TSS Visa – The Big Changes to the Temporary Working Visa

There has been a large amount of changes to the Australian visa system recently, and 2018 has seen the Subclass 457 Temporary Skilled Work visa abolished.

Effective from March 18th 2018, this visa was replaced with a new Subclass 482 visa, otherwise known as the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS).

While the premise of the visa doesn’t change, as applicants will still need to be sponsored by an employer, the new visa will differ from the 457 as it is now split into three streams;

  1. Short-term stream – this is for overseas workers seeking genuine temporary entry to work in occupations included on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a maximum of two years (or up to four years if an international trade obligation applies)
  2. Medium-term stream – this is for highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills in occupations included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) for up to four years, with the eligibility to apply for permanent residence after three years
  3. Labour Agreement stream – this is only used in exceptional cases where an overseas worker will look to be employed under a labour agreement with the Commonwealth government due to a high demand in the Australian labour market but there are no visa options available

Since these changes were announced in April 2017, there have been many changes to the requirements of the new TSS visa, and these requirements have altered greatly from the those of the previous 457 working visa.

Skilled Occupation Lists

In April 2017, the Australian government significantly condensed the lists of occupations that were eligible for the 457 and new TSS visas. Since then, further reforms have been made. If you are unsure whether your occupation is listed, you can check here.

The government has also tightened restrictions by placing caveats on some occupations. This ensures that employers are paying overseas skilled workers the correct rate and employing those with the right experience – these are key eligibility requirements for the visa and are assessed when applying. Unfortunately, this has led to increased confusion for overseas workers looking to be employed in Australia.

The new TSS visa also stipulates that the primary applicant has at least two years relevant work experience in the role that they are applying for.

Thinking of changing jobs? Be aware, as the new changes mean that employees may only work in the occupation in relation to which the TSS visa was issued. To work in a different occupation, a new visa must be applied for and issued.

These skilled occupations lists also apply if you are considering other visa options such as Subclasses 190, 489 and 186.

English Language Requirement

Australia has also tightened requirements for the English levels of many applicants. For those applying under the Short-term stream, there is no change, however, the Medium-term stream will require a higher level of English proficiency of applicants for the TSS visa.

Repeat Applications

The new TSS visa streams means there are different visa lengths. The Short-term stream lasts for two years; however, you cannot apply for another Short-term stream in Australia as the primary visa applicant if you have held more than one Short-term stream TSS visa and you were in Australia when the application for your most recent TSS visa was made.

Medium-term stream TSS visas last four years.

There is still a large degree of uncertainty and discomfort when it comes to knowing if you’re eligible and how to apply for a TSS visa if you want to work in Australia as an overseas worker. The Australian government is always making changes to visa requirements which can often leave you in the dark and feeling stressed.

Avoid any confusion and clarify any doubts you may have by consulting a lawyer with extensive knowledge and experience in migration visas.

At Le Brun, we understand that your work and family are your livelihood. We have helped many people and families migrate to live and work in Melbourne and Australia by supporting them in their visa application. If you would like to discuss your options for an Australian visa, you can contact us to discuss your needs during a free 30 minute consultation with our registered migration agent, Andrew Sutton.

We have four offices throughout Melbourne that offer a wide range of legal servicesContact us here to find out more.