TEMPORARY SKILLED SHORTAGE VISA (subclass 482)

The TSS visa, enables employers to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers where they cannot source an appropriately skilled Australian

The new Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa commenced on 18 March 2018 replacing the old subclass 457 visa. For the time being at least I have left the information about the 457 on this website.

There are a number of important changes which include:

  1. changing the pathway for transition to permanent residence. Only occupations which are on the “long term” occupation list will be eligible to apply under the ENS;
  2. the length of stay permitted on the visa will only be 2 years if the nominated occupation is on the short term occupation list;
  3. the concept of the Australian Market Salary Rate (AMSR) has replaced the old equivalent terms/market salary regime;
  4. formal labour market testing has been introduced; and
  5. the training benchmarks are removed and replaced with a “per employee” training levy.

There are still three steps in the process: (a) the employer has to be an approved sponsor; (b) there has to be a nomination; and (c) the visa application itself. I will deal with these steps in outline form below.

Transitional Provisions

There are often “transitional provisions” in operation when new laws come into effect. In the case of the changeover from 457 to 482 they are particularly complex. If you have (or have a decision pending for) a 457 or have a review on foot under the old law, I can advise you on how the transitional provisions operate.

STEP 1 – SPONSORSHIP

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Accreditation

A person can apply to become an ‘Accredited Sponsor’ as part of their application for sponsorship approval. Accredited sponsors will receive priority processing of their nomination and visa applications. To qualify for accreditation, a sponsor (apart from a government agency) must meet one of the following:

  1. Be a “trusted trader”; or
  2.  Low risk sponsor with low volume usage and a high percentage of Australian workers; or
  3. Low risk sponsor with high volume usage and a medium percentage of Australian workers.

STEP 2: NOMINATION

The TSS nomination procedure is generally straightforward. The issues which are most likely to cause problems (especially for smaller businesses) are: (a) labour market testing; (b) the determination of the salary (see AMSR below); and (c) the imposition of a training levy.

Labour Market Testing (LMT)

Evidence of attempts to recruit a local person must be demonstrated in the 6 months prior to the nomination.  Information about the cost of the advertising has to be provided. Advertisements must:

  • be in english;
  • identify the position, the sponsor and the proposed salary (or range);
  • be published twice on recruitment websites or in media (print or radio) or on the sponsor’s website

Training Levy

The old “training benchmarks” were hard to administer and have been replaced a “Skilling Australians Fund” levy. The levy will come into force in the second half of 2018. The levy will be $8000 for a nomination relating to a temporary visa and $5000 for a nomination relating to a permanent visa.

Determining the AMSR

It is the responsibility of the Sponsor to determine the Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) in accordance with  IMMI 18/033: Specification of income threshold and annual earnings and methodology of annual market salary rate. This is complicated and I have attempted to summarise the requirements in the chart.

STEP 3: VISA APPLICATION

You can apply for a subclass 482 visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an employer to work in Australia under standard business sponsorship and you have been advised by that employer to apply for your visa; or
  • are a member of the family unit of a primary visa applicant who is seeking to be granted a subclass 482 visa on the basis that they meet the primary visa requirements.

Visa requirements

To be granted a subclass 482 visa under the standard business sponsor stream you must demonstrate, among other things, that:

  • both you and the occupation specified in your visa application are the subject of an approved nomination which has not ceased to be in effect
  • you have the necessary skills and experience to perform the occupation (and completed any skills assessment required). This may also include relevant licensing and registration if required for the position
  • you meet the English language proficiency requirement (unless you are exempt) – English language requirements
  • meet health and character requirements
Health Insurance - 8501

It is a requirement that TSS visa applicants have adequate health insurance (and this is a requirement that must be met before the visa is granted).

Condition 8501 requires subclass 482 visa holders to maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance while in Australia

Work Restrictions - 8607

This condition applies to all primary TSS visa holders. You must:

  • only work for the approved sponsor
  • only work in your nominated skilled occupation
  • start work within 90 days of arrival in Australia if you were outside Australia when your visa was granted, or within 90 days after your visa was granted if you were already in Australia at the time
  • not cease employment with your approved sponsor for a period of more than 60 consecutive days
  • obtain any mandatory licence, registration or membership.
Changing Employers

If you have been already granted a TSS visa and you want to change your employer, you are not required to apply for a new visa. Before you start working for a new employer, however, you must be nominated by your proposed new employer (who must also be an approved business sponsor) and have that nomination approved first.