In March 2018, the Australian Government reshaped its approach to skilled migration with the introduction of the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa, replacing the well-known 457 visa. This change heralds significant implications for both employers and skilled professionals worldwide, aiming to address Australia’s skill shortages efficiently while maintaining robust immigration standards.
What Does the TSS Visa Allow You to Do?
The TSS visa provides a flexible pathway for skilled workers to live and work in Australia. Under this visa, holders can reside in Australia and work full-time for their sponsoring employer in a specific nominated position. Furthermore, the visa encompasses provisions for dependent family members, allowing them to be included in the application.
Who Can Apply for the TSS Visa?
The TSS visa caters to two streams of occupations: the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). The STSOL offers a visa tenure of up to two years, renewable once, while the MLTSSL stream allows for a four-year visa with potential pathways to permanent residency after three years.
Qualifying for the TSS Visa
Eligibility hinges on the occupation being listed on the Combined List of Eligible Skilled Occupations. The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) guides the Department of Home Affairs in verifying the alignment of the nominated occupation with the job duties.
Applicants must demonstrate relevant skills and a minimum of two years’ work experience in their field. The assessment process involves a thorough comparison of the applicant’s qualifications and work history against the nominated position.
Language and Other Criteria
Applicants from non-exempt countries (non-UK, USA, Canada, NZ, or Ireland) are required to meet certain English language requirements. Additionally, health and character assessments, including police clearances, are mandatory.
The Application Process for a TSS Visa
- Standard Business Sponsorship: A business must obtain approval to employ a TSS visa holder. This involves demonstrating lawful operation in Australia, commitment to training local workers, and adherence to Australian laws.
- Nomination: The employer must nominate a position and prove that they’ve tested the local labour market unsuccessfully. This includes meeting specific salary levels and paying the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy.
- Visa Application: The final step involves the nominee proving their skill level, health, and character suitability for the visa.
Common Scenarios and FAQs
- Existing Sponsorships: Businesses with prior 457 visa sponsorships can use the same agreement for the TSS visa.
- Age Limit: There is no age limit for TSS visa applicants.
- Pathway to Residency: Not all occupations, such as Marketing Specialists, offer a pathway to permanent residency.
- Family Members: Inclusion of dependent family members with unrestricted work and study rights is permitted.
- Visa Renewal: Renewal options vary based on the occupation list under which the visa is granted.
The TSS visa represents a vital instrument in Australia’s immigration landscape, catering to the country’s evolving skill needs while offering skilled workers globally an opportunity to contribute to and benefit from Australia’s robust economy.