TEMPORARY SKILLED SHORTAGE (TSS) Subclass 482
From March 2018, the subclass 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa, or TSS, subclass 482.
The TSS visa will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years (unless international trade obligations apply), and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years.
The Short-term stream is designed for Australian businesses to fill skill gaps with foreign workers on a temporary basis, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced.
The Medium-term stream will allow employers to source foreign workers to address shortages in a narrower range of highly skilled and high-value need occupations, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced.
The Short-term stream will include the following criteria: –
a) SOL – under the Short-Term Occupation List, a visa of up to two years can be granted. A further two years can be applied for only once, when the first two years is nearing expiry. There is no option to apply for Permanent Residency after the first or the second period;
b) They can make a further application offshore after the renewal of two years has expired but will be subject to genuine temporary entrant provisions;
c) Periods of up to four years for occupations on the STSOL (short term skilled occupation list) are available where requested by the sponsor and required to meet Australia’s international trade obligations.
The Medium-term stream will include the following criteria:
a) The Medium-Term stream will be granted for 4 years. It will be possible for visa renewal onshore and a permanent residence pathway after three years provided the visa holder has been employed with the same employer while holding a 482 visa over that 3-year period.
Whether is visa applicant qualifies for the Short-Term stream or the Medium-Term stream depends on what the nominated occupation is, which has to be selected from the subclass TSS List of Occupations.
Commencing from April 2017, occupations on the SOL list are separated into two streams. Some occupations also have restrictions, known as caveats, which determine the eligibility requirements to nominate that occupation. An example of a caveat is the occupation of marketing specialist, where the requirement is a higher minimum salary requirement of $65,0000 + superannuation and that the business has a minimum turnover of $1M.
The two visa streams under the TSS visas are as follows:
How This Visa Works:
There are 3 steps which are as follows:
Step 1: The employer has to apply to become an approved business sponsor;
Step 2: The employer must nominate an occupation in their business to be approved from the 482 List of Occupations and identify in the application who the visa applicant will be;
Step 3: The visa applicant must meet certain requirements for the approval of the visa, such as English, work experience, skills, health and character to meet the requirements of the nominated occupation;
Step 1: Sponsorship
The employer needs to apply for approval as a Standard Business Sponsor. This involves presenting documents to demonstrate that they are an actively operating business, such as financial statements, marketing material, company registration, organizational chart and other identifying details about the company;
A business sponsorship is valid for five years and the business can nominate as many people as it wants to sponsor during this period. A business that is operating for less than 12 months or an overseas business can also be approved for five years;
Companies have certain obligations when sponsoring overseas employees and they can be monitored by the Immigration Department (Department of Home Affairs) at any time to ensure that they are meeting these obligations.
Step 2: Nomination
The position that the company requires the overseas applicant to work in has to be selected from the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). Each occupation on this list is coded according to the Australia and NZ Standard Classification of Occupation (ANZCO). In addition to this, caveats now apply to specified occupations. These either relate to work experience, salary, regional location with some being occupation specific;
Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold requirements. A Government Gazette notice states the minimum salary payable under this visa category which at present is AUD$53,990 plus 9.25% superannuation. The market rate is at least as much as an Australian citizen or permanent resident employed in the same position in the same location is being paid;
To satisfy the Home Affairs that there are no local Australians available with the required skills who want to work in this position, the employer must undertake labour market testing (usually advertising the role) for all occupations. Labour Market testing is mandatory unless an international obligation applies;
The employer also needs to demonstrate that there is a genuine need for that occupation in their business;
Workforce – A non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers;
Training requirement – Employers nominating a worker for a TSS visa will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF). The contribution will be payable in full at the time the worker is nominated:
a) The amounts are as follows:
i) $1200 per year or part year for small businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $10 million) or
ii) $1800 per year or part year for other businesses whose turnover is greater than $10million.
Step 3: Visa
The visa applicant is required to have a minimum of two years’ experience in the nominated occupation;
The applicant must present evidence to demonstrate they have sufficient skills – acquired through recognized qualifications, training or experience in order to meet the requirements of the position;
There is also an English language requirement that needs to be met If the applicant is not from a country where English is the first language – such as UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and NZ. They must achieve an overall score of 5 (with no less than 4.5 in each of the four bands) on the IELTS or equivalent accredited test in the three years prior to lodging the application;
If the occupation is on the MLTSSL list the visa applicant has to score at least 5 in each of the 4 bands of IELTS (or equivalent accredited test) in the three years prior to lodging the application. (unless from a country where English if the first language;
If a visa holder already has a 457 or 482 visa, they can transfer the remainder of the term left on the visa to a new business sponsor. Great care should be taken when changing employers. If a visa applicant chooses to change employers a new nomination will need to be approved under the new arrangements, which can involve a significant cost to meet the Skilling Australia Fund (SAF). Depending on the occupation and duration of the current visa it could impact on the ability to apply for Permanent Residence down the track.