On 19 February 2018, the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) announced further details regarding the upcoming Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, due to replace the existing 457 visa programme in March 2018.
Further details have also been announced in relation to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (subclass 187) visa programs which you can read about here.
Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482) visa
The Department have confirmed that the visa previously referred to as the ‘TSS’ visa will be officially known as a Subclass 482 visa.
The following additional information have been provided:
- Transitional arrangements – the Department have reconfirmed the transitionary arrangements available to existing business sponsors and 457 visa holders (as previously covered by us), and further confirmed that lodged (but unfinalised) business sponsorship applications will continue to be processed under the old rules, subject to minor transitional arrangements to the benefit of employers;
- Existing business sponsors – will be able to complete a very short form to ‘renew’ their sponsorship for a further five years which is expected to “auto approve” (unless there are integrity concerns, or the sponsor is seeking accreditation or no longer meets accreditation criteria). Sponsorship expiry dates can also be viewed in ImmiAccount;
- Sponsorship accreditation – arrangements will be revised by the Department again. This will still continue to provide accredited sponsors with priority processing of nomination and visa applications, as well as auto-approvals of nominations that meet certain criteria;
- Labour Market Testing (LMT) – this will be mandatory unless international trade obligations apply. Where required, the government has indicated that:
- multiple methods of LMT will be recognised (which could include national recruitment websites and print media/radio;
- LMT will need to be undertaken for a minimum duration and to have occurred within a specified period before lodging the nomination;
- the advertisement will need to be in English; and
- current policy flexibility will continue in respect of certain nominations for an existing visa holder, or for talent-based position.
- Work experience requirement – prior announcements indicated that TSS visa applicants would be required to demonstrate at least two years of relevant work experience. The interim guidance suggests that:
- work experience will be considered flexibly in the context of the nominated occupation and industry practices;
- work experience should have been undertaken in the last 5 years and would need to be calculated in terms of full-time work (though part-time work may be considered);
- experience gained through research components of a Masters / PhD may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations (medical/research);
- experience gained through clinical placements and internships may be considered as work experience for medical practitioners;
- the internship component of the Professional Year Program may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations;
- performance experience gained while studying may be considered for applicants with a performing arts occupation.
- “Short Term” stream TSS visa applicants – TSS visa holders with occupations on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) would be eligible for only one onshore renewal. Clarification has now been provided which indicates that short-term (ST) stream TSS visa applicant must be offshore if all of the below apply:
- they have held more than one ST stream TSS Visa;
- they were in Australia when the application for their most recent TSS visa was made; and
- this requirement would not be inconsistent with any international trade obligation.
Holders of two ST stream TSS visas in a row (where the most recent application was made in Australia) can still apply for a further ST stream TSS visa offshore but would be considered with respect of whether they met the “Genuine Temporary Entrant” requirement for this visa stream.
- Condition 8607 – this is a new condition that will apply to all primary TSS visa holders. It is expected to mirror condition 8107 which currently applies to 457 visa holders, but will require TSS visa holders who wish to change occupation (rather than employers) to have a new nomination and visa approved before commencing work in their new occupation;
- Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) update – the bills to implement the SAF levy have passed the House of Representatives but have yet to pass through the Senate;
- Sponsorship obligations – there are expected to be minimal changes to sponsorship obligations to reflect the changes to the TSS provisions. Notifiable events can be made via ImmiAccount or by email to an appropriate address.
If you have further queries please do not hesitate to contact us by email at [email protected] or phone (03) 9016 0484 (Sydney) or (02) 8005 1484 (Melbourne) for further information.