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As of March 2018, the Australian Government introduced a new work visa in replacement of the 457 visa – the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.

The Government’s March visa changes have been highly anticipated since its announcement in April last year that they would be replacing the 457 visa in order to address Australia’s skills shortages and to prioritise Australian workers.

I’ve sat down to take you through the changes.

Everything You Need to Know About the Australian 482 TSS Visa

The Government has introduced three streams of the Temporary Skill Shortage; a short-term stream, medium-term stream, and labour agreement stream. There are also 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 your occupation, there may be caveats that require additional criteria in order to actually be eligible for the visa.

Visa Fees

Unfortunately the March visa changes include increased application costs. The TSS cost of sponsorship and nomination will remain the same as the 457 visa ($420 and $330 respectively). However, the application fees for the TSS are much more expensive.

Short-term stream

➡ Primary Applicant – $1,150 AUD

➡ Dependant over 18 – $1,150 AUD

➡ Dependant under 18 – $290 AUD

Medium-term stream

➡ Primary Applicant – $2,400 AUD

➡ Dependant over 18 – $2,400 AUD

➡ Dependant under 18 – $600 AUD

Differences Between the Two Main Streams

Purpose

Short-Term: For Australian businesses or employers to temporarily fill skill gaps.

Medium-Term: For applicants working in skilled occupations that are considered ‘high value’ to the economy in the medium to long-term period.


Duration

Short-Term:  2 years

Medium-Term: 4 years


Renewal

Short-Term: Can be renewed onshore only once.

Medium-Term: Can be renewed onshore.


Permanent Residency

Short-Term: No pathway to permanent residency.

Medium-Term: Permanent residency pathway after three years.


Occupation List

Short-Term:  STSOL – can be reviewed every 6 months.

Medium-Term: MLTSSL – only ‘critical’ or ‘high value’ occupations are considered.


English Requirements

Short-Term: Similar to the 457 visa:Overall score of at least 5 with minimum score of 4.5 in each of the 4 test components.

Medium-Term: 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


Same for Both Streams:

➡ Prior Work Experience: Two years work experience in the nominated occupation or related field

➡ Age: Maximum age of 45

➡ 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

Labour Agreement Stream

This is the third stream of the TSS visa. To be eligible there must be proof that there is a demonstrated need that cannot otherwise be met by the Australian labour market and there are no other available visas.

The requirements are significantly different to the other streams, in particular the English requirements. Applicants won’t need to have formal testing, but English skills must be proficient to perform the nominated job.

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New Conditions

The TSS condition 8607 is another major change from the 457, where a visa holder who wants to work in a new occupation, must now obtain a new nomination from a sponsoring employer and apply for a new visa.

This will be counted as one of the two onshore TSS visas. Under the old 457, one could just get a new nomination and show you the required skills for the new occupation.

Changes for Sponsors

The TSS visa has made it easier for sponsors by introducing a training levy. This essentially means that sponsors will not have to prove they have trained Australians in the business to be approved.

A TSS sponsorship will be valid for 5 years if the Standard Business Sponsorship is decided after 18 March 2018.

Changes to Nomination Requirements

The TSS visa is only available for full-time positions only and specifically requires the sponsors to pay the nomination fees, as this was relatively ambiguous under the 457 rules.

What if I was on a 457 before 2017?

The Governments ‘grandfathering’ provisions mean that if you held a 457 visa before 18 April 2017, the old rules will apply to you. This means you will still have a pathway to permanent residency.

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Industries Affected

A plethora of occupations have been removed from both lists, so most industries will be affected by the TSS visa in some way.

Since the removal, the short-term visa has 268 occupations available and the medium-term has 167. There are also new limitations that have been applied to many other visa occupations.

What Does This Mean?

This means that visa applicants will need to prove themselves if they plan to stay in Australia. The TSS visa will also force employers to think about whether they already have an Australian who can fill the occupation.

Those applying for the short-term stream will need to be aware there is no pathway for permanent residency, and to be granted the visa, they will need to show their intentions to come to Australia temporarily are genuine.

Of course, there are skill shortages and the Government has tried to implement changes that will assist businesses in filling these gaps, making it easier for employers to meet the training requirements. The TSS makes it harder for applicants but easier for employers.

It will take a little while to see the true effects of the TSS visa and whether it is a better option than the old 457.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

    22 Comments

  1. Thankyou for the facts.

    • You’re welcome – glad the post was helpful for you.

  2. “Unfortunately the March visa changes include increased application costs.” Of course they did.

    • Always seems to be the way! My best guess would be that the increased cost is to help ease the burden and strain of an ever increasing workload within the department of immigration.

  3. Hi Megan! Do you have any information about applying for a partner visa for Australia?

  4. What are some of the actual occupations on the list?

  5. I’m actually surprised that a visa which is in place to meet a temporary skills shortage would cost so much. You would think that the Australian government would want to incentive applications if they’re genuinely trying to meet a skills shortage.

    • I imagine it’s to meet a % of the cost of running the department and processing applications as the number of applicants continues to increase 🙂

  6. Appreciate the information, it feels like a minefield trying to work through conditions and criteria and eligibility.

    I’m a fashion designer and I believe I’m eligible for visas of up to two years on the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List. Need to do more research though.

    • You’re welcome T, I hope we could lay out the changes for you in an easy way to understand 🙂

  7. I’d be interested to know why they got rid of a lot of the occupations?

    • It could be a wide range of factors honestly, most likely on advice from the Department of Employment for reasons like low usage over the last five years, or if they’ve decided to reserve those jobs for Australian citizens.

  8. What if we have a pending application where the occupation has been removed from the list?

    • Hi Gerard, I found this answer for you online:

      Once the application has reached the assessment stage, you will be contacted by the Department and given the opportunity to withdraw your application in writing. The letter will specify a period for required response (i.e. 14 days for nomination applications and 28 days for visa applications).

      Alternatively, you can request a withdrawal in writing at any time and you will then be entitled to a refund of the application fee. If you do not withdraw your application, it will be refused.

      Hope that helps.

  9. Does anyone know if these changes affect processing times?

    • Hi Alisa, processing times always seem to slow down in the short term after a change like this as staff become familiar with the new arrangements. When my partner came over to Australia we found that the best source of information on processing times were online forums. So I would suggest starting there to keep track of who’s applications they’re up to 🙂

  10. Hi Meg,

    Thanks for writing such a good informative article.It really helped.

    I have a query on the very fast processing of TSS subclass 482 visa.I saw that it is taking 11-18days only which was earlier to be in months.Is this information true and how come it is happening so fast nowadays.

    Thanks

    • Hi Sanjay 🙂 While it would be AMAZING if they were processed that quickly, someone has probably made an error in telling you that it only takes 11 – 18 days.

      They have either gotten confused, and said ‘days’ when they meant to say ‘months’, or they could have been talking about priority processing, which averages between 1 to 4 weeks to finalisation, unlike the standard processing times of 5 to 9 months.

      Priority processing is only in certain circumstances, for instance, where an employer sponsor, under nomination, seeks to transfer an existing 457/TSS visa holder over to their sponsorship, where the sponsoring employer has accredited status, or where the position being nominated is in a regional location.

      Hope that helps!

    • Wow, well that has surprised me! If this is true, I’m not sure why it’s now so fast. My recommendation would be to check out online forums to see if you can chat to people who have / are applying right now as that’s often been the way we’ve estimated our different visa processing times.

      Hope it is true!

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