This article provides an overview of the new Temporary Skill Shortage Subclass 482 visa ('482 TSS'). Additional articles will follow with details of the changes to the permanent Employer Nomination Scheme Subclass 186 and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 187.
Despite the significant media around the introduction of the 482 TSS visa, the final product is relatively similar to the previous 457 visa. Some central features have changed, such as the move to 2 occupation lists, and the removal of a pathway to permanent residency for a large number of applicants employed in occupations on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List ('STSOL'). However, the system fundamentally remains a temporary work visa system requiring skilled applicants with good health and character to fill skilled positions which cannot be filled by Australians.
The new 482 TSS Nominations include a mixture of existing, amended and new requirements.
Since July 2017 the available occupations have been significantly reduced in number. Those occupations that remain available have been shifted to either the Medium & Long Term Skill Shortage List ('MLTSSL') or the STSOL.
The most recent change is the introduction of a number of occupations specifically available in regional areas, called the Regional Occupation List. Despite the name, the Regional Occupation List is not a separate list and regional occupations appear on each of the lists for the various subclasses or visa types.
Caveats (also known as inapplicability criteria) have been adjusted to reflect the new requirements of the 482 TSS visa. For example, occupations which had a caveat requiring at least 2 years' full-time work experience have been removed on the basis that the visa now requires 2 years' full-time work experience.
Caveats should be checked carefully for each occupation. It is expected that caveats will be revised on a regular basis.
As was the case from July 2017, visas are limited to a maximum of 4 years for occupations on the MLTSSL, or 2 years for occupations on the STSOL. Exemptions apply to allow STSOL occupations to be granted for 4 years where International Trade Obligations apply, such as Free Trade Agreements or WTO GATS.
Visas in the MLTSSL stream may be renewed indefinitely while the occupation remains on this list. Visas for STSOL occupations can only be renewed once onshore. Subsequent renewals may be made from offshore but this may impact on claims the applicant is a Genuine Temporary Entrant.
Genuine Temporary Entrant
Genuine Temporary Entrant requirements have been introduced for STSOL occupations. The applicant must demonstrate that they do not intend for their stay in Australia to be permanent.
Australian Market Salary Rates & Equivalent Terms & Conditions
The regulations have introduced a new term, Australian Market Salary Rate ('AMSR'). The AMSR must be above or equal to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold ('TSMIT') and must be equivalent to what is paid to an Australian in the same workplace and location.
A broader assessment of the employment conditions will be made to ensure that 482 TSS visa holders will receive the same conditions as Australians.
The business must also certify that the conditions apply with all Federal, State, and/or Territory employment laws.
Despite the government flagging the introduction of a new training system, called the Skilling Australia Fund ('SAF') Levy, as part of the March implementation, the Bill to support this change is yet to pass Parliament. The 482 TSS visa has therefore been introduced without the new training system.
References continue to exist in the Migration Regulations to the previous Training Benchmark system for current sponsors, who have an ongoing obligation to meet their original training commitments, and new sponsors, who must commit to meeting the Benchmark in the next 12, presumably if the SAF Bill does not pass. It is expected that this obligation will be removed once the new SAF Levy passes Parliament and is introduced.
If the government succeeds in passing the SAF Levy, sponsors will be required to pay the Levy based on the number of years they are seeking sponsorship for the position. Fees of $1800 per year apply to businesses with a turnover above $10 million or $1200 where turnover is under $10 million.
Labour Market Testing
Stricter Labour Market Testing requirements are expected to apply in the near future. Relevant changes have not been made to the Migration Regulations however under policy it is expected that applicants meet the new requirements. This conflict between the regulations and policy means that sponsors should approach the matter with caution and are encouraged to seek professional advice on how to proceed.
Future requirements will mean sponsors must demonstrate at least two advertisements on:
- National recruitment website
- National print media
- National radio; or
- If an accredited sponsor, on their website.
Social media (such as LinkedIn or Facebook) and other websites are not acceptable.
Advertisements must meet a number of requirements:
- Duration of no less than 21 consecutive calendar days
- Have occurred in the last 12 months
- From 18 June 2018 the advertisements must have been published in the past 6 months
- Be published in Australia
- In English
- Include the position title or description
- Include the name of the sponsor or recruitment agency
- Include the annual earnings of the position, unless above $142,000 per annum
The 482 TSS visa component
The 482 TSS visa includes revised requirements for work experience and English. Most other requirements remain the same.
Skills & Qualifications
Applicants must have the skills or qualifications outlined in the ANZSCO occupation ( PDF download) to qualify. In addition, applicants must have at least 2 years' full-time work experience in the occupation. Skill Assessment requirements remain largely as before, and include specified trades for specified nationalities as well as the occupations of 'Project or Program Administrator' and 'Specialist Managers Not Elsewhere Classified'.
There is no age limit.
Applicants for the MLTSSL stream must obtain an overall score of 5.0 in IELTS (or equivalent in another English language exam) and a minimum of 5.0 in each stream.
Applicants for the STSOL stream must obtain an overall score of 5.0 in IELTS (or equivalent in another English language exam) and a minimum of 4.5 in each stream.
Exemptions apply where applicants have studied a requisite amount in English, obtained licensing which requires evidence of a greater level of English, are paid a base salary of $96,400 per annum plus super and are employed by an overseas business, or have a passport from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland.
Health & Character
Applicants must meet health and character requirements. All applicants aged over 16 need to demonstrate good character by providing a police clearance from each country they have lived in for more than 12 months in the last 10 years.
The more restrictive definition of family members introduced in 2017 applies. Only spouses or children under 23 can be included.
An updated Visa Condition, 8607, will be imposed on all primary visa holders. This restricts them from working for any employer apart from their current sponsor. Exceptions apply for exempt occupations including medical practitioners, CEOs, Managing Directors and General Managers.
There has been a small increase in visa application fees for 2-year 482 TSS visas in STSOL occupations to $1150 per adult applicant. The fee for MLTSSL occupations is now $2400 per adult applicant. The fee for partners to join existing 457 or 482 TSS MLTSSL occupation visa holders is $2400, while partners joining 482 TSS STSOL occupation visa holders is $1150.
More information to follow
Further articles with information about the changes to the Employer Sponsored Skilled Migration program will follow shortly.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.