Update – New Temporary Skills Shortage Visa

This month the subclass 457 visa is scheduled to be replaced by the new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa. Accordingly, it is an opportune time to provide an update on what the TSS visa will look like – both or for businesses and overseas workers.

Nominating an Occupation

The Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) have already been introduced. In terms of how these lists will apply to the TSS Visa, the STSOL will allow the visa holder to work for up to two years only, whereas the occupations on the MLTSSL will allow the visa holder to work for up to four years with an option to apply for permanent residency after three years.

Work Experience

TSS visa applicants will be required to have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years. However, it is expected that the “work experience” requirement will be considered flexibly and in line with industry practice. For example, the research components of a Masters and/or PhD may be able to be counted as work experience for relevant occupations, such as medical and research occupations

Labour Market Testing

Labour Market Testing (LMT) will mandatory unless international trade obligations apply. There will be specific requirements around where advertising must occur, how long the position must be advertised for and that the advertisement must be in English. However, the Government has indicated that there will be some flexibility in relation to nominations for an existing visa holder and for talent-based position (e.g. sports-people, top-talent chefs, eminent academics and researchers).


Sponsors will no longer need to meet Training Benchmark A or Training Benchmark B. Instead, employers will be required to pay a set contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund.

Renewing a TSS Visa

Applicants for a TSS visa can either be inside or outside Australia. However if the application is for a short-term stream visa (ie the occupation is on the STSOL), the primary visa applicant must be offshore if all of the below apply:

  • they have held more than one ST stream TSS visa;
  • they were in Australia when the application for their most recent TSS visa was made; and
  • this requirement would not be inconsistent with any international trade obligation.

Holders of two ST stream TSS visas in a row (where the second application was made in Australia) can apply for a further visa TSS ST stream visa offshore. However, in this situation the Department of Home Affairs has indicated that their immigration history may be relevant in terms of whether they are considered to have met the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement for this visa stream.

Transitional arrangements

In our previous article we explained how pipeline applications would be processed once the TSS visa is implemented. Set out below is an explanation of how existing sponsors and visa holders will be affected after the changeover.

Scenario What happens after TSS comes into effect
Employer who is an existing 457 sponsor ·         The employer can nominate overseas workers under the new TSS visa program, including existing subclass 457 visa holders for whom a new TSS nomination is required to facilitate a change of employer or occupation

·         Australian businesses can lodge a new renewal form prior to the expiry of their sponsorship

Holder of a subclass 457 visa nomination ·         They must lodge a new TSS nomination before they lodge their TSS visa application

·         They can request the nomination be withdrawn and the fee refunded, if they were not able to lodge a related subclass 457 visa application before the implementation of the TSS visa

Holder of a subclass 457 visa ·         Must ask a new employer to lodge a TSS nomination application if they want to change employer

·         Must ask their current employer to lodge a TSS nomination application to change occupation

·         Must lodge a TSS subsequent entry visa application for members of the family unit

·         Must lodge a new TSS visa application prior to the expiry of their subclass 457 visa

·         the minimum period the visa holder is required to have been employed in their nominated occupation as the holder of a subclass 457 or TSS visa to apply for permanent residence under the TRT stream will remain at two years.

NB: Time spent on a 457 visa does not count for the purpose of onshore renewal of a TSS visa (see above).


Given the changes announced last year are now imminent, business and visa holders alike should familiarise themselves with the new temporary skilled visa program and understand what the new requirements will look like.

For advice regarding skilled visas, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.


The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.