TSS visa Australia (Temporary Skill Shortage subclass 482 visa) will replace the 457 visa program from 1 March 2018 as announced by Malcolm Turnbull in April 2017. A visa number has finally been advertised – it will be also be known as subclass 482 visa. The reason why the number has not been advertised straight away? Some say a department wanted people to call the visa by the name (TSS) instead of by the number (482). Fair enough … Unlike for 457 visa, not all the occupation will be eligible to transition from TSS to PR. But first of all – let’s discuss how to get a TSS visa.
TSS visa streams (SC 482 visa streams)
There are 3 streams within TSS visa programme:
- short-term stream,
- medium-term stream.
- a labor agreement
Occupations on the STSOL List (Short-Term Skilled Occupations ) will be eligible for visas of up to two years. Visas might be renewable once, for a further two years. Occupations on the MLTSSL (Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List) will be eligible for up to four years visa (with eligibility for permanent residency after three years). A new instrument with a list of occupation will very likely be released. Interestingly there will be some additional occupations available for regional Australia.
TSS visa short-term stream visa applicant requirements
The short-term TSS visa will be valid for two years. It will be possible to renew it onshore once, for another two years. The main purpose of this stream is to fill temporary skill gaps in Australian labor market. It is allowing Australian businesses to employ overseas talent. Visa applicants must acquire an employer willing to sponsor them.
Under this stream, short-term TSS visa holders are allowed to remain in Australia for no longer than four years. There is no pathway for Australian permanent residency through employer-sponsored skilled visa (ENS or RSMS visa), but there might exist the other avenues through skilled nominated or family visas (such a partner visa).
The short-term list will be updated every six months. Occupations may be added or removed.
- occupation must be listed on a STSOL list
- English language requirement, overall IELTS score of 5.0, with a minimum of 4.5 in each area. The other English tests such as PTE or TOEFL are also accepted by the department of immigration.
- a police check from Australia and the other countries of residence will be required
- in some circumstances GTE assessment will be conducted. Case officer must be satisfied that the applicant is a ‘genuine temporary entrant’ (similar to student visa GTE assessment)
- a minimum two years of relevant work experience will be required. Experience will have to be “skilled” – gained after completion of the relevant school / programm / degree. There are exemptions – it’s really on a case by case basis.
- TSS visa holders have to be paid at least a minimum salary rate (TSMIT) as set out by the Government (or higher, where a caveat applies)
- a labor market testing will be mandatory in most cases
- an employer contribution to the Skilling Australians Training Fund will also be required
The TSS program will commence in March 2018 (exact date is not known yet). If your occupation is on the STSOL list and you will apply before this date, you will only be granted a two-year 457 visa.
TSS visa medium-term stream visa applicant requirements
The medium-term TSS visa will be granted for four years. Could be renewed few times and there is a pathway to Australian permanent residency after three years through a transition stream of employer sponsored visa (ENS visa or RSMS visa)
The medium-term TSS visa is aimed at applicants working in critically needed skilled occupation.
- Occupation must be on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List
- minimum of two years of relevant work experience is required
- candidates must be paid at the minimum salary (TSMIT) for the position
- the visa applicant must obtain a police check
- Labour market testing is also mandatory
- employers must make a contribution to the Skilling Australians Training Fund
- English language requirements – overall IELTS score of 5.0 and a minimum of 5.0 in each test component (so-called vocational English). This is slightly higher than for the short-term stream.
TSS visa labor agreement
The current 457 labour agreements will continue under TSS visa programm. It is possible also to establish a new labour agreement under TSS visa (SC 482 visa) programm
TSS visa caveats
Some occupations will be subject to caveats, for example:
- Applicant will have to be paid a higher minimum salary ($65,000 or $80,000)
- Sponsor must be located in a specific area (determined by postcodes)
- Sponsoring organization must have at least five full-time employees
- Sponsoring company must have an annual turnover of at least $1million
TSS visa age limit
There is no age limit for TSS visa. Your skills and experience are what matters the most here. Keep in mind if you are 45 or over your options for a transition to permanent residency might be limited. Doctors and high-income earners still may have the option to transition to ENS / RSMS after some time, but for the others over 44 years of age skills based permanent residency might not be available. Family mightation can still be an option in some circumstances.
Sponsoring Business Requirements
Similar to 457 – employers planning to sponsor workers will need to become an approved ‘standard business sponsor’, although a nomination process might be slightly different. There are also TSS visa employer obligations.
