Since March 18, 2018, the 457 visa has been replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa or subclass 482. Indeed, the government has recently abolished the sponsorship visa or 457, just a year after announcing this reform. Australia aims here to ensure Australians a priority to access employment. It also aims to better control the arrival and stay of overseas skilled workers.
The TSS replaces the 457 visa, however, the reform only applies to new applications made after March 18, 2018.
TSS Visa – Subclass 482
The TSS visa allows the holder to live, work full time for his employer for the duration of the visa. This visa also allows you to travel to and from Australia for the duration of your visa.
There are three streams available under the TSS visa program:
– Short-term stream: a visa for 2 years. This visa is for skilled workers in occupations included on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
To apply for the short term stream, you will need to meet English language requirements. Indeed, an overall score of 5 to a language test (IELTS or equivalent) is required. You will need to obtain a grade of 4.5 in each subject.
The applicant will also have to prove that they intend to settle only temporarily in Australia (known as a ‘Genuine Temporary Entrant’ (GTE)).
This visa is renewable onshore once, for a further two years.
The costs of this visa is AUD 1,265 (July 2019 rate).
– Medium-term stream: a visa for 4 years. This is very similar to the previous 457 visa. It is for workers in occupations included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). It allows the holder to apply for permanent residence after three years.
Again, a minimum score of 5 in each subject of the IELTS exam (or equivalent language test) must be achieved. This visa is renewable and gives access to permanent residence.
It costs AUD 2,645 (July 2019 rate).
– Labour Agreement stream. Only used for exceptional cases. Here overseas skilled workers are employed through an agreement between the Australian government and the employer .
Conditions for claiming TSS
The following criteria must be met in order to be able to apply for TSS (2 years or 4 years).
- Two lists of occupations qualify you to apply for either the Short or medium Term TSS visa.
- You must have the skills to fill a position nominated by an approved business for an approved occupation.
- The applicant must also be able to demonstrate a professional experience of at least 2 years in the nominated occupation or a related field.
- You must meet English language requirements.
- You will also have to provide a clean criminal record.
The Australian employer will first have to look for a candidate in the local labor market. He will then have to prove that he cannot source an appropriately skilled Australian. This is the Labor Market Testing.
The employer must also offer a salary at the Australian market rate of pay. The minimum imposed by the TSS program is currently AUD 53,900 + Superannuation.
The steps of the TSS visa application
Just like sponsorship before, there are three steps in applying for a TSS visa. First, the company that wants to sponsor the person must be approved as Standard Business Sponsorship. To be an approved sponsor, the company must prove a legal and active activity in Australia.
The company will then need to lodge a nomination application for the foreign worker they wish to hire. Here the employer will have to show that he intended to source an employee on the Australian market without success. The company must also demonstrate that the salary offered to the worker is equal to or greater than that of the current market (set at $ 53,900 in + superannuation).
Finally, the nominated employee should apply for the TSS visa.
The steps above must be completed in order. However, you do not have to wait for each application to be approved to move onto the next step.
What about the 457 visa?
For people who already have a 457 visa, it remains valid until its expiry date. You will not be impacted by the reform unless you want to apply for a further 457 visa or if you want to change employers.
Holders of a 457 visa can apply for a 186 or 187 (residence) visa through the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream. They can also apply for a 186 or 187 visa via the Direct Entry Stream. However in this case, it is necessary to fulfil the new conditions in force since March 18, 2018.