnings are less than those of a comparable Australian worker.

Guaranteed annual earnings include:

  • wages
  • guaranteed allowances such as accommodation or food allowances
  • agreed reasonable monetary value of non-monetary benefits such as a motor vehicle to which the employee is entitled in return for the performance of work.

Guaranteed annual earnings don’t include the following:

  • payments or amounts that can’t be determined in advance such as overtime, performance based commissions or bonuses
  • reimbursements paid to the employee
  • compulsory superannuation payments.

The type of evidence required depends on whether you already employ an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident (an Australian) in the same role in the same location.

If your business employs a comparable Australian in the same role in the same location then you should provide:

  • an employment contract and three most recent payslips of the Australian workers with identifying details removed
  • a comparison of the duties, number of hours worked and level of experience of the Australian and the overseas workers to show that the salary and other terms are comparable.

If your business does not employ a comparable Australian then you need to provide evidence that the proposed terms and conditions of employment for the overseas worker are in line with local market salary in the NT. This can include:

  • information from employer associations or unions
  • recent advertisements placed for similar positions by other NT employers, or
  • salary reports specific to the NT market from reputable sources (e.g. ABS statistics, Australian Government Job Outlook data etc).

Unless the subclass 482 visa holder’s country of citizenship has reciprocal arrangements with Australia they are not eligible for government support like Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Subclass 482 visa holders must maintain private health insurance when in Australia. This is also required of any family members included on their visa who are living in Australia.

You should take this into consideration if you are applying to the Northern Territory Government for a salary concession.

It is mandatory that when you have signed the labour agreement with the Department of Home Affairs that you continue to pay your overseas workers market rates.

This may mean that the subclass 482 visas holder’s salary will need to be reviewed and increased in line with changes to the market rate.

Your sponsorship obligations are ongoing. Serious penalties and administrative sanctions will apply if your business has breached any obligations in relation the subclass 482 visa holders it employs.


Last updated: 09 November 2021

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