The Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) Visa commenced on 18 March 2018 with significant changes to temporary skilled and permanent employer sponsored visa programmes.
This article was originally published 19 March 2018 and was updated 24 November 2022.
The Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) visa (TSS) which replaced the Subclass 457 visa programme on 18 March 2018 continues to be subject to reforms.
This includes tightened eligibility for employer-sponsored temporary and permanent entry visas with reference to criteria dealing with:
- Employment history
- English language
- Eligible occupations
- Labour Market Testing.
The employer-sponsored temporary and permanent visas allow access to overseas skilled workers with critical skills, if there are no skilled Australian workers available and to increase the quality and economic contribution of skilled migrants.
Changes to eligibility requirements for the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream in the Subclass 186/187 visas will not apply to persons who hold or had applied for a subclass 457 visa when the changes were announced by the Government on 18 April 2017 as transitional provisions will apply.
Summary of Subclass 482 TSS visa changes
The changes are extensive and relate to the new TSS which has 3 new streams:
- A Short-term stream for occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a maximum of up to 2 years (or up to 4 years if an international trade obligation applies)
- Medium-term stream – for occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) for up to 4 years
- Labour Agreement Stream – in accordance with a Labour Agreement, where there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market under the TSS.
The Occupation Lists
The occupations are reviewed from time-to-time with a further review currently underway.
|Base application charge||$1,330|
|Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18||$1,330|
|Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18||$335|
Medium-term stream and Labour Agreement stream
|Base application charge||$2,770|
|Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18||$2,770|
|Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18||$695|
Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) Applications changes
- Recovering costs from applicants for TSS including migration agent costs, is specifically prohibited
- Expanded definition of Adverse Information to include any information relevant to the person’s suitability as a sponsor or nominator including:
- Power to refuse to approve the nomination and power to refuse to grant visas in cases where documents are bogus or information is false or misleading
- Where there is a concern with a wide range of associations including family, friends and associates which can be used to continue unacceptable or unlawful business practices.
TSS Nomination Applications
- All TSS visas must relate to full-time positions
- The e Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) requires remuneration and employment conditions that are at least equivalent to the conditions that are, or would be, provided to an Australian worker performing the same work at the same location
- The AMSR excluding any non-monetary benefits must not be less than the Temporary Skilled Migrant Income Threshold (TSMIT) (which is currently $53,900) unless this requirement is waived
- Annual earnings of the applicant in the nominated position must be at least TSMIT unless this requirement is waived
- The English requirement for the Short-term stream continues to be the same as applied to the Subclass 457 visa
- The Medium-term stream requires an International English Language Testing System score (or equivalent) of level 5 overall, with a minimum of 5 in each component score
- Location(s) where the occupation is to be carried out must be provided
- Period of nomination must be provided
- Unless exempted, the nominator must certify that the employment contract complies with all laws of the Commonwealth, State or Territory related to employment, including National Employment Standards if applicable
- Terms and conditions are assessed on the basis of 3 separate comparisons:
- Annual earnings
- Employment conditions other than earnings
- Requirement that applicant “has worked in the nominated occupation” for at least 2 years
- For Short-term stream – Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement includes consideration of intent to stay in Australia temporarily, applicant’s circumstances, immigration history and any other relevant matter
- Nominated occupations may be subject to matters relating to any of the following as specified:
- The person who nominated the occupation
- The nominee
- The occupation
- The position in which the nominee is to work
- The circumstances in which the occupation is undertaken
- The circumstances in which the nominee is to be employed in the position.
- Labour Market testing is now required for all applications unless international trade obligations apply.
- All applicants who are in Australia at the time of application must hold a substantive visa or Bridging Visa A, B, or C
- Visa applicants in certain occupations are now required to have commenced or completed a skill assessment in order to make a valid visa application
- Applicants who do not meet the health criteria may be eligible for a health waiver under Public Interest Criterion 4007
- All primary visa holders must comply with Condition 8607
- All primary and secondary visa holders must maintain adequate health insurance in accordance with Condition 8501
- All visa holders must comply with Condition 8516 which means they must continue to satisfy the applicable primary or secondary criteria for the visa
- The visa cancellation powers now allow the Minister after the grant of a visa, to cancel visas where:
- The visa holder no longer has a genuine intention to perform the approved nominated occupation
- The visa holder has ceased to have a genuine intention to perform that occupation
- The position associated with that occupation is not considered to be genuine.
Subclass 186 ENS
- 186 TRT: The Minister can require skills assessment for any occupation prior to approving a visa application regardless of whether skills had been previously assessed as part of a previous 457 or TSS applications
- If the visa applicant is required to hold a licence or registration, requirement that a person holds the licence or registration or is eligible to do so has been added to the nomination
- 186/187 TRT is only available for holders of 457 visa or Medium-term TSS visa or Bridging Visa based on an application for a 457 or Medium-term TSS unless an exemption applies in accordance with a Legislative Instrument
- 186/187 TRT nominated occupation must have the same first 4-digits of the ANZSCO code as in the most recent 457/TSS nomination grant
- 186/187 TRT requires applicants to “genuinely perform” the tasks of the occupation they hold that visa under, which allows consideration of their current work circumstances under 457/TSS visa when evaluating nomination eligibility
- 186/187 TRT nominations cannot be lodged unless the applicant has held a 457 and/or TSS visa(s) for a total period of 3 years in the 4 years immediately before lodging a nomination application
- 186/187 nominations cannot be lodged unless the applicant was employed full-time in Australia in the approved 457/TSS nominated position for a total period of 3 years in the 4 years immediately before lodging the nomination application, unless exempted
- 186 TRT age limit changed –under 45 years at the time of application unless transitional provisions apply
- 186/187 TRT and Direct Entry requires the nominator to have the capacity to employ the applicant for a least 2 years and pay the applicant AMSR for each year
- AMSR, Annual Earnings and TSMIT apply to 186/187 nominations.
The Department of Home Affairs and Business Risk
The bringing together of Australia’s federal law enforcement, national security, criminal justice and immigration and border-related functions and agencies under the ‘super ministry’ of Home Affairs, is one of the most significant reforms to Australia’s security, law enforcement and immigration arrangements.
The Department of Home Affairs continues its reform agenda, consistent with the priorities of the government of the day.
The depth and breadth of the legislative changes continues to be significant and is coupled with the Department’s Data Matching Protocols including with the Australian Taxation Office and other prescribed agencies. The Data Matching Protocol enables data analytics and targeted action to ensure immigration, tax and other regulatory compliance.
Businesses recruiting overseas workers are subject to data matching. This means that all businesses must manage risk as a whole of enterprise approach, which includes regular review of operational planning and the design and implementation of human resources strategy and frameworks, which align with the immigration regulation requirements.
Critical to this are controls, delegated responsibility, document management systems and processes noting that all information and documents lodged with the Department of Home Affairs may be subject to monitoring, compliance, investigations and enforcements.
BDO Migration Services are leaders in the field, providing businesses with Visa and related services, while advising on and managing risk and compliance the digital age of data matching and a whole of Government approach to regulatory compliance.
The Department of Home Affairs continues its reform agenda which aims to address critical skill shortages and the employer sponsored temporary and permanent entry skilled visas with protecting Australian jobs and standards and conditions of employment. Australia continues to be a highly sought-after destination, with burgeoning demand for temporary and permanent entry. With the complexity and ever-changing nature of Australia’s immigration laws and policies, we recommend you seek expert legal advice on a case-by-case basis. The above summary should not be treated as immigration assistance, immigration legal assistance or legal advice as it is a mere summary.