Temporary Skills Shortage Visas (Subclass 482)

The TSS visa replaced the 457 visa that was abolished on 18 March 2018.

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


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


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 pay a nominated worker
  • The business commits to meeting the sponsorship obligations

The Labour Agreement process is far more complex, and unless a template agreement exists, companies are required to negotiate terms and conditions with the Department of Immigration.


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

Short Term Stream

For 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 up to 2 years (unless an International Trade Obligation applies)
  • The visa can only be renewed onshore once
  • No pathway for employer sponsored permanent residence (unless Grandfathering or Transitional provisions apply)

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 up to 4 years
  • The visa can be renewed without limitation and applicants may be eligible for permanent employer sponsored options

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

Skilling Australians Fund

A Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy is payable for each nomination under the TSS program, as follows:

  • For businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10m:
  • An upfront payment of $1,200 per nominee, per year of intended employment will be required
  • For businesses will an annual turnover of more than $10m:
  • An upfront payment of $1,800 per nominee, per year of intended employment will be required

The revenue raised from these payments will go towards the training of Australian workers. Please note the SAF levy has replaced the ongoing training obligation for Standard Business Sponsors.

Labour Market Testing

Immigration requires that all positions nominated for the grant of TSS visas are advertised unless an International Trade Obligation exemption applies. Legislation further sets out where advertising should take place, for how long, and what should be contained in the ad. Basically:

  • The nominated position must be advertised in Australia
  • At least three advertisements must be published, one of which must be on the Government's JobActive website. The balance two advertisements can be in two different places or the same place for two different time periods, such as:

    • A national recruitment website
    • National print media
    • National radio
    • If the sponsor is accredited - on the company's website

  • The advertising must have occurred within 4 months prior to the TSS nomination being submitted
  • Advertising must have remained live for at least 4 weeks
  • The role must be advertised in English, with the position title and duties as well as salary range.

Immigration introduced new Labour Market Testing requirements on 1 October 2020 - read our blog here for more information.


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

  • Have at least 2 years of full-time, relevant work experience (or the experience required under a Labour Agreement);
  • Meet the ANZSCO requirements for the nominated occupation;
  • Meet the English language requirement relevant to the stream in which the application is made (exemptions from English language testing are available in certain circumstances):
    • 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
    • Labour Agreement stream: Requirements as per the negotiated agreement or template
    • Both streams: Hold a passport from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and New Zealand.
  • Do not have a substantial criminal history and meet the character requirements
  • Meet the health requirements unless a waiver applies


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


The lodgement fee will depend on which stream the application is being lodged under:

  • Short Term Stream: $1,175 (Main applicant)
  • Medium Term Stream: $2,455 (Main applicant)
  • Labour Agreement Stream: $2,455 (Main applicant)

Additional fees are payable for each dependent applicant included in the application.

Expert Advice

The information provided above is general advice only, and does not take into account specific circumstances. For a detailed assessment and advise on your situation or your business needs, please contact our team for assistance.

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