TSS Visa: All You Need to Know

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What is it?

The Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS) (subclass 482) is what has replaced the old skilled visa program (subclass 457). The TSS visa has three different streams with different application requirements & Results Migration take us through all of the options.

 

When did this happen?

The Government announced the abolishment of the 457 visa in April 2017. The 18th of March 2018 officially marks the beginning of the TSS visa.

 

Why a new visa?

The 457 visa was highly criticised and the Government created the TSS visa in order to prioritise Australian workers. The TSS also intends to better address skill shortages by helping businesses fill these gaps with offshore labour.

 

Two new skilled occupations lists

The first list is the “Short Term Skilled Occupations List” (STSOL) and will replace the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL). The second is the “Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List” (MLTSSL), which will replace the Skilled Occupations List (SOL). Depending on the occupation, there may be caveats that require additional criteria in order to actually be applicable for the visa.

 

What is the short-term stream?

The short-term stream has been designed for Australian businesses or employers to temporarily fill skill gaps. It is only valid for two years and can only be renewed once for a further two years. The STSOL will be reassessed every six months and occupations can be removed or added at any time. There is no pathway to Australian permanent residency like there was with the 457 visa.

 

What is the medium-term stream?

The medium-term stream is very similar to the old 457 visa – it lasts four years and Australian permanent residency may be possible for applicants after three years. The medium-term TSS visa is designed for applicants working in skilled occupations that the Government considers ‘critical’ to the economy in the medium to long-term period.

 

What is the third stream of the TSS visa?

The Labour Agreement Stream is only to be used under exceptional circumstances and involves a complex process. Employers will need to show a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market. This stream is only available when no other visas provide a solution.

 

Have the fees changed?

Unfortunately, yes. The application fees have increased, however the sponsorship and nomination costs will remain the same as the 457 visa ($420 and $330 respectively).

 

Short-term stream

  • Primary Applicant – $1,150
  • Dependant over 18 – $1,150
  • Dependant under 18 – $290

 

Medium-term stream

  • Primary Applicant – $2,400
  • Dependant over 18 – $2,400
  • Dependant under 18 – $600

 

What if I already have a 457 visa?

The old rules of the 457 will apply to you. The legislation will include ‘grandfathering’ provisions, which means that these changes will not apply to people who already held a 457 visa or applied for one before 18 April 2017.

 

What happens if you want to change jobs?

If you wish to change occupations, you will need to obtain a nomination from a sponsoring employer and apply for a new visa. This is one of the big changes from the 457 visa where you could just show you have the skills required for the new job.

 

Is anything else new?

The TSS has multiple new requirements which may make it more difficult to be granted the visa. Some include:

  • Two years work experience required in relevant occupation
  • Maximum age for an applicant is now 45
  • Higher English language requirements
  • New health requirements

 

Changes for Sponsors

Sponsors will no longer need to show evidence of training Australians in the business to be an approved sponsor, as the introduction of a Training Levy will replace this. A TSS sponsorship will be valid for 5 years.

 

Changes to Nomination Requirements

The TSS visa is only available for full time positions and the nomination period must be specified and be exactly 1, 2, 3 of 4 years. The TSS also specifically requires the sponsors to pay the nomination fees.

 

Is my job still on the list?

There have been hundreds of cuts to both occupations lists and currently there are 268 on the short-term list and only 167 occupations on the medium-term list. Most industries will be affected somehow and will work to have ‘critical jobs’ reinstated. Potential employers will need to be careful to make sure the relevant occupation is on the STSOL or the MLTSSL and is not subject to a caveat.

 

What does this really mean?

Ultimately, if you’re an employer these changes are in your favour because it will be easier to meet the training requirements. Of course, you’ll still have to think about whether or not there is an Australian worker who can contribute to the economy first. If you’re an applicant, it may be harder to be granted the TSS than the 457. The Government is trying to make sure you genuinely want to be in Australia for the right reasons, and only temporarily. It will be interesting in time to see how the TSS visa addresses Australia’s skill shortage problems.

 

The table below will compare the two main streams of the TSS visa.

 

Differences between the two main streams:

 

  Short-Term Medium-Term
Duration 2 years 4 years
Renewal Can be renewed onshore only once Can be renewed onshore
Permanent Residency No pathway to permanent residency Permanent residency pathway after three years
Occupation List STSOL – can be reviewed every 6 months MLTSSL – only ‘critical’ or ‘high value’ occupations are considered
English Requirements (IELTS or equivalent) Similar to the 457 visa:

Overall score of at least 5 with minimum score of 4.5 in each of the 4 test components

Higher level required than 457 visa:  Overall score of at least 5 with a minimum of 5 in each component
Exemptions to English Requirements

 

–      Passport holders from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and New Zealand

–      People who have studied in English for at least 5 years

–      Intra-company transfers where the base salary is at least $96,400

–      Diplomatic/Consular appointments

Health Requirement All applicants must show they do not have any medical conditions which are of public health concern or would result in a significant cost to the Australian community.
International Trade Obligations Labour market testing (LMT)
Character Test Mandatory police check for all applicants from each country lived in for 12 or more months in the past 10 years
Adult Children The visa will be valid until the child’s 23rd birthday
Employers Must meet a non-discriminatory workforce test
Salary Minimum salary

 

Read Remaining part of the article at Ground Report

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