There are a number of updates in related to employer sponsored visas as well as general skilled migration visas:

  • General Skilled Migration invitation rounds
  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) 482 visa
  • TRT ENS/RSMS nominations
  • Skilling Australians Fund (SAF)
  • Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT)
  • Global Talent Scheme (GTS)
  • Labour agreements
  • New Zealand police checks


General Skilled Migration invitation rounds

Invitation rounds were previously run fortnightly but will now be run on a monthly basis.


Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)

The current processing times are 75% of applications finalised within:

  • 57 days for the short term stream
  • 55 days for the medium term stream
  • 28 days for the labour agreement stream

It is strongly advised that applications should be decision ready when lodged. In the past few months we have seen at Australian Immigration Law Services, a number of applications being refused due to missing information that should have been provided. Remember the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) is not obligated to ask for further documents, and they can refuse your application without prior communication with you.

Accredited sponsors are able to provide a written reference confirming that the applicant is of good character instead of overseas penal certificates.

Find: Accredited sponsors and character references

Condition 8607 applies only to existing TSS visa and not to existing 457 visa holders. 

Find: Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa: Condition 8607


TRT ENS/RSMS nominations

Standard business sponsors are able to nominate a 457/TSS visa holder for a ENS 186 or RSMS 187 visa even if they have worked for an associated entity during their two or three year period. If a 457/TSS visa holder obtains a further approved nomination due to a change in responsibilities or title, the change in position can still count towards the two or three year period if the nomination is under the same ANZSCO code and the change in responsibilities or title was minor and salary increased over time.


Skilling Australians Fund (SAF)

The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) 482 visa, Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) 186 visa and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS 187) visas are affected by a foreign worker levy; a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund. Legislation was passed on 9 May 2018 and it is expected to come into effect in this quarter.

Read: Skilling Australians Fund

When it comes into effect, there will be further changes made to LMT requirements. There will be some flexibility under limited circumstances to allow for part time work under the TSS visa program. Nominations will also be required to be withdrawn or it will be refused if the sponsorship application or labour agreement requested is refused. Finally, approved nominations will not cease before processing any associated TSS visa applications, including merits reviews.


Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT)

The FWHIT was increased on 1 July 2018 to AUD$142,00 to AUD$145,400. This affects applications that need to meet the Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirement where advertising needs to provide annual salaries unless the position exceeds FWHIT.

Read: Temporary Skill Shortage 482 Visa: Labour Market Testing (LMT) Requirement

LMT must have been undertaken for at least four weeks and within four months prior to the lodging of the application.


Global Talent Scheme (GTS)

The GTS was launched on 1 July 2018 and will run for 12 months. Where no suitable Australians are available, businesses will be able to sponsor highly skilled overseas workers with niche skills that are not covered by short term and medium term streams of the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) 482 visa program.

There are two streams under the GTS:

Established Business Stream allows for employers who are accredited sponsors to employ highly skilled individuals with cutting edge skills to contribute to innovation in an established businesses and help to better Australian businesses and their employees

Start up stream allows for employers to sponsored highly skilled individuals with cutting edge skills to contribute to Australia’s start ups and bring new ideas, jobs, skills and technology to Australia. This is for start ups in rhe technology field or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field. The start up must be endorsed by an independent start up advisory panel.

If eligible, the applicant will be granted a four year TSS visa which has the option of permanent residency if eligibility criteria are met.

Find: DOHA visas for innovation information


Labour agreements

The Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) is currently taking up to six months to process labour agreement requests. Improvements are being made and it is expected that this wait time will be reduced to three months toward the end of the year. It is encouraged that renewal applications are applied for at least three months before the expiry date.


New Zealand police checks

New Zealand police certificates undergo a verification process. New Zealand Ministry of Justice Certificates must be made out to the applicant directly. The current verification process currently takes approximately two months and cannot be sped up.

Find: DOHA Skilled Visa News August 2018