482 Temporary Skills Shortage Visas

The 457 visa has been abolished as of 18 March 2018 and replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa.

If not already approved, employers will apply for approval as a Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) which will generally last for 5 years.

Otherwise, businesses with an approved Standard Business Sponsorship in effect may continue to use this for the TSS visa.

Criteria

The application for a company sponsorship visa consists of 3 main parts:

1. Sponsorship

Applying for approval as a business sponsor would require the business to provide details to show:

  • The business is a lawful, operating business
  • The business has the financial ability to meet its sponsorship obligation
  • The business has continued to meet the training obligations (only for businesses who have previously been approved as a business sponsor)

2. TSS Nomination

Employers must then nominate one of the three TSS application streams. These are as follows:

a) Short term stream

Under the short term stream:

  • The nominated occupation must be on the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL)
  • Applicants must show that they are Genuine Temporary Entrants
  • The visa is valid for either 1 or 2 years (unless an International Trade Obligation applies)
  • The visa can only be renewed onshore once
  • Provides limited pathways for employer sponsored permanent residence

b) Medium term stream

Under the medium term stream:

  • The occupation must be on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • A higher English language requirement applies compared to the short term stream
  • The visa can be valid for 1, 2, 3 or 4 years
  • The visa can be renewed without limitation and applicants may be eligible for permanent employer sponsored options

c) Labour Agreement stream

This stream is for employers who have negotiated a labour agreement with the Australian Government.

3. TSS Visa

The employee would then apply for a visa to work in Australia to fill the nominated position. This would involve providing the following evidence:

  • At least 2 years of full-time, relevant work experience. A waiver is available in the Labour Agreements, and
  • Meet the ANZSCO requirements for the nominated occupation
  • Meet the English language requirement relevant to the stream in which the application is made:
    • Short term stream: equivalent to average 5 in IELTS, with no scores under 4.5 in any of the 4 bands
    • Medium term stream: equivalent to a minimum of 5 in each band of IELTS, an average of 5 is not sufficient
    • Exemptions from English language testing are available for:
      • Passport holders from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and New Zealand
      • People who have completed at least 5 years of study in English medium
      • Intra-company transfers where the base salary is at least $96,400
      • Diplomatic/consular appointments

For the Labour Agreement stream, the requirement is less strict - applicants must show they have the English language skills to perform the occupation, without reference to formal English testing.

There is also the requirement to show there are no medical conditions of public health concern, or would result in a significant cost to the Australian community, or would result in use of scarce medical or community services.

Duration and Conditions

Applying under the Short term stream will result in the TSS visa being valid for either 1 or 2 years (unless an International Trade Obligation applies).

Applying under the Medium term stream will result in the TSS visa being valid for either 1, 2, 3 or 4 years.

TSS Visas are subject to condition 8607:

  • The employee can only work for the nominating employer, in the occupation in which they were sponsored
  • If registration, licensing or professional membership is required to work in the position, the applicant holds this
  • The holder must commence work within 90 days of grant or arrival in Australia; and
  • The holder is subject to cancellation if they cease work for more than 60 days

Fees

The application fee will depend on which stream is being applied for:
  • Short term stream: $1,175
  • Medium term stream: $2,455
  • Labour Agreement stream: $2,455

The Government has also announced that a Training Levy will apply to TSS nominations and are yet to announce the date it will take effect. The following required contributions are expected:

  • Large organisation (over $10 million turnover): $1,800 per year of visa validity
  • Smaller organisations: $1,200 per year

Conclusion

The TSS visa is similar in concept to the 457 visa, but different in detail in a number of important ways. If you would like advice on applying for TSS visas for your staff, or how the changes will impact your business, please call us on +61 2 9230 0888.

If you are looking for employer sponsored options and want to know more please book a consultation with one of our advisors. During your meeting the advisor will also consider any alternative pathways that might be available.

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