Visa 482 TSS Visa

Temporary Skill Shortage visa (or TSS visa) is the most common visa for work in Australia and is designed to enable Australian employers to address labour shortages by bringing in foreign workers with skills which cannot be sourced appropriately from within the Australian labour market. In formulating the requirements for the 482 visa Australia insures that employment of Australian workers is prioritized, as the predecessor to the subclass 482, the 457 visa, was widely considered deficient in this regard. Family members may accompany you on this visa where they are members of your family unit.

The maximum duration available on this visa is generally 4 years, but the duration is dependent on the occupation of the 482 TSS visa applicant.

There are 3 available streams under the Temporary Skill Shortage scheme:

  • Short term stream stream for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill short-term positions in a range of occupations. Lasting for a maximum of two years, or four 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 four 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. It is not possible for an applicant to obtain a labour agreement for their employer as a labour agreement is an arrangement between a business or industry and a government authority.

While their visa remains in effect, Temporary Skill Shortage visa holders:

  • Can work in Australia for their approved sponsor in their approved occupation; and
  • May bring any eligible dependents, such as family members, with them to Australia in which their dependents 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.

The primary distinction in eligibility between the short term stream and medium term stream is the range of eligible occupations. An employer, when nominating a subclass 482 visa applicant must specify the occupation for which the applicant is to be hired and specify the applicable stream. Nominating the wrong occupation or stream will likely result in a visa refusal, and significant costs to one’s self and one’s employer. If you are unclear whether your nominated position will meet the requirement for work in Australia as a TSS visa holder, be sure to consult with a migration solicitor.

Application Process

There are 3 stages in the standard subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage 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.

Sponsorship

  • The applicant for TSS visa SBS approval is lawfully operation of a business, whether in or outside Australia. This is to prevent shelf companies from becoming a TSS visa sponsor. The onus is on the applicant to demonstrate that they are lawfully established and operating.
  • 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 granted, they will receive priority processing of all nomination and visa applications. This may be revoked at any stage if it is found that they do not maintain the characteristics required to hold Accredited Status.
  • In comparison to sponsorship under the 457 visa, the costs to the employer in sponsoring a 482 TSS visa applicant are quite significant. Nomination for a period of four years may cost a business upwards of AUD$5500. Whilst some of this cost may be recouped in the event of a refusal, it is nevertheless imperative to ensure your visa subclass 482 application is prepared correctly.

Sponsorship Obligations

As the sponsor under visa subclass 482, an employer is subject to a range of legal obligations. Failure to uphold the standards expected on a 482 visa employer may result in cancellation of sponsorship status.

Most obligations regard general industrial relations laws and paying certain costs in the event of the removal of the Subclass 482 visa holder from Australia. If you are uncertain of your obligations, it is important to obtain independent legal advice on such matters.

In order for a nomination to be approved, the delegate must be satisfied that the following requirements are met:

  • There is no adverse information known to the Department about the TSS visa sponsor, or a person associated with the sponsor, or is it reasonable to disregard that information;
  • The person that made the visa 482 nomination is a standard business sponsor, or a party to a work agreement;
  • The person has paid in full any TSS visa nomination training contribution charge (SAF levy) related debt;
  • The sponsor must list on the nomination any dependent or secondary visa applicants, such as family members;
  • 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).

Unlike the previous 457 visa, 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 (LIN 20/156 – Jobactive period, manner and evidence of labour market testing). These requirements are summarized below:

  • The advertisement was in English
  • The nominated position was advertised on www.jobactive.gov.au;
  • In addition to the jobactive website, minimum 2 advertisements were published on a recruitment website with ‘national reach’ in Australia, or on the employer’s website if the employer is an accredited sponsor;
  • The advertisement accepted applications or expressions of interest for at least 4 weeks after it was first published.

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);

482 Visa Application

  • 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: It is among the requirements of the visa subclass 482 that applicants have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least 2 years.

    English Language Proficiency: The applicant must demonstrate their English language proficiency through one of the below listed English language tests. The precise requirements are dependent on the test undertaken by the TSS visa applicant.

    Subclass 482 TSS 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 TSS 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.

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