TSS 482 VISA

TEMPORARY SKILL SHORTAGE VISA

The 482 visa, which came into effect on 18 March 208, is subject to three occupations lists:

  • The Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), occupations on which are regarded as being ‘in demand for the longer term’.
  • The Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) consists of occupations which are regarded as ‘only in demand for the short term’.
  • The new Regional Occupations List (ROL) was introduced on 18 March 2018 to cater for applicants nominated for an occupation to be performed in a regional area. Regional areas are specified by postcodes in a legislative instrument.

 

Reviews of the occupation lists are conducted by methodologies based on studies undertaken by the Departmente of Education and Training (DET), who would advise the Minister for Immigration in March each year of its views on emerging employment trends. In the review, some occupations may be added or removed according to medium and long term market forecasts, and some may be ‘flagged’ for possible removal in the future. Submissions from relevant stakeholders are taken into consideration. For example, university lecturers were omitted from the first MLTSSL of 19 April 2017, but were re-included in the one of 1 July 2017 following lobbying from the tertiary education sector.

Many occupations listed on the new MLTSSL, STSOL and ROL are also subject to certain ‘caveats’ or ‘inapplicabilities’ in that there may be conditions attached to the application or nomination which may make it inapplicable for the relevant visa. For example, sales and marketing managers applying for the 482 visa are subject to the conditions that

  • they are not to be employed in a position in a front-line retail environment or predominantly involving direct client transactions on a regular basis,
  • they are not to be employed in a position paying less than $65,000 in annual salary, and
  • they are not to be employed in a business with less than A$1 million annual turnover.

The 482 visa is divided into four streams,

  • Labour Agreement (LA) stream,
  • Short term (ST) stream, and
  • Medium term (MT) stream, and
  • Global Talent Scheme (GTS).

 

SHORT-TERM (ST) STREAM

This stream is designed for Australian businesses to fill temporary (short term) skill gaps and visa applicants must be sponsored. The short-term list will be assessed every six months and occupations may be added or removed. Schedule 1 of the Migration Regulations prescribes the relevant visa application charge.

Applicants for the Short term stream are subject to the STSOL and ROL, and will get a TSS visa for one or two years, with an onshore extension option once only for a further 2 years, up to a maximum stay of 4 years. The system will not permit a third extension onshore. However, exceptions do apply, e.g. WTO executives, where Australia has trade obligations with a foreign country, who will be granted 482 visas for 4 years, even in the short-term stream.

Permanent residence will not be available to persons on the Short term stream.

Whilst it is possible for a person who has fulfilled the 4 years maximum on a Short term stream to apply for a fresh short term 482 visa from offshore, it will raise concern about the person meeting the ‘genuine temporary entrant’ criterion.

Applicants for the short term stream must meet English language requirement of IELTS score overall 5.0, with a minimum of 4.5 in each component. A police check will be mandatory and the Department must be satisfied that the applicant is a ‘genuine temporary entrant’.

At least two years of relevant work experience is required. This differs from the previous 457 program where applicants with a closely-related qualification at the correct level did not require any work experience. Each occupation also has a minimum work experience requirement – either three years or five years – based on the skill level of the nominated occupation.

 

MEDIUM-TERM (MT) STREAM

The medium-term stream 482 visa can be granted for up to four years. There is also the capacity for onshore visa renewals (not limited to one). This stream is relatively similar to the 457 visa. Schedule 1 of the Migration Regulations prescribes the relevant visa application charge.

The medium-term stream is aimed at applicants working in skilled occupation which the Government believes are critically needed – and will be needed in the longer term.

A pathway to Australian permanent residency is possible for those who have worked three years on the 482 visa in the medium-term stream.

To qualify for this visa, the applicant’s occupation must be on the MLTSSL, or ROL.

At least two years of relevant work experience is required. This differs from the previous 457 program where applicants with a closely-related qualification at the correct level did not require any work experience. Each occupation also has a minimum work experience requirement – either three years or five years – based on the skill level of the nominated occupation.

Applicants must meet English language requirements achieving an overall IELTS score of 5.0 and a minimum of 5.0 in each test component. This is slightly higher than the requirement for the short-term stream.

 

LABOUR AGREEMENT (LA) STREAM

The Labour Agreement TSS visa (482) can be granted for up to 4 years. There is also the capacity for onshore visa renewals (not limited to one). This stream is relatively similar to the Agreement stream of the 457 visa. Schedule 1 of the Migration Regulations prescribes the relevant visa application charge.

A pathway to Australian permanent residency is possible for those who have worked three years on the 482 visa in the labour agreement stream.

Labour agreements are for people who are nominated for the 482 visa to be employed under a labour agreement. Applicants for the Labour Agreement stream are not subject to the MLTSSL, STSOL or ROL, nor are they required to have a certain level of English proficiency as these are incorporated in the labour agreement.

 

GLOBAL TALENT SCHEME (GTS)

On 19 March 2018, Alan Tudge, Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, and Senator Michaelia Cash, Minister for Jobs and Innovation, made a joint media release announcing the proposal for a new visa for highly skilled professionals.24

The Ministers said the Australian government recognises there is fierce global competition for high-tech skills and talent, and that attracting these people would help the transfer of such skills and expertise to Australian workers. As such a Global Talent Scheme was proposed, and commenced a 12-months trial period starting 1 July 2018.

The Global Talent scheme is further divided into two streams,

 

Established Business Stream

o this stream lets accredited sponsors employ workers with cutting-edge skills to help with innovations in an established business in Australia,

 

Start-Up Stream

o this stream lets start-up operators in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields employ workers with cutting-edge skills to help with developments in ecosystems, and bring new ideas, new jobs, new skills and new technology into Australia.

Sponsors in either stream must demonstrate that they

  • cannot find a suitably qualified Australian worker to fill the position, and that the position cannot be filled through other skilled visa programs,
  • have a recruitment policy that gives first preference to Australian workers,
  • have had no breaches of workplace or immigration laws,
  • all their employees are employed either under an Enterprise Agreement, or under current market salary rates.

Labour Market Test will be mandatory for all positions being sponsored.

In addition, businesses sponsoring workers under the Established Business Stream:

  • must be publicly listed, or have an annual turnover of at least AS$4 million in each of the past 2 years,
  • can sponsor up to 20 positions per year, and
  • will be paying each nominee a minimum annual earning of $180,000.

Businesses sponsoring positions in the Start-Up Stream:

  • will be operating in a STEM-related field,
  • must be endorsed by an independent GTS start-up advisory panel,
  • financial criteria also to be determined following consultation with stakeholders,
  • can sponsor up to 5 positions per year,
  • will be paying each nominee a minimum salary at the Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR), to be no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), currently $53,900, and
  • may also seek to enter a labour agreement

Visa applicants nominated for the visa under either stream will:

  • have no familial relationships with the sponsoring business’s directors or shareholders,
  • have qualifications commensurate with the highly skilled role for which they are nominated,
  • have at least 3 years working experience directly relevant to the position,
  • have the capacity to transfer their skills and expertise to other Australian workers,
  • meet all health, character and security requirements,
  • be able to enjoy simpler application procedures and faster visa processing,
  • be able to access certain age exemptions,
  • upon approval, be granted a TSS visa for 4-year period.

Workers who have worked in Australia for three years on the GTS visa will be able to seek permanent residence through the Temporary Residence Transitional (TRT) stream under an ENS or RSMS visa.

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