The following update covers:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa
    • Transitional arrangements
    • How Standard Business Sponsors are affected
    • Labour Marketing Testing (LMT) requirements
    • Work experience requirements
    • Repeat TSS visa applications
    • New Condition 8607
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa transitional arrangements
  • Occupation updates


Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa

The new regulations and launch date for the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) set to replace the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) in March 2018 is still yet to be released. As migration agents will receive Department-run information sessions and information packages at the end of February, we suggest that you engage with your agent closer to the date to get the most updated and accurate news.

Read: New Temporary Skills Shortage Visa


Transitional arrangements

The following applications that are lodged before the implementation date of the new TSS visa but have not been finalised by the date will have the following transitional arrangements:

Standard business sponsorship (SBS) applications lodged before the implementation date will be processed under old rules but will receive the benefits of being granted the new five year validity period. Training benchmarks will also not apply as they are being replaced by the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF).

457 nomination applications for existing 457 visa holders lodged before the implementation date will be processed under old rules.

457 visa applicants whose nomination applications were lodged before the implementation date must have the visa application also lodged before the implementation date for the application to be processed under old rules. If the visa application requirements are met under the old rules, the 457 visa will be granted.

It is encouraged for any 457 visa applicants to lodge their nomination and visa applications as soon as possible – if the nomination application was lodged before the implementation date but the visa application was not lodged before the implementation date, the application will not be able to progress and the nomination application fee will be refunded.

Existing SBS sponsorships can nominate an applicant under the new TSS visa program, including existing 457 visa holders who require a new TSS nomination for a change of employer or occupation.

If you have an approved 457 nomination that is still valid, you cannot lodge a TSS visa application without lodging a new TSS nomination.

457 visa holders who want to change employers or occupations will need to lodge a TSS nomination application. A TSS subsequent entry visa application will may need to be lodged for members of the family unit. A TSS visa application will need to be lodged prior to the expiry of the 457 visa. For those in the latter situation, time they have spent on their 457 visa will not count towards the requirements for renewing a TSS visa.

Read: Member of the Family Unit


Standard Business Sponsors

Standard Business Sponsors who need to renew their sponsorship will be required to complete a simple application to renew their sponsorship for a further five years. They will be ‘auto approved’ unless the Department has integrity concerns, the sponsor is seeking accreditation for the first time, or the sponsor declares they no longer meet accreditation criteria.

Standard Business Sponsors should apply for renewal before their sponsorship expires. Renewal should be lodged around two months prior to the expiry of their sponsorship. The Department recommends the two month buffer as the new validity end date is counted from when the renewal is approved and not after the expiry of the current sponsorship, however lodging the renewal application too late may result in sponsorship expiring before the approval, which will affect any ongoing nomination applications under that Standard Business Sponsor.

From March 2018, the sponsorship expiry date will also be made available on immiAccount.


TSS Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirements

Labour Marketing Testing (LMT) will be mandatory for the new TSS visa unless international trade obligations apply. 

  • Multiple methods of LMT will be recognised and could include national recruitment websites and print media/radio, but are not expected to include a general classifieds website
  • LMT will need to be undertaken for a minimum duration and to have occurred within a specified period before lodging the nomination
  • Advertisements will need to be in English
  • Current flexibility in policy will continue for nominations for an existing visa holder due to a change in business structure or the pay rate of the position, and for talent-based positions (e.g. athletes / sports-people, top-talent chefs, eminent academics and researchers).

Further information will be made available with TSS regulations are released.

Read: A Detailed Guide to Labour Market Testing and Market Salary Rate (457 visa)


TSS work experience requirements

TSS visa applicants will be required to have worked in their nominated occupation or in a related field for at least two years.

  • Work experience will be considered flexibly in the context of the nominated occupation and industry practices
  • Work experience should have been undertaken in the last five years. Part time work can be considered but will be calculated in terms of full time work
  • Experience gained as part of the research components of a Masters and/or PhD may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations, such as medical and research occupations
  • Experience gained through clinical placements and internships may be considered as work experience for medical practitioners, including Resident Medical Officers (RMOs)
  • The internship component of the Professional Year Program (PYP) may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations
  • Performance experience gained while studying may be considered for applicants with a performing arts occupation

Read: Professional Year Programme


Repeat TSS visas

Holders of two ST stream TSS visas in a row (where the second application was made in Australia) must apply for a further visa TSS ST stream visa offshore:

  • They have held two or more ST stream TSS visas
  • They were in Australia when the application for their most recent TSS visa was made
  • No international trade obligations apply

In such cases the Department may call into question if the applicant meets the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement. More information will be provided on the release of regulations on the TSS visa.


Condition 8607

Condition 8607, regulations also yet to be released, mimics the current Condition 8107 that affects 457 visa holders. Condition 8607 is a little more strict however; it will require TSS holders who wish to change occupations to have a new nomination visa granted before they begin work in a new occupation. This does not apply to changing employers.

Read: Condition 8107: 457 Visa Work Requirements


Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa

  • The MLTSSL will apply to the ENS and the RSMS, with additional occupations available for RSMS visa applicants to support regional employers
  • The new market salary framework and Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) requirements for the new TSS visa will also apply to ENS and RSMS
  • Those who are applying for a permanent visa from a temporary work visa will be required to complete three years (previously two) before they are eligible, unless they fall under transitional arrangements (see below)
  • At least three years of work experience relevant to the nominated occupation will be required
  • All applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 years at the time of application
  • No change to existing age or English exemptions

Read: English Requirements and Exemptions From 1 July 2017


Transitional arrangements

If the applicant held a 457 visa on 18 April 2017 or lodged a 457 visa on or before 18 April which was subsequently granted, and continues to hold this visa, a TSS visa or related bridging visa at the time of application for the ENS or RSMS visa, the following transitional arrangements apply:

  • The applicant is not subject to occupation list requirements
  • The age requirement will remain at under 50 years of age with existing age exemptions still available
  • The minimum period to be eligible for the permanent visa remains at completing two years in their nominated occupation as a holder of the 457 or TSS visa

If you do not fall into the above scenarios, you are subject to the new requirements.


Occupation updates

The following changes affect applications on or after the date of implementation but will not affect applications finalised before the date or applications lodged before the implementation date that are not yet finalised.

  • Additional occupations will be made available to regional employers for certain visas
  • To support new regional occupations, some existing occupations may be moved between the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
  • There will also be changes to caveats, as well as to the specific lists that apply to particular visa programs
  • For the labour agreement streams of both the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186) and TSS visa programs, the occupations available will continue to be those specified in the relevant labour agreement