Employes will have to pay an Australian market salary rate (TSMIT):
- at or above $53,900 (as of November 2017) plus superannuation;
- remuneration and other work terms and conditions can’t be less favorable than those offered to an Australian employee in the same position.
Labour Market Testing
Before sponsoring an overseas worker, an employer will be obliged to explore local labor market to ensure there is no suitable candidate for the role available. ANZSCO Skill level 1 and 2 occupations are currently exempt from a Labour Market Testing for 457 visa. This will no longer be the case for TSS visa. Unless there are International Trade Obligations in place LMT will have to be commenced (there could be some exemptions in very limited circumstances).
Instead of Training benchmark A or B employer will have to contribute to a Skilling Australians Fund (has not yet been approved – bill still needs to pass Senate). At the stage of nomination, an employer will have to pay the fee multiplied by the number of years visa will be applied for.
- AUD $1,200 for each 457 visa holder for companies with turnover < AUD $10m
- AUD $1,800 for each 457 visa holder for companies with turnover >AUD $10m
For example – if the company’s turnover for recent financial year was over $10m and the visa is applied for 2 years, at the nomination stage additional $3600 will have to be paid. Although the fee is being collected by a Department of Home Affairs, money are beuing passed to the Department of Education and they’ll decide how to allocate the funds.
TSS visa fees (482 visa fees)
The government visa application charges for a single applicant will be:
- AUD $1,150 for the 2 year visa (short-term one)
- AUD $2,400 for the 4 year visa (medium-term one)
For more information on which occupations can be sponsored check a list of skilled occupations.
To find out if you’ll eligible for a TSS visa, contact us today.
Health waiver for TSS visa
Unlike for 457 visa PIC 4006A will no longer be available for TSS visa. PIC 4007 health waiver will be available instead.
TSS visa processing time
Processing time for a TSS visa is expected to be similar to 457 visa and will depend on
- the department’s workload
- whether the sponsor has the status of an “accredited sponsor”
- your occupation
- location of the sponsor (regional Australia or not)
- is the application “decision ready”
At the moment (March 2018) it is expected that decision ready applications might be decided within 5 months period of time. If any documents will be missing and case officer will ask for additional evidence – add another half a year, so make sure your application is compliant.
Another factor you’ll have to consider is processing time for sponsorship and nomination. You can check current average processing times on a department’s website.
TSS visa work experience
Unlike 457 where work experience in some circumstances was not required, for TSS visa it is expected that an applicant will have at least 2 years of work experience. Unlike for skills assessments where the type of work experience is being defined clearly (skilled, unskilled, prior to qualifications, after the qualifications, on the job training, in lieu of qualifications, etc) for TSS visa type of work experience has not been defined, so essentially it is up to the case officer if they’ll be satisfied with the evidence of skills. We have broad experience with 457 visa for various occupations so if you need to discuss your situation please book a consultation for advice about the way forward.
Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement (GTE requirement)
In some situations, GTE assessment might be required for a TSS visa grant. The most likely situations, where a department might be requesting for a GTE assessment, are:
- A visa applicant has been living in Australia on various temporary visas for at least 4 years
- A visa applicant is renewing their TSS short-term visa for the 2nd time (offshore application)
Onshore application for TSS visa
To be eligible for an onshore application for TSS visa an applicant must have:
- a substantial visa
- bridging visa A, B or C.
Unlike for 457 visa, schedule 3 provisions do not apply for TSS visa, which means applications lodged offshore must be decided while an applicant is offshore. It’s gonna be a bit harder for those impacted by section 48 bar.
Until the TSS visa will be introduced, subclass 457 visa will remain available for use by companies that wish to sponsor skilled workers. Please contact us for advice and assistance. All the 457 viss applications lodged before TSS visa will be formally introduced shall be determined with the “old 457 rules”.
We at Nowak Migration have the ability to advise employers and skilled individuals on the requirements for this new visa. We may also assist with the lodgement and supporting documentation required for the nomination and visa application. essentially – we can assist employers and visa applicants by managing the TSS visa application process from beginning to the end, liaising with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and ensuring the application has the best possible chance of success.
If you intend to lodge an application before March 2018, under the current 457 scheme, we will advise on how the changes may impact your visa grant. We can also advise the pathway to permanent residency.
To arrange a consultation with a Registered Migration Agent, call 07 3668 0658 or contact us.