Subclass 482: Temporary Skill Shortage Visa
Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visas are designed to enable Australian employers to address labour shortages by bringing in foreign workers with genuine skills where they cannot source appropriately skilled Australians. At all times, the process ensures that Australian workers are prioritised.
There are 3 available streams under this visa scheme:
- Short term stream for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill short-term positions in a range of occupations. Lasting for a maximum of 2 years, or 4 years if an international trade obligation (ITO) applies;
- Medium term stream for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills needs for up to 4 years, with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after 3 years; or
- Labour Agreement stream for an employer who has executed a labour agreement with the Commonwealth Government to source skilled overseas workers. This stream is subject to scrutiny and allowed only where there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market and the other streams of the TSS visa program are not available.
While their visa remains in effect, TSS visa holders:
- Can work in Australia for their approved sponsor in their approved occupation; and
- May bring any eligible dependants with them to Australia in which their dependants can work and study; and
- Have no limit on the number of times they can travel in and out of Australia while the visa is valid.
Strong worker protection measures are also in place to maintain the high standard of Australian labour practice. As a result, the overseas skilled workers are afforded the same workplace rights as Australian workers.
There are 3 stages in the standard TSS visa program:
- Sponsorship: The employer applies for approval as a standard business sponsor (SBS);
- Nomination: The employer nominates an occupation for a prospective TSS visa applicant or existing TSS visa holder; and
- Visa application: The person nominated to work in the nominated occupation applies for a TSS visa.
- The applicant for SBS approval is lawfully operating a business, whether in or outside Australia. The purpose of this criterion is to prevent shelf companies that do not operate a business from being able to become a sponsor. The onus is on the applicant to demonstrate that it is a business that is both lawful (that is, legally established) and operating, irrespective of whether the business operation is in or outside Australia.
- A person can apply to become an ‘Accredited Sponsor’ as part of their application to become an approved SBS or to renew their sponsorship. If a sponsor is awarded accredited status, they will receive priority processing of all nomination and visa applications. Accredited Status may be revoked at any stage if it is found that they do not maintain the characteristics required to hold Accredited Status, or if they declare that they no longer meet these characteristics as part of a sponsorship renewal application.
- Sponsorship Obligations
- Regulation 2.78 – Cooperate with inspectors
- Regulation 2.79 – Ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment
- Regulation 2.80 – Pay travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia
- Regulation 2.81 – Pay costs incurred by the Commonwealth to locate and remove unlawful non-citizen
- Regulation 2.82 – Keep records
- Regulation 2.83 – Provide records and information to the Minister
- Regulation 2.84 – Provide information to this department when certain events occur
- Regulation 2.86 – Ensure primary sponsored person works or participates in nominated occupation, program or activity
- Regulation 2.87 – Not recover, transfer or take actions that would result in another person paying for certain costs
- Regulation 2.87B – Provide training
- Regulation 2.87C – Not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices
In order for a nomination to be approved, the delegate must be satisfied that:
- There is no adverse information known to the Department about the sponsor, or a person associated with the sponsor, or is it reasonable to disregard that information;
- The person that made the nomination is a standard business sponsor, or a party to a work agreement;
- The person has paid in full any nomination training contribution charge (SAF levy) related debt;
- The sponsor must list on the nomination any dependant or secondary visa applicants, if any;
- The sponsor has nominated an occupation that corresponds to an occupation specified in a legislative instrument or work agreement, and the occupation applies to the nominee in accordance with the instrument or work agreement;
- The position associated with the nominated occupation is genuine;
- The position associated with the nominated occupation is full-time unless it is reasonable in limited circumstances to disregard this requirement;
- positions should generally be considered full time where the employee works 38 hours per week; or a period between 32 and 45 hours that is specified under an industry award or agreement and is consistent with the National Employment Standards (NES).
- All salary related requirements have been met;
- if there is evidence the nominee would be expected to work excessive hours that are not consistent with the National Employment Standard, i.e. in excess of 45 hours per week and/or excessive overtime on a regular basis, the case would be subject to further deliberations of the Department..
- There is no information known to the Department indicating employment conditions for the nominee are less favourable than those that apply, or would apply, to an Australian performing equivalent work at the same location or it is reasonable to disregard that information; and
- There is no information known to the Department indicating the sponsor has engaged in discriminatory recruitment practices
Nomination applications are also subject to a requirement to provide evidence of labour market testing (LMT) unless international trade obligations apply. These obligations fall under 2 categories that is, Australia’s commitments under:
- Free Trade Agreements (FTAs); and
- World Trade Organization (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
In practical terms this means that a nomination does not require evidence of LMT if:
- The nominee is a:
- citizen/national of China, Japan, Mexico, Thailand or Vietnam; or
- citizen/national/permanent resident of Canada, Chile, Korea, New Zealand or Singapore.
Note: As per the DFAT website, the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) does not cover Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.
- The nominee is a current employee of a company that is;
- an associated entity of the sponsor; and
- that associated entity is located in Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand or any ASEAN nation (Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam);
- The nominee is:
- a current employee of an associated entity of the sponsor’s business and that associated entity operates in a WTO member country;
- nominated as an Executive or Senior Manager; and
- will be responsible for the entire or a substantial part of the company’s operations in Australia.
- The nominee:
- is nominated as an Executive or Senior Manager;
- is nominated by an overseas business sponsor operating in a WTO member country; and
- will be responsible for the establishment of a new operation of that business in Australia.
- The nominee is a citizen of a WTO member country and is being nominated by an employer for whom the nominee has worked in Australia on a continuous, full-time basis for 2 years immediately before the nomination is lodged.
Unless the nominated position is a ‘select position’, the nominated position must be advertised in Australia in accordance with the requirements set out in the relevant legislative instrument (LIN18/036). These requirements are summarised below:
- The advertisement was in English
- Minimum 2 advertisements were published in any of the below mediums:
- on a recruitment website with ‘national reach’ in Australia (e.g. jobactive.gov.au);
- if the sponsor is an accredited sponsor – on the approved sponsor’s website;
- The advertisement included the following details:
- the title, or a description, of the position;
- the skills or experience required for the position;
- the name of the approved sponsor or the name of the recruitment agency being used by the sponsor; and
- the salary for the position (if the intended annual earnings for the nominated position are lower than $96,400);
- The advertisement accepted applications or expressions of interest for at least 4 weeks after it was first published.
Skills Assessment: Certain TSS primary visa applicants, in all visa streams, are required to demonstrate that they have either commenced a skills assessment process, or they must provide evidence of a skills assessment. The relevant assessing authority must assess the applicant’s skills as suitable for the occupation within the required time period.
- Skills assessment is only required where the applicant is part of a class of persons specified in Migration (IMMI 18/039: Mandatory Skills Assessment – Subclass 482 Visa) Instrument 2018.
Genuine Intention: Decision-makers must be satisfied that:
- The position associated with the nominated occupation is genuine; and
- The visa applicant’s intention to perform the occupation is genuine.
Work Experience: Visa applicants are required to have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least 2 years.
English Proficiency: Migration (IMMI 18/032: Language Test Requirements – Subclass 482 Visa) Instrument 2018
- Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa in the Short‑term stream
- IELTS – overall band score of at least 5.0 – score of at least 4.5 for each test component.
- PTE – overall band score of at least 36 – score of at least 30 for each test component.
- Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa in the Medium‑term stream
- IELTS – overall band score of at least 5.0 – score of at least 5.0 for each test component.
- PTE – overall band score of at least 36 – score of at least 36 for each test component.